R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
One of the members of the Provisional Military Balloon Research Association (PMBRA) established in 1909, was Army Capt (Infantry) Kumazo Hino from Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture. As has already been described in the section on the PMBRA and in the introduction to this history, Hino was the first japanese to make a flight in Japan (although recorded as unofficial). His interest in aviation long preceded his official preparation for his flight, and also prevailed long after, to the extent that it interfered with his official duties. Hi personal attempts in building aircraft ended in failure, but these failures led to the success of others' and are therefore worthy of record.
Hino No.1 Aeroplane
Aside from his official duties, Hino studied foreign reports on the design and building of aircraft, an interest in which he was deeply involved. Obtaining space at the Hayashida Wood Works at Gokencho, Ushigome-ku, Tokyo, in late 1909, he began building his single-seat aeroplane. The structural members were made of bamboo and japanese cypress (hinoki), giving the aeroplane a wing span of 8m (26ft 3in) and length of 5m (16ft 5in). He designed and built his own engine for his project called the Hino two-cycle engine developing 8hp and installed it as a tractor on the front of the airframe. Empty weight of the aeroplane was 110kg (242lb) and when loaded it weighed 180kg (396lb). From 6 to 18 March, 1910, at Toyamagahara in Tokyo, he relentlessly attempted to make the aeroplane become airborne, but because of insufficient power, it would only taxi. Nevertheless, the PMBRA purchased the aeroplane from Hino so that it could be used for further experIments.
Hino No.2 Aeroplane
It was after Capts Hino and Tokugawa were sent to Europe to study aviation and each to bring back an aeroplane, that Hino began the design on his second attempt to build a successful aeroplane of his own. A year after his part in the history-making first flight in Japan in 1910, he built an aero-engine in a laboratory of the Tokyo Army Technical School during his time off between military duties. This engine was a water-cooled, precompression four-cylinder 30hp type, but actually developed only 18hp.
While developing this engine, he devoted much attention to the building of his second aeroplane in which the engine was to be installed. The aeroplane was a monoplane with a canoe-like pod to accommodate the pilot and the pusher engine. It had a wing span of 9.20m (30ft 2 1/2in) and length of 5.70m (18ft 8 1/2in). A skid extended from the undercarriage rearward to support the empennage. This design was purely original in all aspects.
Test flights were attempted from 23 to 25 May, 1911, at the Aoyama Parade Grounds but without success. After modifications, further attempts were made at the Yoyogi Parade Grounds from 23 to 25 August, sponsored by the Kokumin Shimbunsha (Nation's Newspaper) to bring attention to aviation, but again without success. Tests were repeated at Kawasaki Stadium, but the aeroplane refused to fly. The reason for failure was insufficient engine power, for it produced approximately half of what was expected. Empty, the aeroplane weighed 170kg (374lb) and loaded it weighed 320kg (705lb).
Obsessed with these efforts to the detriment of his military duties, the situation was resolved when he was promoted to Major and was 'reassigned to an infantry regiment in Fukuoka in December 1911. The PMBRA also purchased this aeroplane for their experiments.