R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
NFS Tamai No.2 Trainer
In january 1917, flying training began at the Nippon Flying School with the newly built NFS Tamai No.2 Trainer. This was again the design of Aijiro Hara, and manufactured at Haneda at the cost of 3,800 yen. The fuselage was shortened giving it more strength and the gap between upper and lower wings was increased. It was built from japanese cypress (hinoki) and fastened with aluminium nails. Designed from the beginning as a two-seat aircraft, it was powered by the Cameron engine taken from the Tamai 1. They carved their own propeller after laminating hinoki and katsura woods, and finished it with urushi (Japanese lacquer). The wings were slightly changed from the predecessor by having narrower chord, thus increasing the aspect ratio, and reducing the area to less than the NFS Tamai 1. The fabric covering was coated with waterproof varnish.
The school advertised its flying programme as using a 'Sopwith-type' two-seat tractor aeroplane, assuming that being associated with a foreign manufacturer's name might suggest greater reliability. However, the new Tamai aeroplane existed for less than a year, for on the night of 30 September, 1917, a tidal wave carried it into Tokyo Bay. The next morning, the wreckage of the Tamai 2 was caught in a fishing net off the coast of Urayasu-cho in Chiba Prefecture, but only the engine could be saved.
Single-engine two-bay biplane trainer. All-wooden construction with fabric covering. Two-seat in open cockpit.
35hp Cameron four-cylinder aircooled inline engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span 10.50m (34ft 5 1/2in); length 6m (19ft 8 1/4in); wing area 28sq m (301sq ft).
Empty weight 320kg (705lb)
One built in 1917.
NFS Tamai No.3 Trainer
The NFS Tamai No.3 Aeroplane was powered by a 50hp Gnome rotary engine which Director Tamotsu Aiba himself bought from Sotoichi Saito, the builder of Saigai Aeroplane, in the past. The fuselage was larger to provide better accommodation for the two occupants seated in tandem. It was completed after three months and made its first flight on 4 May, 1917, at Haneda.
The Nippon Flying School moved to a new site at Shibaura which was prepared on reclaimed land, a project that was sponsored by the Tokyo Nichinichi newspaper. On 20 May, the company began a large-scale advertising campaign coupled with exhibition flights from its new location. On the third flight of that day, Seitaro Tamai took off with press photographer Reizo Yuasa to fly over the centre of Tokyo but soon after take off, undetermined problems occurred with the aeroplane and he returned prematurely to the airstrip to land. While on the approach, however, the aeroplane was reported to break up in flight. Tamai and Yuasa both died in the crash. This was the first fatality experienced by a civil flying school in Japan, and was also the first loss of a japanese press photographer in flight on assignment.
This accident caused a serious problem: how to maintain a flying school after the loss of its primary equipment and the instructor. To help resolve the problem, Kazuhide Watanabe, chief editor of the monthly magazine, Kokumin Hiko (Nation's Flight), and four other people, took on the sponsorship of the Nippon Flying School. They invited Army Lt (Reserve) Mototaka Kawakami (graduate of the 3rd Army Aviation Cadet Class) to be the instructor, and re-started the flying school with the NFS Tamai No.2 Aeroplane.
As previously mentioned this aeroplane was lost in the tidal wave of 30 September, 1917. Nevertheless, the NFS, under the leadership of Terutaka Tamai (he had changed his first name from Toichiro) began construction of a new trainer for the continuance of the school.
Single-engine two-bay biplane trainer. Wooden construction with fabric covering. Three seats in pen cockpit.
50hp Gnome seven-cylinder aircooled rotary engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span 11.80m (38ft 8 1/2in); length 8.40m (27ft 6 1/2in); wing area 38sq m (409.04sq ft).
Empty weight 430kg (948lb).
One built in 1917.
Tamai No.5 Trainer
Retaining the name of the company founded by Seitaro Tamai, his brother Terutaka Tamai oversaw the building of a new aeroplane, the Tamai No.5 Trainer. To power the aeroplane, they used the Cameron engine recovered from the fishing nets that snagged the NFS Tamai No.2, and reconditioned it at the Tomono Iron Works. The new aeroplane was built to the drawings of the NFS Tamai No.2 and No.3 and incorporated remaining spare parts. The engine, fuselage and undercarriage were identical to the NFS Tamai No.2, and the wings and tail were the same as those on the NFS Tamai No.3. This aircraft was manufactured at the nearby Nippon Aeroplane Manufacturing Works owned by Terutaka Tamai beginning in February 1918, under the new name of Haneda Hikoki Kenkyusho (Haneda Aeroplane Research Studio).
(For details of dimensions see Tamai No.2 and 3 from which the components were derived)