R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
Itoh Emi 2 Aeroplane
These early aircraft were noted for their short life span, so, early in 1917, Otojiro Itoh designed and built what he called the Emi 2 Aeroplane as a replacement for the ageing Emi 1. The engine and the propeller were those removed from the Emi 1. The new aeroplane was smaller than the earlier craft in the hope of increasing general performance. The wings were changed from three-bay to two-bay configuration, and an aerofoil with less drag was used. The undercarriage was changed from twin dual-wheels to a single wheel each side, and bungee cords were used for shock absorbers. The aeroplane was completed in April 1917 and on its first flight climbed to an altitude of 5,000m in 3min 40sec.
After making flying demonstrations at many locations around Japan beginning at Tsuyama in May 1917, Itoh made a triumphal flight over Osaka, visiting his home town in September 1917. While there, the coast of Tokyo Bay was hit by a typhoon and a tidal wave on the night of 30 September - 1 October, 1917, destroying his hangar on the east side of the bay at Inage Beach. Fortunately for Itoh, the Emi 2 Aeroplane and his staff, normally based there, were safe in Osaka. (see fate of NFS Tamai 2 Trainer).
After many demonstrations, the aeroplane was used as a trainer at Itoh Airfield which had by then been moved to nearby Tsudanuma Beach from Inage on 12 April, 1918. Eventually, the aeroplane passed into the hands of new operators at faraway Fukunaga Airfield at Kakezuka-cho, Iwatagun, just east of Hamamatsu. After training in the Emi 2, aviator Asao Fukunaga took the aeroplane to the Osaka area for demonstrations in August 1919. Misfortune plagued this inexperienced aviator. On one occasion, after taking off from Ikeda City to fly over his hometown of adjacent Toyonaka, the aircraft nosed over and turned onto its back after landing on the parade grounds. (This is thought to be the site of the present Osaka International Airport.) Although badly damaged, the Emi 2 was soon repaired. In the following May, soon after taking off from Osaka's Joto Army Parade Grounds, the aeroplane levelled off too soon and struck the roof of a private house, bringing a sudden end to the Emi 2.
Single-engine two-bay biplane. Wooden structure with fabric covering. Pilot in open cockpit.
35-45hp Gregoire Gyp four-cylinder water-cooled inline engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span 9m (29ft 6 1/4in); height 2.25m (7ft 4 1/2in); wing area 25sq m (269.106 sq ft).
Empty weight 250kg (551Ib)
Maximum speed 46kt (53mph).
One built in 1917.
Fukunaga Aeroplane Manufacturing Works (Fukunaga Hikoki Seisakusho)
One of few privately financed companies to be classed as a manufacturer of aircraft was founded by Asao Fukunaga from Ikeda-cho, Osaka. He was first associated with aviation when in 1917 he imported a Bleriot 25 which he called the Tenryu 1. He then built an imitation of a Caudron-type tractor biplane in the hangar of the former Sempu Flying School in Yokkaichi, southeast of Lake Biwa. Designated Tenryu 2, it failed to fly because it was underpowered with a 25hp Anzani engine. It was used instead as a ground taxiing trainer. Recognizing his need for further knowledge and experience in aviation, Fukunaga attended the ltoh Flying School in April 1918 at Tsudanuma and acquired a graduate certificate within two months of starting his training.
Fukunaga Tenryu 3 Trainer
To help Fukunaga establish a flying school of his own, ltoh released the Emi 2 Aeroplane to him and took it to Osaka. Using numerous fields in trying to find a suitable place for his flying school, the aeroplane was frequently damaged and repaired. Eventually Fukunaga settled on the dry river bed of Tenryu River in Kakezuka-cho, Iwata-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture, near his family's place of origin, where he established in November 1919 what was at first the Fukunaga Aeroplane Research Studio. Because of the many repairs and modifications, his aeroplane was so unlike the original Emi 2 Aeroplane that he renamed it the Tenryu 3 Aeroplane, a name he applied in retrospect to the two previous aircraft and continued to use, numerically sequenced, to those that followed.
The Tenryu 3 was used to provide flying training for his younger brothers, Shiro and Goro, followed by other students who were merely allowed to taxi the aeroplane since the 1911 Gregoire Gyp engine was all but worn out and difficult to adjust. (see ltoh Emi 2).
Single-engine tractor biplane trainer. Wooden structure with fabric covering. Student and instructor in open cockpit.
45hp Gregoire Gyp four-cylinder inline water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Span, upper 9.75m (32ft); lower 7.92m (26ft); length 5.93m (19ft 5 1/2in); wing area 20.8sq m (223.896sq ft).
Maximum speed 48kt (55mph).
One built in 1917.