Kawasaki Ki-48 Lilly Light Bomber
The Kawasaki Ki-48 Lilly light bomber was developed in 1937 for the Imperial Japanese Army as a high speed bomber. The design requirement was prompted by Japanese encounters with the Soviet Tupolev SB-2 light bomber over China. The Ki-48 was produced from 1939 to 1944 under the Army designation Army Type 99 Twin Engined Light Bomber Model 1A with 1,977 built. The Lilly was a typical Japanese design with good maneuverability and speed when introduced but suffering from poor defensive armament and a lack of self sealing fuel tanks and armor. The Lilly served in China from late 1940 and was widely used in the Philippines, Malaya, Burma, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Dutch East Indies. By 1942 the Ki-48 was obsolete, but production continued until 1944 because there really was no replacement available. The Lilly continued in service until the Battle of Okinawa during April 1945, when many were converted into kamikaze aircraft armed with a 1,760 lb. bomb. Armament consisted of a trainable 7.7 mm Type 89 machinegun in the nose, dorsal and ventral positions and a payload of 1,764 lbs. of bombs.