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Kawanishi H8K Emily

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Given the allied reporting name of 'Emily', the Kawanishi H8K was one of the most outstanding and advanced flying-boats to be built during World War II. Heavily armed and armoured, it had a very long range and flew superbly. Yet it was a complex machine and the 167 examples built never fully replaced the Sikorsky influenced H6K 'Mavis' with which the Imperial Japanese Navy had been equipped at start of World War II.

The H8K prototype was first flown in 1941. It was designated to meet a 1938 requirement for a four-engined maritime reconnaissance flying-boat superior in all respects to the British Sunderland, then the best in the world. After modification improved the initially poor water handling qualities, the type was put into production as the Navy Type 2 Flying Boat Model 11.

With armour protection, self-sealing fuel tanks, an armament that included 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon and a maximum speed of over 430 km/h (267 mph) it represented a great advance over previous types. The further improved H8K2 had more power, greater speed and its armament increased to five 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon and four 7.7 mm (.303 cal) machine-guns.

This made it unquestionably one of the toughest opponents faced by the Allies in the Pacific. It was also one of the first Japanese aircraft to be fitted with anti-surface vessel radar and achieved some success against American submarines late in the war.


Kawanishi H8K Emily

Kawanishi H8K A floating Kawanishi H8K
Equipped with radar, the 'Emily' was one of the few serious threats to the US Navy submarines which were strangling Japan's seaborne lifelines. The initial trials of the H8K showed some flwas in handling on water, but performance was otherwise very good and it was ordered into production.

Kawanishi H8K Emily (Technical Specification)
Role Long-range maritime reconnaissance flying-boat
Manufacturer Kawanishi
Maximum Speed 467 kmh (290 mph)
Maximum Range 7,180 km (4,461 miles)
Ceiling 8,760 meters (28,740 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

18,380 kg (40,520 lbs)
32,500 kg (71,650 lbs)
Wing Area

38.00 meters (124 ft 8 in)
28.13 meters (92 ft 3 in)
9.15 meters (30 ft)
106.00 square meters (1,141 sq ft)
Engines Four Mitsubishi Kasei 22 14-cylinder radial piston engines each providing 1380-kW (1,850 hp)
Armament Nine 7.7mm (.303 cal.)
Browning machine-guns plus up to 6,350 kg (14,000 lbs) of bombs

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