Flight, June 1937
THE RISING SUN
Details of a Remarkable Japanese Long-range Monoplane
THE meritorious flight of the Divine Wind from Tokio to London may be said to have placed Japan on the aviation map. Experts were taken by surprise, for not only had
Japan failed to make any spectacular contribution to aeronautical development up to that time, but the undertaking seemed to have been launched almost spontaneously. The Japanese public was scarcely aware that the machine had been built before it was off on its record-breaking trip.
It would appear that the Japanese have been making better aeroplanes during the past few years than they themselves have been aware. Typical of this inferiority complex is the six-months-old fact that the Japan Air Transport Co. refused to have its machines powered with Tokio-Gasudenki engines - similar to the power plant of the Divine Wind - but specified foreign units.
That the success of the Divine Wind is no flash in the pan is suggested by the news that the Ishikawajima Shipbuilding Company is preparing to manufacture radial air-cooled engines, that the Hitachi and Miigata Diesel firms will take up similar lines, and that the Aeronautical Research Institute of Japan has nearly completed a machine with which it is hoped to fly round the world in three "hops," which means that it will have an endurance of eighty hours without landing or refuelling.
The machine is a low-wing monoplane with 936 sq. ft. and a span of over 91 ft. The wings and fuselage are of duralumin construction, the wing housing fourteen fuel tanks with a total capacity of 7,000 litres. The undercarriage is retractable.
A special liquid-cooled vee-twelve engine developed by the Aeronautical Institute is fitted. A fuel of 96 octane number will be used for the record attempt. It is understood that this fuel is “the product of the fractionation of crude oil produced at Higashiyama in the Niigata Prefecture," and that it contains 0.1 per cent, ethylene.
That the aircraft resembles in general layout certain French and Russian machines intended for similar purposes will be gathered from the accompanying illustrations, although a great deal of original work is evident.
The Koken Long-range Monoplane (800 h.p. Kawasaki engine) built by the Tokyo Gasu Denki K.K. which holds the World's Record for Distance Covered Over a Closed Circuit.
The high aspect ratio of the new monoplane's wing and the lines of the fuselage are apparent here
The view shows the installation of vee-twelve engine in the new Japanese long-range monoplane.
The view reveals the substantial mounting.