The actual Ki-51 “Sonia” was an Imperial Japanese Army light attack/dive bomber developed in 1938, with less than 2,500 total in production at its time. This Ki-51 “Sonia” model is a replica.
Among the flying aircraft at the Texas Air Museum are several replicas of the Mitsubishi Ki-51. Flown by the Japanese Army Air Force in WWII, the “Type 99 Assault Plane” was codenamed “Sonia” by the Allies. It served as a ground-attack and reconaissance aircraft with the ability to operate out of short, rough airfields. While outclassed by Allied fighters, the “Sonia” performed its role well.