Kawanishi K-200 - Imperial Japan, 1946
Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawanishi K-200 Long-Range Jet-Powered Flying Boat Aircraft Proposal.
Entry last updated on 5/22/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Kawanishi K-200 jet-powered flying boat never materialized beyond the planning stage - the end of the war ended any design hopes for Japan.
The Japanese concern of Kawanishi made a name for itself in service to the Empire by delivering a healthy stable of serviceable floatplane and flying boat aircraft. Before the end of the war in August of 1945, and amidst Japan's worsening war situation, many desperate projects were undertaken by local firms in an effort to meet military requirements put forth. Kawanishi, either through a private initiative or at the behest of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), began work on a new long-range flying boat design before the cessation of hostilities and this became the "K-200" which ultimately saw no prototypes completed, the project terminated with the end of the war.
Kawanishi found success with their conventionally-powered, four-engined H8K flying boat during the war and these served the IJN with distinction from January 1942 onward. With this big aircraft experience, the K-200 took shape as a high-winged development with outboard floats, a boat-like lower hull and traditional, single-finned tail unit. Instead of engines driving propeller blades as in the H8K, six turbojets were projected for power and arranged in two sets of three engine nacelles to be fitted over the wing mainplanes. The cockpit, heavily glazed, was fitted forward of the wings and aft of a nose cone assembly. The standard crew would most likely range between six and eight persons.
Since the K-200 only ever entered the planning stages very little concrete information went on to be finalized before the end. Its usefulness in service would have been limited - early-form Japanese turbojets were thirty devices and short on range though offering the necessary performance. Armament may have followed the established H8K arrangement being a mix of cannon and machine guns for both offensive- and defensive-minded actions - a dorsal turret and tail turret among key features most likely included. The aircraft's war load would have supported torpedoes, depth charges, mines and conventional drop bombs.
The illustration provided is a concept approach to the K-200 utilizing what was known of the design and elements seen in Kawanishi's past maritime products. Presented performance figures are pure estimates.