Light reconnaissance bomber

In the late 1930s, a He 70 was imported to Japan. Few details are available but the wing form of the He 70 would later provide the influence for the wing design of the Aichi D3A1 carrier bomber, known to the Allies as Val.

Heinkel He 112B-0 fighter

In 1937, the UN was seeking new fighters to combat the increasingly modern aircraft being encountered in China. Heinkel was at the time looking to export the He 112, a design which was ultimately rejected by the Luftwaffe. The UN placed an order for 30 HE 112B-0 fighters, known in Japan as the A7Hel Type He Air Defence Fighter. 12 of the 30 were delivered though Japanese pilots disliked the performance of the plane and mechanics had difficulties maintaining the liquid-cooled engines. As Japanese fighters of improved capability were entering service, the He 112B-0 never saw combat and the Japan­ese cancelled the remaining 18 aircraft. Ser­viceable He 112B-0 were used as instructional aircraft and as means to study German manufacturing techniques. Figuring the He 112B-0 was in active service, the Allies codenamed the aircraft Jerry although it was never encountered.

Heinkel He 118 dive bomber

With the Luftwaffe uninterested in the He 118, Heinkel found the Japanese receptive to the plane. The UN placed an order for a sin­gle He 118 to be delivered by February 1937 along with the licence to manufacture the He 118 in Japan. The IJA also purchased a sin­gle He 118 for delivery by October 1937. Known in Japan as the DXHel, Hitachi Seisakusho was to be the company that would produce the licensed aircraft. The He 118 V4 was shipped to Japan and assem­bled at Yokosuka for the UN, but during a test flight it broke up in the air and the UN aban­doned the plane. The IJA received the He 118 V5 months later but it too lost interest and Heinkel received no further orders.

Junkers G 38/K 51 heavy bomber

The Army sought to have their own version of the Junkers massive G 38 airliner and in September 1928, Mitsubishi entered into a contract with Junkers for the design specifi­cations, blueprints, manufacturing data and licence to build the aircraft as a bomber, known as the К 51, the export version of the G 38. Mitsubishi sent designers to Germany in 1928 to study the G 38 and production tech­niques, and by 1930, the necessary tools, jigs and material were imported and in place. Junkers sent a team of engineers to Japan to assist with the production. The first bomber, the Ki-20, was completed in 1931. A total of six were built from 1931 to 1935. Kept in secret, the general public was not made aware of the Ki-20 until 1940 when three Ki-20s partici­pated in a parade fly-over. The Ki-20 did not see action.

Junkers К 37 bomber

A single К 37 bomber was imported through Sweden and was donated to the Army as Aikoku-1. Used during the Manchurian Inci­dent, the Army was impressed with the К 37 and in 1932 asked Mitsubishi to make a simi­lar bomber. Using the К 37 as a basis and cap­italising on experience from the Ki-20, the prototype Ki-1 heavy bomber was completed in March 1933. Despite problems with the engines, the Ki-1 was adopted to replace the old Type 87. The Ki-1-II soon appeared in an attempt to fix issues with the Ki-1 but it was not liked by the crews that flew it. Another air­craft, the Ki-2 light bomber, was also built using the К 37 as a basis. The Ki-2 and later Ki-2-ІІ (both being built from 1933 to 1938) proved very successful, seeing action in China and later as trainers into the late 1930s. The Allies thought the КІ-2-ІІ was still in ser­vice when the war began and assigned it the codename Louise.