Air Pictorial 1977-01
A.Heape - Iruma Air Show
Beautifully restored Mitsubishi A6M5 "Zero" 43-188, which once served with the Japanese Navy's 343rd Fighter Group and is now preserved at Hamamatsu
There are still more than 200 North American Sabres in service with the Japanese A.S.D.F. (Air Force). F-86F 72-7758 depicted here belongs to the Headquarters Squadron based at Iruma
One of the few British types on display - in this case by courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps - was Hawker Siddeley AV-8A Harrier 158966 of Squadron VMA-513 whose home base is Cherry Point, North Carolina
Another World War II relic on view, this time from the Kotsu Museum, Kanda, Tokyo, was this Japanese Army Kawasaki Ki-61-II Hien (Allied code-name "Tony"). It was the only Japanese fighter type with a liquid-cooled in-line engine to see large-scale service
Lockheed types were prominent and included U.S. Navy P-3C Orion 158213 (whose tail appears on the left), U.S.A.F. C-5A Galaxy 67-0171 (largest aircraft in the show) and, in the middle, Japanese M.S.D.F. Kawasaki P-2J 4762 (a development of the Neptune)
Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (Army) types present at Iruma included Hughes OH-6J 37007
Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (Army) types present at Iruma included Kawasaki-built Boeing-Vertol KV-107 51806
Mitsubishi T-2 59-5115 of the Aircraft Proving Wing based at Gifu. This is the two-seat trainer version of the Japanese equivalent of the Jaguar, which it closely resembles and utilises the same powerplant - two Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adours. A single-seat ground-attack version, the FST-2, is under development
Twenty-eight Kawasaki C-1A transports (looking like mini-StarLifters) are on order for the Japanese A.S.D.F. Several, including 58-1007 illustrated, are already in service with the 402nd Squadron of the Air Transport Wing based at Iruma. Initially the C-1As are replacing Curtiss C-46D Commandos but will later supplant the Wing's NAMC YS-11s as well
Almost alone those days Japan continues development of the large flying-boat. Shown here is the amphibious version of the Shin Meiwa four-turboprop STOL design, the SS-2A, 9072, one of several so far delivered to the 71st Rescue Squadron of the Japanese M.S.D.F. (Navy) at Iwakuni. It is seen making a slow fly-past with blown flaps fully down and leading-edge wing and tail slats open; speeds as low as 60 knots are possible. An SS-2A was first used in earnest in July last year when it flew 400 miles out to sea to take an injured seaman off a merchant ship.