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Kawanishi H8K, possible the best seaplane built in WW2.

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  • Kawanishi H8K, possible the best seaplane built in WW2.

    The Kawanishi H8K was a large, four-engine aircraft designed for long range and extended endurance on patrols or bombing missions typically flown alone over the ocean. The prototype first flew in January 1941 and H8K1s made their first combat sortie in March 1942. The robust H8K2 "Emily" flying boat was also fitted with powerful defensive armament, which Allied pilots had substantial respect for wherever this aircraft was encountered in the Pacific theater. The H8K was called by aircraft historian René Francillon "the most outstanding water-based combat aircraft of the Second World War."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawanishi_H8K

    H8K_take_off_NAN8-47.jpg
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

    Sapere aude.

  • #2
    Isn't it funny that unless you're really a student of them, most people generally know Japanese planes only by their codenames. I didn't know what it was until I read "Emily". I know "Betty", "Tony", "Oscar", etc., but don't know the real designations.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by johns624 View Post
      Isn't it funny that unless you're really a student of them, most people generally know Japanese planes only by their codenames. I didn't know what it was until I read "Emily". I know "Betty", "Tony", "Oscar", etc., but don't know the real designations.
      Yup, I've seen that too. Of course, veterans wouldn't have had a clue about true designations, but would tell you stories about, "Kate," or, "Val," that would make your hair curl.

      As to the short designations themselves, while supposedly based on the US Navy's system, I actually found the Japanese system easier to understand; H= Long-range flying-boat, 8= 8th since the system's introduction, K= Kawanishi. The designation would be completed with another number (1 or 2) as the equivalent of a, "Mark," so H8K2 was the Mk 2.

      A long-ranged aircraft of excellent performance and formidable armament, it was indeed the standard by which all others were judged.
      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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      • #4
        Something else I've noticed---"best" very often doesn't equate to "favorite" when polls are taken.

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        • #5
          There was a poll on best flying boats of WW2 over at WW2aircraft https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/thread...ark-sea.51735/ and some mention of qualities on water at Secret Projects https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thr...stories.22792/. My take is that the H8K2 had good performance and armament but that several others had better characteristics on rough water.

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