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Shin Meiwa US-1 / PS-1

Maritime Search and Rescue / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Flying Boat Aircraft

Shin Meiwa US-1 / PS-1

Maritime Search and Rescue / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Flying Boat Aircraft


The Shin Meiwa maritime patrol flying boat was developed to a JMSDF requirement during the late-1960s.
National Flag Graphic
YEAR: 1971
MANUFACTURER(S): Shin Meiwa Industries (ShinMaywa) - Japan

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Shin Meiwa US-1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 109.78 feet (33.46 meters)
WIDTH: 108.76 feet (33.15 meters)
HEIGHT: 32.64 feet (9.95 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 51,368 pounds (23,300 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 99,208 pounds (45,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x Ishikawajima-Harima (General Electric) T64-IHI-10J turboprop engines developing 3,495 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 317 miles-per-hour (510 kilometers-per-hour; 275 knots)
RANGE: 2,374 miles (3,820 kilometers; 2,063 nautical miles)
CEILING: 23,622 feet (7,200 meters; 4.47 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,600 feet-per-minute (488 meters-per-minute)

Up to 1,500lb of ordnance including torpedoes, rocket pods (PS-1), and depth charges. ASW mission equipment included sonobuoys and dipping sonar gear.
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

Series Model Variants
• PS-X - Prototype designation; 2 examples
• PS-1 - Initial production mark; 23 examples produced.
• US-1 - Second production mark; 6 examples produced.
• US-1A - Third production mark; 14 examples produced.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Shin Meiwa US-1 / PS-1 Maritime Search and Rescue / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Flying Boat Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/21/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
During World War 2 (1939-1945) the Japanese concern of Kawanishi excelled at development and production of large flying boat aircraft for various over-water roles - Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), general transport, reconnaissance and the like. However, the post-war era held no place for the company so it was restructured and reborn as "Shin Meiwa Industries". This allowed continuation of large aircraft production services into the post-war period and the company eventually evolved to become "ShinMaywa" of today.

While it still carried the Shin Meiwa name, engineers took to modifying an existing American-originated Grumman HU-16 "Albatross" flying boat (detailed elsewhere on this site) into a more modern product. This produced the "UF-XS" prototype. The twin-engine design of the original gave way to a four engine arrangement in which 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radials assisted the existing Wright R-1820 radials. The engines were all fitted at the high-mounted wing mainplanes with their wash set to go over and under the wing element and improve lift properties. The fuselage retained a boat-like hull and the flight deck sat over the short nose section. The tail unit exhibited a "T-style" wing arrangement to clear prop-wash and other forces at play. Pontoons were set under the wing mainplanes to allow for take-off and landing from water sources.

The result was an aircraft with improved on- and over-water capabilities - greater inherent power, increased operational ranges and Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) performance. With authorization from authorities of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the design was pushed into testing under the "PS-X" designation in 1967 and a first-flight was recorded on October 5th of that year. The intended maritime role for the aircraft would be Anti-Submarine Warfare and general patrol. Two prototypes were contracted for.

Having cleared the requisite evaluations, the PS-X advanced as the "PS-1" when it was adopted for service in 1969. It was formally introduced in 1971 and twenty-three of the PS-1 form were acquired in all. In service, they carried torpedo, depth charges, rocket armament and sonobuoys primarily intended for use against enemy submarines and the crew numbered ten made up of airmen and position specialists. A dipping sonar gave a useful submarine-hunting quality but required the aircraft to be landed on the water's surface to operate. Power was from 4 x Ishikawajima T64-IHI-10 (GE T64) turboprop engines.

As it stood, the PS-1 was a functional aircraft but it lacked true amphibious capabilities as a flying boat - it was restricted to on-water operations in terms of landing and taking off and carried its own beaching equipment as a result. Thought then turned to a dedicated Search and Rescue (SAR) form which did away with the PS-1's military equipment fit and brought about implementation of a wheeled, retractable undercarriage for on-land take-off and landings as well as the requisite SAR equipment. This resulted in the "US-1", a true amphibious flying boat aircraft - of which six were constructed. A prototype was flown for the first time on October 15th, 1974. From the US-1 mark was also formed the "US-1A" standard which incorporated uprated engines for improved STOL performance. Fourteen were developed to this standard and introduced for service while powered by 4 x Ishikawajima T64-IHI-10J (GE T64) turboprop engines.

The PS-1 was removed from active service in 1989.

The series has since been succeeded by the ShinMaywa US-2 flying boat introduced in 2007 (detailed elsewhere on this site). This mark began as the US-1A "Kai" developed during the 1990s and was given Rolls-Royce AE 2100J engines with six-bladed propeller units. It was forced upon the JMSDF when funding for an all-new design could not be had. As such, it was taken on as the US-2.

The PS-1 / US-1/-1A family maintains a limited, active presence in the JMSDF inventory but its best flying days are clearly behind it - two US-1 are retained for the SAR role under the "special mission" categorization.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (317mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Shin Meiwa US-1's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (43)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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