The Ki 84 type 1a Hayate (Frank) went into production in the summer of 1944 as the Army Single Seat Fighter Model IA
3,514 Ki 84 type 1a through 1c fighters were produced from 1944 through the end of the war. The aircraft was designed by Najajima's project engineer T. Koyama. It was the fastest interceptor fighter made by Japan and capable of reaching the high flying B-29 bombers. It had a very powerful water injected radial engine that produced 1900 horse power and was capable of flying at 392 mph with a ceiling of 34,350 feet.
The type 1a was armed with 2 - 50 cal machine guns and 2 - 20 mm auto cannons. The type 1b was armed with 4 - 20 mm auto cannons and the type 1c had 2- 30 mm auto cannons and 2 - 20 mm auto canons which were very effective against the B-29 bomber.
The Ki 84 had an operational range on its internal fuel tanks of 1347 miles and was capable of carrying 2 - 550 lb bombs in wing mounted racks.
The Ki 84 Hayate was a very well armed, fast, and maneuverable modern fighter aircraft. American pilots who ran up against this aircraft when it was flown by an experienced Japanese pilot had their hands full.