|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Japan / Mitsubishi|
In 1933, the Imperial Navy, influenced by trends in Western Europe and the USA, issued both Mitsubishi and Nakajima with a request for proposals for a two-seat shipboard fighter. The Mitsubishi contender, the Ka-8 designed by Joji Hattori who was assisted by Eitaro Sano and Takanosuke Nakamura, was a single-bay equi-span staggered biplane of mixed construction, the fabric-covered wings having duralumin spars and wooden ribs, and the similarly-covered fuselage being of steel tube. An unusual feature of the design was its use of twin endplate fins and rudders. Powered by a 580hp Nakajima Jupiter II nine-cylinder radial, the Ka-8 carried an armament of two fixed forward-firing 7.7mm guns and a similar weapon on a rotating mount in the rear cockpit. The first of two prototypes was completed in January 1934, both being delivered to the Navy during the early summer. However, the second prototype broke up in the air when pulling out of a dive over Yokosuka airfield on 16 September, resulting in the suspension of the test programme and the subsequent abandonment of further development.