R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
Yoshinori Ichimori was born into a wealthy family in Higashi Tengajaya, Osaka. An early hobby was that of automobiles and related driving. Soon, his attention turned to aviation and in early February 1919 he acquired the Tamura Tractor from the estate of the late Toshikazu Tamura. After it was destroyed (see Shirato Takeru-go Aeroplane) his desire was to build an aircraft of his own and in order to do so he constructed a building on the family property.
Ichimori Monocoque Aeroplane
In early 1919, Ichimori purchased a US-built 100hp Maxim engine around which he designed a biplane with the help of a close friend and aviator, Ginzo Nojima. This had a single-seat fuselage with monocoque construction which closely resembled the pfalz D XII fighter of the First World War. Since very little plywood was available in Japan, he made his own laminations with three-layers of Japanese cypress (hinoki) with isinglass, imported from the United States, as an adhesive. The wing design used the USA 2 aerofoil and the wings and empennage were fabric covered. Dope was applied to the fabric surfaces. For a homebuilt-aeroplane the design was impressive.
Completing his aircraft in November 1919, Ichimori prepared it for flight at Okinohara Airfield in
Yokkaichi, southeast of Lake Biwa. While Noburu Fujiwara was preparing to make the maiden flight and about to start the engine, the aircraft caught fire as the result of a fuel leak and was completely destroyed in less than a minute, the loss of an investment of 18,000 yen. (see other misfortunes of Noburu Fujiwara under Itoh Emi 6 Aeroplane.)
Single-engine homebuilt biplane. Fuselage of plywood monocoque construction, wings and empennage of wood with fabric covering. Pilot in open cockpit.
100hp Maximotor six-cylinder inline water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span upper 8.84m (29ft), lower 8.53m (27ft 11 1/2in); length 6.55m (21ft 5 1/4in); wing area 25.55sq m (275.026sq ft).
Empty weight 499kg (1,100lb); loaded weight 683kg (1,505lb).
Maximum speed 78kt (90mph); minimum speed 39kt (45mph); endurance 2 1/2hr. Estimated figures.
One built in 1919.