Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kawasaki Ki-61 Flying Swallow Restored

This last October news outlets revealed that Kawasaki Heavy Industries LTD. had restored a 75 year old Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien fighter in commemoration with the company's 120th anniversary of its founding. The Type-3 Fighter was nicknamed "Hien" (Flying Swallow) by Kawasaki Aircraft and made its first flight in 1941. She is currently on display in Kawasaki's Legacy Technology Hall in Kobe Japan. They say around 3000 of these planes were built during WWII and currently this is the last one in Japan making this a very rare plane. The story of this particular plane is that this aircraft was requisitioned by the U.S. Military after the war. She later sat on display at Chiran Air Base for many years until her recent restoration. Most of the original instruments had to be replaced and the engine is restored but she is not flyable. At present there are no plans to restore her to flying status. She is to join a warbird collection at Kagamihara Aerospace Science Museumin Gifu Prefecture. While we are sad to see she will not take to the air, we are happy to see that she will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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