Model Airplane News
March, 1942

Model Airplane News Cover for March, 1942 by Jo Kotula Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 Sally

Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 "Sally"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for March, 1942
by Jo Kotula
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The Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Allied codename: "Sally" /"Gwen") was designed to meet a 1936 Imperial Japanese Army requirementfor a four-seat bomber with maximum speed of 250 mph and endurance of more than 5 hours. At the time, very few twin-engine bombers anywhere could meet this standard and, not surprisingly, the Ki-21 was later recognised as the best bomber in Japanese service during World War II. It was a cantilever mid-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, the design incorporated retractable tailwheel landing gear, a ventral bomb bay and two radial engines. It began operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War participating in the Nomonhan Incident, and in the first stages of the Pacific War, including the Malayan, Burmese, Dutch East Indies and New Guinea Campaigns. It was also used to attack targets as far-flung as western China, India and northern Australia. They were found to be lacking in defensive armament and self-sealing fuel tanks.

The Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 Sally      The Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 Sally

Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 "Sally"
Click to Enlarge

Production aircraft began to enter service in August 1938, supplementing and then replacing Fiat BR.20 bombers which had been purchased as an interim measure.Several improved versions followed (see below) before the production of the type ended in September 1944. A total of 2,064 aircraft were built, 1,713 by Mitsubishi and 351 by Nakajima.

Here is a video of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima Ki-21 "Sally":

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