Kawanishi E15K

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E15K Shiun
E15k-3s.jpg
Role Reconnaissance floatplane
Manufacturer Kawanishi Aircraft Company
First flight 5 December 1941
Primary user IJN Air Service
Number built 15

The Kawanishi E15K Shiun (紫雲, "Violet Cloud") was a single-engined Japanese reconnaissance floatplane of World War II. The Allied reporting name for the type was "Norm" after Squadron Leader Norman O. Clappison of the RAAF, a member of the Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit (ATAIU).

Design and development[edit]

In 1939 the Imperial Japanese Navy instructed the Kawanishi Aircraft Company to develop a two-seat high-speed reconnaissance floatplane, which was required to have sufficient performance to escape interception by land based fighters.[1] It was planned to equip a new class of cruisers, intended to act as a flagship for groups of submarines, operating six of the new floatplanes to find targets. The first of the new cruisers, Ōyodo was also ordered in 1939.[2]

Kawanishi designed a single-engined low-wing monoplane, powered by a 1,460 hp (1,090 kW) Mitsubishi MK4D Kasei 14 14-cylinder radial driving two Contra-rotating two-bladed propellers, the first installation of contra-rotating propellers produced in Japan,[3] while a laminar flow airfoil section was chosen to reduce drag. It had a single main float under the fuselage and two stabilising floats under the wing. The stabilising floats were designed to retract into the wing, while the central float was designed to be jettisoned in case of emergency, giving a sufficient increase in speed (estimated as approximately 50 knots (90 km/h)[2]) to escape enemy fighters.[4]

The first prototype of Kawanishi's design, designated E15K1 in the Navy's short designation system made its maiden flight on 5 December 1941.[3] Five more prototypes followed during 1941–42. Problems were encountered with the retractable stabilising floats, resulting in several accidents when the floats could not be lowered for landing, and the system was eventually abandoned, with the stabilising floats being fixed, and a more powerful Mitsubishi MK4S Kasei 24 engine fitted to compensate for the increased drag.[5]

Operational history[edit]

Despite these problems, the E15K1 was ordered into limited production as the Navy Type 2 High-speed Reconnaissance Seaplane Shiun Model 11.[6] Six were sent to Palau in the South Pacific, but these were quickly shot down by Allied fighters, as the jettisonable float failed to separate on demand (although subjected to wind tunnel testing, the float separation system had never been tested on the actual aircraft). This resulted in the cancellation of production in February 1944, with only 15 Shiuns completed, including the six prototypes.[5] [7]

according to 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No4. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120221100

April 30 1944,only 5 shiun received by 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq(Shiun Sq).

May 15 1944, 3 aircraft finished prepare.

June 12 1944, 2 aircraft finished prepare.


according to 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No1. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120220900

according to 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No3. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120230300

according to 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No4. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120230500


1500(JST) June 1 1944,one Shiun arrived at Palau.

1230(JST) June 3 1944,one Shiun arrived at Palau.

June 3 1944,one Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

June 15 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

June 15 1944,two Shiun was destroyed by US Navy task force.at Bonin Islands.

June 17 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

June 23 1944,one Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

June 25 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

June 26 1944,two Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

June 28 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

June 30 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 9 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 10 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 11 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 12 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 14 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 15 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 16 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.another one Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

July 19 1944,one Shiun perform recon flight.No allied force found.

July 21 1944,two Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

July 25 1944,two Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.Met allied fighter(F6F). One Shiun was destroyed.

August 10 1944,one Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

August 12 1944,one Shiun perform anti-submarine flight.No allied force found.

August 12 1944,12th recon Sq was disbanded.


Commander of 12rh recon Sq(Shiun Sq),Lt Kiyoshi Aikawa wrote "Never made again such aircraft as Shiun".

He wrote reliability of Shiun is too low,and need high Maintenance effort.

Variants[edit]

  • E15K1 : Single-engined reconnaissance floatplane. Production version.

Operators[edit]

 Japan

Specifications (E15K)[edit]

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[8]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • 1 × 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in rear cockpit

See also[edit]

Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 314.
  2. ^ a b Layman and McLaughlin 1991, pp. 77–78.
  3. ^ a b Francillon 1979, p. 315.
  4. ^ Green 1962, p. 127.
  5. ^ a b Green 1962, p. 128.
  6. ^ Francillon 1979, pp. 305–306.
  7. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 31.
  8. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 316.
Bibliography
  • Francillon, PhD., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970. (2nd edition 1979, ISBN 0-370-30251-6).
  • Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Six, Floatplanes. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962.
  • Jackson, Robert, The Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, Parragon, 2002. ISBN 0-7525-8130-9.
  • Layman, R.D and Stephen McLaughlin. The Hybrid Warship. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-555-1.
  • https://www.jacar.go.jp/ 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No1. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120220900
  • 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No3. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120230300
  • 61st Air Flotilla,12th recon sq wartime report No4. Japan Center for Asian Historical Record Ref.C13120230500

External links[edit]