R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
Kishi No.5 Tsurugi-go Aeroplane
In 1917, Dr Kishi made a major personal investment by creating a true aviation business enterprise. He purchased 165,000sq m of land at Akabane, across the Arakawa River from Kawaguchi on the northern edge of Tokyo. Creating an airfield there, he built a hangar, an aircraft factory, a flying school and student dormitories. The first phase was completed in December 1917. Employing his original staff, he assigned Etsutaro Munesato as manager of the airframe shop, Rikichi Sasaki to manage the machine shop, Aijiro Hara as design superintendent, Lt Inoue as chief flying instructor, and Takehiko Satokata, a former reporter of Jiji Shimpo newspaper, as chief of administration. With these appointments the Akabane Aeroplane Manufacturing Works (Akabane Hikoki Seisakusho) was established. By January 1918 students were enrolled in the first pilot training course at Akabane and were using the No.4 Tsurugi-go as their trainer.
Manufacture and sales expanded, with an improved engine magneto, experimental manufacture of the 130hp Benz engine, and a new aeroplane, the No.5 Tsurugi-go. The No.5 was a new design in that it was a fuselage-type tractor aeroplane, closely resembling the British B.E.2c reconnaissance biplane. Using the same 70hp Renault engine as earlier Kishi aeroplanes but now forward-facing, the cooling fan was eliminated and air baffles used instead. When needed, an additional fuel tank could be installed in the front cockpit to give an endurance of 8 hours.
After its completion in November 1917, Lt Inoue made a few ground taxi-ing tests but soon he left the company and the aeroplane then sat idle in a hangar. After three years it went to aviator Kinzo Negishi, a graduate from the Akabane Flying School. Negishi worked on the aeroplane over the next six months to gain an airworthiness certificate from the Aviation Bureau that had begun to set standards in the summer of 1921. He named his rejuvenated aeroplane the Hagoromo-go (Robe of Feathers), and hangared it at the Nakajima Airfield at Ojima. On the night of 18 August that year, a fire destroyed the hangar containing three SPAD XIIIs, three Nakajima aeroplanes and the Hagororno-go.
Single-engine two-bay biplane trainer. Wooden structure with fabric covering. Nose-mounted roll-over skids. Two seats in open cockpits.
70hp Kishi-Renault engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span 13m (42ft 8in); length 9m (29ft 6 1/4in); height 2. 70m (8ft 10 1/4in).
Empty weight 500kg (1,102Ib).
Maximum speed (calculated) 60kt (69mph).
One built in November 1917.