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Flying boat evolution — the Shinmaywa (formerly Shin Meiwa) US-1 新明和

24 November 2010

Flying boat evolution — Shin Meiwa’s US-1 新明和

31º 22′ 50″ N / 130º 50′ 12″ E

Shin Meiwa US-1 新明和 — photo by Joe May

After the end of WW II Japan’s famous aircraft manufacturer of flying boats, Kawanishi, evolved first into Shin Meiwa and then into Shin Maywa.  Kawanishi designed and built the H6K 九七式大型飛行艇 “Mavis” and the H8K 二式大型飛行艇 “Emily”—the Emily may have been the best flying boat design of World War II. As Shin Meiwa, the Grumman Albatross design was improved into the US-1 and US-1A (amphibian version). The US-1 design was powered by four engines with a fifth engine on board to power a boundary layer control system which forces air over the  flaps and elevators to generate more lift by reducing turbulence at low airspeeds — making the aircraft an STOL performer. The US-1 was improved into the US-2. These aircraft serve in patrol and air/sea rescue work for an island country that has significant maritime interests. A US-1A is on exhibit at the Kanoya Air Base History Museum* 当鹿屋航空基地史料館.

Here are a few photos of the aircraft:

Hull detail of the US-1A — photo by Joe May

Cockpit and observation port (with wiper blade) — photo by Joe May

View from the front of the US-1A — photo by Joe May

Aft view of the US-1A — photo by Joe May

The US-1A’s main landing gear — photo by Joe May

The hull of the US-1A was designed for heavy seas — photo by Joe May

* Several posts have dealt with the Kanoya Air Base History Museum 当鹿屋航空基地史料館, to find them simply type “Kanoya” or “当鹿屋航空基地史料館” into the search window and select ENTER

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marty Davis permalink
    24 November 2010 11:27

    That is the coolest looking flying boat I’ve seen. Thanks for the informative article!

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