A collection of colour images of one of my favourite Japanese fighters of WW2, the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein (Swallow), codenamed “Tony” by the Allies. The only Japanese fighter of WW2 to have an in-line engine, the Mitsubishi Ha-40 (basically a copy of the German DB-601), it was originally thought to be of German or Italian origin and some very early reports even claimed that it was a Bf-109. First seeing action in large numbers over New Guinea in 1943, it was hampered by its unique engine and the problems that came with it and thus it never reached its full potential despite the valiant efforts of the men flying it. It saw a resurgence in use during the defence of Japan in 1944-45, where supplies were easier to access and new planes could easily reach units. It equipped several elite units but it really shone when the airframe was married to the Ha-33/62 radial engine. This created the Ki-100 Goshikisen, the best Japanese fighter of WW2.