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H9A
Training Flying Boat
Aichi

Aichi H9A

H9A Training flying boat. The design was carried out from May to December 1939, the first copy took off and was tested in September 1940, however, according to the test results, it had many complaints. Landing and steering the boat itself turned out to be too difficult. In addition, the N9A behaved disgustingly on the water, buried its nose in the wave and was practically uncontrollable when maneuvering.

Structurally, the flying boat, which later received the name H9A, was a monoplane parasol with two Nakajima Kotobuki-41 Kai 2 air-cooled engines with a capacity of 710 hp each. The aircraft had a metal structure with plywood and fabric sheathing. The regular crew consisted of two pilots, an observer, a flight engineer and a radio operator. Also, space was provided for three more cadets. To train the shooters, it was planned to install 7.7-mm machine guns in the bow and middle of the boat. To practice anti-submarine missions, it was possible to suspend up to two 250 kg depth charges.

The aircraft had a tricycle retractable landing gear with a nose wheel, but strictly speaking, it could not be called an amphibian. The landing gear was too weak and not suitable for take-off and landing at airfields, but was used only to roll the aircraft out of the water onto a slip and lower it back into the water.

To solve the problems, the engines were lowered almost under the wing, the shape of the flaps was changed, and the wing area increased from 58.62 to 63.3 m . At the same time, the wing span increased from 21 to 24 meters. New Nakajima Kotobuki-42 engines of the same power, but more reliable, were also installed.

Aichi H9A were produced from 1942 to 1943, however, despite all the changes, the flight and operational data of the flying boat remained unsatisfactory and the "station wagon" did not work out of it. Therefore, it was decided to produce a new flying boat in a limited series only in a training version, especially since the production of heavy combat flying boats N6K and N8K, the crews of which were supposed to be trained on the N9A, was practically one-piece.

Aichi H9A1
Crew 5-8
Dimensions
Wing span, m 24.00
Wing area, m² 63.30
Length, m 10.83
Height, m 5.25
Powerplant
2 × PE Hakajima Kotobuki 42 ore 43
Power, hp 2 × 710
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 4,900
Loaded weight 7,000
Gross weight 7,500
Performance
Maximum speed, km/h 315
Cruising speed, km/h 220
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 270
Service ceiling, m 6,780
Service range, km 2,150

Armament. One 7.7 mm type 92 machine gun in the bow and middle of the boat; up to two 250 kg bombs.

Aichi Type 2 H9A flying boats began entering service in early 1943. All produced flying boats of this type were delivered to the training center of the specially created Takuma kokutai on June 1, 1943, in the town of Niihama near Kure.

The training Takuma kokutai was formed specifically for training seaplane crews. From 1943 to September 1944, Takuma kokutai lived a quiet life as a training unit, regularly releasing hundreds of combatant naval pilots, navigators and gunners. In September 1944, when the war came close to the shores of the metropolis, the Takuma kokutai underwent a reorganization, merging with the remnants of the Yokohama kokutai, armed with Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boats and Aichi E13A "Jake" float reconnaissance boats. On the basis of this unit, it was decided to form a combat unit, which became the largest seaplane base in Japan. Since the fall of 1944, the main functions of the unit were preparatory work for the defense of "home territory" with sorties on combat patrols. The few N9A flying boats did not stand aside, since the possibility of suspending a pair of 250-kg bombs in it was originally laid.

Since February 1945, "Special Attacks" units have been formed at the Takuma kokutai base to counter the Allied invasion of Okinawa. In particular, a special kamikaze squadron "Kotohira Suishin" was formed, equipped with seaplanes. In April 1945, in four suicide attacks on the American invasion fleet off Okinawa, almost the entire Takuma kokutai was destroyed. It is rather difficult to isolate the successes of low-speed seaplanes and flying boats from several dozen hits on allied ships. The allies did not particularly bother themselves with identifying the type of attacking kamikaze, and from the Japanese side, for obvious reasons, there was, as a rule, no one to tell about the successes. Most likely, the vast majority of Takuma kokutai seaplanes were shot down by American fighters, preventing them from even approaching their fleet. In these attacks, at least 20 flying boats Aichi H9A were killed. The surviving flying boats of this type were scattered along the Japanese coast at the end of the war. One of them was discovered at Omura Air Base. Six wrecked flying boats Aichi N9A were found near Kagoshima, about. Kyushu, two of which were numbered T-25 (see photo above) and T-53 were in acceptable condition and were captured by the Americans after Japan's surrender. The presence of this type of flying boat as part of the Japanese naval aviation until this moment was a secret for the Allies, therefore it was the only Japanese serial aircraft that did not receive a traditional codename from the Allies. The flying boats were thoroughly studied by the winners, but they did not arouse interest and ended their lives at the dump of captured Japanese aircraft in Sasebo.

Photo Description

Drawing Aichi H9A1

Bibliography

  • Japan float aircraft /Evgeniy Aranov/
  • "Japan Aircraft of World War II." /Oleg Doroshkevich/
  • Aviation of Japan /Andrey Firsov/
Aichi Kawanishi Kawasaki Mansyu Mitsubishi Nakajima Tachikawa Yokosuka Photos & Drawings

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