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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Kawanishi E7K1 reconnaissance floatplane
Allied code name: Alf

Photos

  • Kawanishi E7K2 reconnaissance floatplane

 

Design

The Imperial Japanese Navy put out a 7-Shi specification for a replacement for the Kawanishi E5K1 in March 1932. Aichi and Kawanishi both submitted designs. The Aichi AB-6 was inferior to the E7K1 in testing.

The Kawanishi E7K1 was designed by Eiji Sekiguchi.

Crew

The three crew members were located in an open cockpit.

Prototype

The Kawanishi E7K1 prototype flew on February 6, 1933. The Imperial Japanese Navy started testing the prototype in May 1933.

The seconds prototype of the E7K1 was delivered in late 1933.

The E7K2 prototype first flew in August 1938

Production

In May 1934 the Imperial Japanese Navy placed an order for the E7K1.

  • Kawanishi E7K1 prototypes: 2
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. at Naruo
    • Production: 1933
  • Kawanishi E7K1, Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 1: 183
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. at Naruo
    • Production: 1934 - 1938
  • Kawanishi E7K2 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. at Naruo
    • Production: 1938
  • Kawanishi E7K2, Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 2: 287
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. at Naruo
    • Production: 1938 - 1941
  • Kawanishi E7K1 and Kawanishi E7K2: 57
    • Manufacturer: Nippon Hikoki K.K. at Tomioka
    • Production: 1937 - 1939
  • Total: 530

Variants

  • Kawanishi E7K1, Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 1:
  • Kawanishi E7K2, Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 2:

Usage

The crews liked the E7K1 as it was reliable and was handled easily. They were used from warships, seaplane tenders, and naval bases.

Units

Start of World War II

When Japan started the war in the Pacific the E7K1s were used as trainers. The E7K2s were still being used for combat up to early 1943. They were used not only for reconnaissance but for escorting convoys and anti-submarine patrols.

Radio Control Experiments

Some of the E7K2s were used as the mother aircraft for the experimental radio controlled MXY4 target plane.

Specifications

  E7K1
Type  
Crew Pilot, Observer, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) Hiro Type 91
Cylinders W 12
Cooling Liquid
Net HP - Early 610
Net HP - Late 750
Propeller Blades - Early 2 wood
Propeller Blades - Late 4 wood
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11 5/16"
14 m
Length 34' 1 27/32"
10.41 m
Height 15' 9 3/8"
4.81 m
Wing Area 469.305 sq ft
43.6 sq m
Weight  
Normal 4,343 lb
1,970 kg
Load - Normal 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at 1,805' / 500 m 148 mph
129 knots
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 10 minutes 45 seconds
Endurance 12 hours
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Downward Firing 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
OR 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg
  E7K2
Type  
Crew Pilot, Observer, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Zuisei 11
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 870
Propeller blades 2 metal
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11 3/16"
14 m
Length 34' 5 3/8"
10.5 m
Height 15' 10 15/32"
4.85 m
Wing Area 469.305 sq ft
43.6 sq m
Weight  
Normal 4,630 lb
2,100 kg
Load - Normal 7,275 lb
3,300 kg
Performance  
Speed at 6,560' / 2,000 m 171 mph
149 knots
Speed - Cruising at 3,280' / 1,000 m 115 mph
100 knots
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 9 minutes 6 seconds
Service Ceiling 23,165'
7,060 m
Endurance 11.32 hours
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Downward Firing 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
OR 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg

Sources:

  1. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site