Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Kawanishi H6K was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allied reporting name for the type was "Mavis"; the Navy designation was "Type 97 Large Flying Boat" (九七式大型飛行艇).
The aircraft was designed in response to a Navy requirement of 1933 and incorporated knowledge gleaned by a Kawanishi team that had visited the Short Brothers factory in the UK, at that time one of the world's leading producers of flying boats. The Type S, as Kawanishi called it, was a large, four-engined monoplane with twin tails, and a hull suspended beneath the parasol wing by a network of struts. Three prototypes were constructed, each one making gradual refinements to the machine's handling both in the water and in the air, and finally fitting more powerful engines. The first of these flew on July 14 1936 and was originally designated Navy Type 97 Flying Boat, later H6K. Eventually, 217 would be built.
H6Ks were deployed from 1938 onwards, first seeing service in the Sino-Japanese War and in widespread use by the time full-scale war erupted in the Pacific. It had excellent endurance, able to undertake 24-hour patrols, and was even used for long-range raids on Rabaul and the Dutch East Indies
The aircraft became quickly vulnerable to the new generation of fighters then appearing, but continued in service throughout the war in areas where the risk of interception was low. In front-line service, it was replaced by the Kawanishi H8K.
Some may have continued to fly in Indonesia in post-war years, but none are extant today.
|Similar Aircraft||Dornier Do 24 - PBY Catalina|
|Designation Series||H3K - H4H - H5Y - H6K - H7Y - H8K - H9A|
|Related Lists||List of military aircraft of Japan - List of flying boats|
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