Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Role||Patrol flying boat|
|First Flight||December 31 1940|
|Length||28.15 m||92 ft 4 in|
|Wingspan||38.00 m||124 ft 8 in|
|Height||9.15 m||30 ft|
|Wing area||160 m²||1,721 ft²|
|Empty||18,380 kg||40,436 lb|
|Loaded||24,500 kg||53,900 lb|
|Maximum takeoff||32,500 kg||71,500 lb|
|Engines||4 × Mitsubishi Kasei 22|
|Power||5,520 kW||7,400 hp|
|Maximum speed||465 km/h||290 mph|
|Range||7,150 km||4,440 miles|
|Service ceiling||8,760 m||28,740 ft|
|Rate of climb||488 m/min||1,600 ft/min|
|Wing loading||153 kg/m²||31 lb/ft²|
|Power/Mass||0.22 kW/kg||0.14 hp/lb|
|Radar||Mark VI Model 1|
|Guns||1 × 20 mm Type 99 cannon in bow turret|
1 × Type 99 cannon in dorsal turret
2 × Type 99 cannon in waist blisters
1 × Type 99 cannon in tail turret
5 × 7.7 mm Type 97 machine guns in fuselage hatches
|Stores||2 × 800 kg (1,760 lb) torpedoes|
or 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) of bombs or depth charges
The Kawanishi H8K (二式大型飛行艇, Type 2 Large Flying Boat. 二式大艇, Nishiki Daitei, Nishiki Taitei) was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allied reporting name for the type was Emily.
At the same time as the type's predecessor, the Kawanishi H6K was going into service in 1938, the Navy ordered the development of a larger, longer-range patrol aircraft. The result was a large, shoulder wing design that is widely regarded as the best flying boat of the war. Despite this, development was troublesome, with the prototype displaying terrible handling on the water. Further prototypes considerably refined the hull design.
The H8K entered production in 1941 and first saw operational use on the night of March 4 1942 in an attempt at a second raid on Pearl Harbor. Since the target lay out of range for the flying boats, this audacious plan involved a refuelling by submarine en route. As it happened, the raid could not be carried out because of problems caused by bad weather.
The improved H8K2 variant soon appeared, and its extremely heavy defensive armament earned it the nickname "Flying Porcupine" among Allied aircrews. This was to be the definitive variant, with 112 produced. They were used on a wide range of patrol, reconnaissance, bombing, and transport missions throughout the Pacific war. Nearly 40 examples of a dedicated transport version, the H8K2-L, were also built, capable of carrying 62 troops. This aircraft was also known as Seiku (晴空, "Calm Sky").
A total of 167 craft were produced, and four survived until the end of the war. One of these, an H8K2, was captured by US forces at the end of the war and was evaluated before being eventually returned to Japan in 1979. It was on display at Tokyo's Museum of Maritime Science until 2004, when it was moved to a museum in Kagoshima.
|Similar Aircraft||Shorts Sunderland|
|Designation Series||H4H - H5Y - H6K - H7Y - H8K - H9A|
|Related Lists||List of military aircraft of Japan - List of flying boats|
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