R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
As a spare time project when not working as a shop assistant for a wholesale rice dealer, 22-year-old Shotaro Ueda built a biplane glider in 1908 in his temporary shop in Nagoya near Tsurumai Park. Such a project was most unusual for someone other than an upperclass Japanese. Helped by his 34-year-old friend, Kisaburo Sato, the two created an open framed fuselage of bamboo for their glider to which they mounted conventional biplane wings and a tail unit. It was then towed behind an automobile with unrecorded results.
Ueda Hiryu-go Aeroplane
Not satisfied with the results of a towed glider, but encouraged to pursue this project further, Ueda obtained a 25hp Anzani three-cylinder fan-type engine which was then mounted in the glider in addition to some modifications to the airframe. Ailerons were attached to the rear interplane struts between the two wings. The aeroplane had twin rudders to whose outer sides were attached short-span horizontal surfaces supplementing the elevator which had balance tabs and was hinged at the rear of the fuselage frame well aft of the vertical surfaces. The undercarriage consisted of wooden cart wheels without tyres or shock absorbers. Ueda gave it the name Hiryu-go (Flying Dragon).
The aeroplane was completed as a powered aircraft towards the end of 1909, but there is no record that it actually flew. Had it done so, it would have been the first to fly in Japan. Unfortunately, Ueda's potential career was ended when he died in April 1912 at the age of 26.