Aviation of World War II

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E16A Zuiun

Aichi E16A1, 634 kokutai in flight 09 1944
  • Float Reconnaissance Seaplane
  • Aichi

E16A Zuiun Float reconnaissance seaplane. The first prototype of the seaplane received the designation "Experimental two-seater reconnaissance seaplane Type 14", the aircraft was ready in May 1942, had an all-metal structure, with the exception of wooden wingtips and fabric covering of the steering surfaces. The power plant is a 1300-strong Mitsubishi MK8Е Kinsei 51, the armament consisted of two 7.7-mm Type 97 machine guns and one Type 92 7.7-mm machine gun on a mobile installation in the rear of the cockpit. Two double-sided floats were fastened under the wing on N-shaped struts and I-shaped struts to the fuselage. For storage on the side of the ship, the wing consoles were folded up. The third crew member, which was available on the predecessor E13A1, was abandoned. Accordingly, the dimensions of the airplane have decreased slightly. The duties of the arrow-observer were transferred to the navigator. Moreover, it is characteristic that the pilot was the crew commander on this aircraft, in contrast to the usual practice in Japanese aviation, when the navigator was the crew commander.

For dive bombing, the AM-22 for the first time in the Japanese practice of hydro-aviation was equipped with air brakes. All previous projects of seaplanes capable of dive bombing - E8N2; F1M2 - they were not equipped with air brakes, and the diving speed was damped by extending the flaps and changing the propeller pitch, and the biplane scheme of previous projects did not contribute to the aircraft accelerating too strongly during diving. This time, the designers were forced to apply aerodynamic brakes, and they placed them on the front pillars of the floats.

The next two prototype aircraft received wings of an increased span from 12.7 to 12.81 m and were used mainly for testing various types of air brakes, since the first version of solid shields, when used, led to buffing. On new airplanes, the brake flaps were perforated. These aircraft also received armament planned for production vehicles - two 20-mm Type 99-2 cannons with 100 rounds of ammunition and a 13-mm Type 2 machine gun on a defensive installation in the rear cockpit. The bomb load was one 250-kg bomb on the ventral suspension or four 60-kg bombs on the underwing nodes. Bombing from a dive at an angle of up to 60 degrees was supposed only from underwing bombs in pairs. The under-fuselage bomb suspension did not have a trapezoid to carry the bomb out of the propeller, and the release of heavy ammunition was supposed only from a horizontal flight or a gentle dive to 30 °.

Prototypes AM-22 received a new designation as "Experimental reconnaissance seaplane Type 16". Later, during tests, they received the official naval designation E16A1.

Trials of the three prototypes lasted for a year and a half - from May 1942 to August 1943, when the new reconnaissance aircraft was officially adopted, having received, in addition to the E16A1 naval index, model 11 also its own name "Zuiun", which could be translated like "Auspicious Cloud".

Serial E16A1 was distinguished by perforated air brakes, the cockpit lamp and the flap release mechanism were also slightly changed. The first production aircraft were equipped with Mitsubishi MK8Е Kinsei 51 engines, and then it was replaced by MK8N Kinsei 54 engines of the same power.

Serial production began in January 1944. The total volume of serial production was 252 units, of which 193 were produced by the Aichi plant in Eitoku (from January 1944 to May 1945) and 59 by Nippon Hikoki in Tomioka (from August 1944 to August 1945). This is not counting three prototypes and one prototype of the E16A2 "Zuiun-Kai" Model 12 with a Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 62 engine with a capacity of 1560 hp.

Used as a reconnaissance and dive bomber. The Allied Air Force designation is "Paul".

Aichi E16A1
Crew 2
Wing span, m 12.81
Wing area, m² 28.00
Length, m 10.83
Height, m 4.74
1×PE Mitsubishi МК8N Kinsei 54
Power, hp 1×1300
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 2,713
Loaded weight 3900
Gross weight 4,553
Maximum speed at sea level, km/h 430
Maximum speed, km/h 448
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 655
Service ceiling, m 10,280
Service range, km 2,420

Armament. Two 20 mm type 99 model 2 cannons and one 13 mm type 2 machine gun; Bomb load up to 250kg.

Photo Description

Drawing Aichi E16A1

E16A1 of 634 kokutai in hangar in Kure


  • E Aranov. Aichi B7A Ryusei/Grace
  • "Japan Aircraft of World War II." /Oleg Doroshkevich/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/