R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
Experimental Japanese-Navy-Type Seaplane
This aeroplane is claimed to be the japanese Navy's first aeroplane of original design. It closely followed the lines of the classic Curtiss pusher. Differences were that it had unequal span with the ailerons mounted on the top wing. The cockpit nacelle design was influenced by Maurice Farman aeroplanes. It was a tandem-seat aircraft for two crew, with the engine placed behind the cockpit in a pusher configuration. Like the Curtiss, this too had a single broad beam centreline float. From this first Navy aeroplane Lieutenant (Engineering) Chikuhei Nakajima was in charge of the design and construction of this and other aircraft, giving him the experience to later start his own aircraft manufacturing company.
This aeroplane was completed in the autumn of 1913, and test flown by Lieut Tadaharu Yamada, a qualified instructor who had obtained his flying experience from the Curtiss Flying School. Only one aeroplane of this type was built because during test flights it was found to have quite heavy controls. By this time, the Japanese Navy owned three Curtiss seaplanes and four Maurice Farman seaplanes, therefore this Navy built aeroplane became unofficially known as the Navy No.8 Aeroplane. This is one of the rare incidences that an American design influenced the design of an early japanese aircraft.
Single-engine single-float pusher sesquiplane. Wooden structure with wings, empennage and crew nacelle covered with fabric. Crew of two in open cockpit.
75hp Curtiss O eight-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden pusher propeller.
Span, upper 14.02m (46ft), lower 10.97m (36ft).
One built in 1913.