Kawanishi H6K Mavis


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Kawanishi H6K Mavis

Owing much to current American and French flying-boat design of the mid- 1930s, the large four-engine Kawanishi Type 97 parasol monoplane flying boat, which had first flown in July 1936, was Japan's only in-service long-range reconnaissance flying-boat when that nation went to war in December 1941, much effort having been dissipated in transport conversions and deliveries to Japan's commercial operators in the Pacific. The H6K1 initial military version entered limited service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1938, and was followed by 10 H6K2 flying-boats. The first major production version, the H6K4 was powered by four Mitsubishsi Kinsei 43 radiais and armed with four 7.7mm machine-guns in bow and midships positions and a 20mm cannon in a tail turret, and was capable of carrying two 800kg bombs or torpedoes, a total of 66 being in service at the time of Pearl Harbor; later aircraft were powered by Kinsei 46 engines. These boats were widely employed, although the initial heavy defeats inflicted on the Allies in the Pacific rendered maritime reconnaissance duties subordinate to the need for air transportation of Japanese troops during the swift conquests in the East Indies and elsewhere. A number of aircraft, designated H6K4-L, were therefore converted for transport duties and were each able to accommodate about 18 fully-armed troops; lacking armour and self-sealing fuel tanks, however, they were extremely vulnerable to fighter attacks and, after a number had been shot down, a new version entered production as the H6K5 in August 1942; by that time the maritime reconnaissance version had been given the reporting codename 'Mavis' by the Allies, the transport derivative being named 'Tillie'. Powered by either Kinsei 51 or 53 radials, the H6K5 was intended to eliminate the shortcomings of the earlier versions, but although the open bow gun position was replaced by a single-gun turret immediately aft of the pilot's cockpit, the overall armament was not increased. Only 36 H6K5s were completed by 1943, when production gave place to the greatly superior H8K. H6Ks served with the 8th, 14th, 801st, Toko and Yokohama Kokutais, and some of the H6K5s were employed as naval staff transports throughout the Pacific in 1943. Eighteen aircraft served on the quasicommercial courier services in South East Asia, a number of them being destroyed by Allied aircraft both in the air and at their moorings.

Kawanishi H6K Mavis

 ENGINE4 x Mitsubishi "Kinsei-51", 975kW
  Take-off weight17500-23000 kg38581 - 50707 lb
  Empty weight12380 kg27293 lb
  Wingspan40 m131 ft 3 in
  Length25.63 m84 ft 1 in
  Height6.27 m21 ft 7 in
  Wing area170 m21829.86 sq ft
  Max. speed380 km/h236 mph
  Cruise speed255 km/h158 mph
  Ceiling9560 m31350 ft
  Range4870 km3026 miles
  Range w/max.fuel6670 km4145 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 4 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 2 x 800-kg torpedos or 1000kg of bombs

Kawanishi H6K MavisA three-view drawing (752 x 772)

orian, e-mail, 22.06.2011 00:40

i would like to find the plans to build a model, is this posible?


Integra, 20.03.2023 orian

Hasegawa makes a good one.


huaren, 20.06.2011 07:00

Kamimiya (sic) said that the Wirraway did inflict damage on an engine and cockpit area and killed some crew.


Patrick Farnell, e-mail, 01.09.2010 01:51

In "Miracle at Midway", several references are made to Midways patrol search PBYs running into "Mitsubishi Patrol bombers" from Wake Island and suffering damage, elsewhere these are referred to "Type 96 Mitsubishis"...obviously faulty identifications of Japanese types were frequent in those days, it does not say if the Japanese aircraft were flying boats or landplanes, but Wiki article on PBY seems to suggest that they were Mavis FBs being referred to...there is very little info on large Japanese aircraft based on Wake Is on the net...does anyone know for sure what kind of planes these were harassing the Midway Catalinas?


Mick Dunne, e-mail, 29.12.2007 05:05

Might have been Lt. R. Kamamiya. Will check. I have a complete list of IJN Pilots and Squadrons (somewhere)


Lex McAulay, e-mail, 18.09.2007 07:54

In January 1942 a Mavis was attacked in a single head-on pass off Kavieng, New Ireland by an Australian Wirraway.
post-war, the Australian pilot, John M. Lerew, at an aviation conference in Tokyo, met a Japanese who said he was the Emily pilot. Lerew thought his name was Kamimiya but no one with that name has so far been linked to the Mavis units.
Kamimiya (sic) said that the Wirraway did inflict damage on an engine and cockpit area and killed some crew.
Any info on this will be welcome.


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