In Biggles in Borneo an unspecified Nakajima fighter spots the Lucky Strike base, drawn to it by the smoke and flames on the ground after a Mitsubishi H.96 flying boat crashes onto the landing ground. Although the type of fighter is not mentioned, it is most likely a Nakajima Ki-27.

The Nakajima Ki-27, codenamed "Nate" by the allies, was an all-metal single-seat monoplane fighter with a fixed undercarriage. Introduced into service with units of the Japanese Army Air Force in 1937, it served extensively in the Japanese wars against China and Russia in the late 1930s and continued in service in the early part of World War 2. It accompanied the Japanese armies during the invasion of Southeast Asia, seeing combat over the skies of the Philippines, Malaya and Indonesia. Its appearance over Lucky Strike in Borneo is therefore natural.

Towards mid-1942, the "Nate" began to be replaced by the more advanced Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa but elsewhere in the book, Biggles sights a Mitsubishi A5M Claude which is a contemporary of the "Nate". So the "Nate" is the more plausible candidate here.


  • Crew: One
  • Length: 24 ft 8 in (7.53 m)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 1¼ in (11.31 m)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,946 lb (1,790 kg)
  • Engine: 1 × Nakajima Ha-1 Otsu air-cooled radial engine, 650 hp
  • Maximum speed: 292 mph (470 km/h)
  • Range: 390 miles (627 km)
  • Service ceiling: 32,940 ft (12,250 m)


  • Guns: 2 × 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns or 1 x 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine gun and 1 x 7.7 mm machine gun on later models
  • Bombs: 220 lbs (100 kg)