Kawanishi H8K Emily


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Kawanishi H8K Emily

Although only 167 examples were produced, the large Kawanishi H8K was the most outstanding and advanced flying-boat to achieve production status during World War II. Designed to meet a requirement issued in 1938 for a four-engine maritime reconnaissance flying-boat superior in all respects to the British Short Sunderland, the H8K1 prototype was first flown in January 1941, but proved initially to possess very poor water handling qualities. Extensive modifications were made and after successfully completing its service trials the aircraft was ordered into production as the Navy Type 2 Flying- Boat Model 11, powered by four 1141kW Mitsubishsi Kasei 11 or 12 radiais. Armament of these early aircraft comprised two 20mm cannon and four 7.7mm machine guns. With armour protection, selfsealing fuel tanks and a maximum speed of 433km/h, the new flying-boat indeed represented a considerable advance over the H6K. It carried out its first operational mission in March 1942 when two aircraft of the Yokohama Kokutai set out from Wotje Atoll in the Marshalls to bomb Oahu Island (Pearl Harbor), putting down at French Frigate Shoals to refuel from a submarine; however, arriving over the American base, the Japanese crews found heavy cloud and the raid was ineffective. Nevertheless as a longrange maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the H8K1 (codenamed 'Emily' by the Allies) with its 7,200km range, heavy armament and good performance proved a highly competent aircraft much respected by the Allies. The further-improved H8K2, with 1380kW Kasei 22 radials and armament increased to five 20mm cannon and four 7.7mm machine-guns, of which 112 were built between 1943 and 1945, was unquestionably the toughest opponent faced by the Allies in the Pacific. It was also equipped with ASV radar, being responsible for the sinking of at least three American submarines in the area north of the Philippines during the last 18 months of the war. Additional to the maritime reconnaissance version, 36 H8K2-L boats were built in the last two years of the war, these being equipped as naval staff and troop transports capable of accommodating either 29 staff passengers or 64 fully armed troops. The progressively deteriorating war situation for Japan led to a run-down in production of flying boats during 1945 in favour of fighters for home defence, and later versions of the H8K were accordingly abandoned. Nevertheless this excellent aircraft saw considerable service, being flown by the 14th, 801st, 851st, 1001st, 1021st, Takuma, Toko, Yokohama and Yokosuka Chinjufu Kokutais.

Kawanishi H8K Emily

 ENGINE4 x Mitsubishi MK4Q "Kasei-22", 1380kW
  Take-off weight24500-32500 kg54014 - 71651 lb
  Empty weight18380 kg40521 lb
  Wingspan38 m125 ft 8 in
  Length28.13 m92 ft 3 in
  Height9.15 m30 ft 0 in
  Wing area160 m21722.22 sq ft
  Max. speed460 km/h286 mph
  Cruise speed290 km/h180 mph
  Ceiling8850 m29050 ft
  Range w/max.fuel7050 km4381 miles
 ARMAMENT3 x 20mm cannons, 4 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 2 x 800-kg torpedos or 2000kg of bomb

Kawanishi H8K EmilyA three-view drawing (750 x 895)

Mark, e-mail, 18.04.2016 20:50

Can anyone confirm where you can still see 'Emily.' One used to be on display at the Museum of Maritime Science in Tokyo. I can't confirm if it is still there or moved to Kanoya museum way too far south for a Tokyo visit.


Michael lewis, e-mail, 28.02.2016 05:44

The Japanese had a seaplane base on Saipan sat Garapan. In 1977 I spent 6 days on Saipan. A Saipanese guide led us to the seaplane base. We donned our dive gear and waded down the ramp that the Emily's used into the water. In 30 feet of water was an HK8 Emily. The aircraft was in several large pieces but very recognizable as an Emily. The large top turret with the 20 mm cannon was intact as was the cockpit and tail turret. It was a fascinating dive on a piece of history.


Erick Quang, e-mail, 24.05.2014 17:11

It would be quite feaseable that these formidable Japanese flying boats would capable destroying the f4u fighter planes and escape .Emily flying boats in 1942 attacked Northern Australia ,allied fighters including spitfires were sent to intercept these raiders but failed dismally to engage the Emilies .Had the Japanese been able to increase these attacks much of Australia would have had to be evacuated


Naga, 11.04.2012 02:20

Read an account that sounds similar to attacks on Short Sunderland flying boats: an entire flight of F4Us tried to bring a pair of Emilies, lost three planes, and both flying boats survived. Is this true?


wanhua, 21.06.2011 05:42

The aircraft was easily identifiable as an Emily and in sufficiently good condition to allow penetration into the massive hull.


JOSE DOMINGOS TRINTA ALLEN, e-mail, 18.02.2010 13:25

Do you know about a H8K model to download in order to run under FLIGHT SIMULATOR 2004 or COMBAT FLIGHT SIMULATOR 2? Thank you.


Bill Leavens, e-mail, 13.01.2010 06:05

I had the distinct pleasure of diving on an Emily that was sunk off the Dorlon Island seaplane base in February 1944 by US Naval forces during Operation Hailstone. The aircraft was easily identifiable as an Emily and in sufficiently good condition to allow penetration into the massive hull.


LUIZ CAMACHO, e-mail, 26.11.2008 01:36






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