Kawanishi K-8 Transport Seaplane
|K-8 Transport Seaplane|
|Manufacturer||Kawanishi Aircraft Company|
|Primary user||Nippon Koku KK|
Design and development
In early 1925, Eiji Sekiguchi, chief designer of the aircraft department of Kawanishi Kikai Setsakuho (Kawanishi Machinery Manufacturing Works), started work on a long-range floatplane for use by Nippon Koku K.K. the airline subsidiary of Kawanishi on airmail services. The resulting design, the Kawanishi K-8A, was a single-engined monoplane with a fabric covered wooden structure. It was powered by a 305 hp (227 kW) Maybach Mb.IVa water-cooled inline-engine, as used in Kawanishi's successful K-7 biplane, but was larger and heavier than the K-7. The aircraft was fitted with a twin-float undercarriage, while the crew of two sat in open cockpits. The first prototype was completed in January 1926 with a shoulder-wing layout, but following aircraft had the wing raised to a parasol wing arrangement. The aircraft demonstrated relatively poor performance, but showed good stability, making it popular for long-distance flights. A total of 5 K-8As were completed in 1926, all going to Nippon Koku K.K..
The design attracted the attention of the Teiko Kaibo Gitai, (the Imperial Maritime Defence Volunteer Association), a patriotic organization, who placed an order for two modified aircraft, the Kawanishi K-8B, with reduced span wings, a slimmer fuselage and the crew cockpits moved rearwards. These two aircraft were completed in 1927, demonstrating improved performance.
The five K-8As were all used by Nippon Koku for its airmail service between Osaka and Fukuoka. The two K-8Bs were used to carry out two formation tours around Japan in April and May 1927 in an effort to promote aviation. They were then leased free-of-charge to Nippon Koku on the condition that they would be transferred to the Imperial Japanese Navy on request. They joined the K-8As on the Osaka–Fukuoa airmail route, and were heavily used before they were retired in April 1929.
- Kawanishi K-8A Transport Seaplane
- Single-engined mailplane for Nippon Koku. Five built.
- Kawanishi K-8B Transport Seaplane
- Modified version of K-8A, with reduced wingspan 16.0 m (52 ft 6 in) and improved performance (185 km/h (115 mph; 100 kn) speed and 9 hour endurance). Two built for Teiko Kaibo Gitai, and later used by Nippon Koku.
- Nippon Koku K.K.
Data from Japanese Aircraft 1910–1940
- Crew: 2
- Length: 10.935 m (35 ft 11 in)
- Wingspan: 17.6 m (57 ft 9 in)
- Height: 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 39.0 m2 (420 sq ft)
- Airfoil: Göttingen 420
- Empty weight: 1,320 kg (2,910 lb)
- Gross weight: 1,930 kg (4,255 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Maybach Mb.IVa water-cooled six-cylinder inline engine, 227 kW (305 hp)
- Maximum speed: 165 km/h; 102 mph (89 kn) at sea level
- Endurance: 7 hours
- Service ceiling: 6,500 m (21,325 ft)
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