During the Pacific campaigns of WWII, bomber crews reported attacks by Japanese fighters bearing a resemblance to German and Italian aircraft. US Military did not believe the reports at first, discounting the idea that the Japanese were flying fighters with an in-line engine. But the reports proved to be true and the Ki-61 Hien, code named "Tony", became a very real threat.
But as the war dragged on, the supply of in-line engines could not match the output of the Kawasaki factory. When faced with the problem on what to do with the extra airframes, the solution was simple--mate the airframes to the Mitsubishi Ha-112 twin-row 14 cylinder, 1500 HP radial engine. As happens in wartime, and with a bit of luck, the resulting aircraft proved to be a very capable and formidable fighter, tangling with the Grumman F-6F "Wildcat" on fairly equal terms.
The January LOOTM, the Kawasaki Ki-100. Enjoy!
For more information on this outstanding airplane, check the following sites:
Information on the Ki-100 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Ki-100
Trace the lineage of the Ki-61 and Ki-100 http://www.vectorsite.net/avhien.html
More about both the -61 and -100
One more page about the Ki-100 http://www.aviastar.org/air/japan/kawasaki_ki-100.php