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Kawanishi H8K (Emily)

Imperial Japan (1942)
Picture of Kawanishi H8K (Emily) Reconnaissance / Bomber Flying Boat Aircraft

The Kawanishi H8K Emily was arguably the best flying boat of the Second World War - considered by many to be on par with even the excellent British Short Sunderland.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawanishi H8K (Emily) Reconnaissance / Bomber Flying Boat Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/22/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Empire of Japan seemed to be producing its best aircraft designs of the war towards the end of the conflict. The Kawanishi H8K (codenamed "Emily" by the Allies) was such an example. Bred to take the reigns of the similar but wholly outclassed Kawanishi H6K already in service, the H8K was developed to a new 1938 specification. The resulting design proved to be one of the more feared and respected Japanese weapons in the Pacific. If one would consider the type to be nothing more than a lumbering flying boat, you would overlook the impressive cannon armament, outstanding range, good performance capabilities and offensive firepower long enough to see that even American submarines were at the mercy of the "Emily".

The shortcomings of the H6K type were highly known by now, so much so that the Kawanishi company set about to right the wrongs with the addition of the H6K5 to the production line. Unfortunately, the ship of the H6K had already sailed and the H8K was designed to a new need. The H8K was characterized but its stout fuselage and single vertical tail fin. The cockpit sat high just forward of the shoulder-mounted wing assembly housing 4 x Mitsubishi brand engines of 1,850 horsepower (H8K2). As a land-based operator the H8K could call upon smallish wheels while under wing pontoons served it well on water. Initially, the H8K was found to be a poor performer in the latter role but service trials eventually ironed out the defects and the legend of the H8K was made.

Flying boats are not a weapon that one thinks of when considering the best offensive options available in a war but the H8K changed that thinking. Defensive armament was initially 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 20mm cannons. Later developments would give rise to a 4 x 7.7mm and 5 x 20mm cannon-armed derivative in the H8K2 model. Add to this the improved armor protection, impressive speed and range and the ability to deliver torpedoes or bombs and you have a recipe for a true winner. The H8K was particularly effective in the anti-submarine role when married to an ASW radar, finding and sinking several American submarines during the course of its combat life.

The H8K, like the H6K before it, also appeared in dedicated transport roles either for VIp staff or combat ready troops. In the troop carrying role, the H8K could support up to 64 soldiers. These types are characterized with the "L" in their designation. Only four of the aircraft survive to war's end.

Any available statistics for the Kawanishi H8K (Emily) Reconnaissance / Bomber Flying Boat Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






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 Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (290mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Kawanishi H8K2 (Emily)'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 Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
167
167


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Imperial Japan
Year: 1942
Type: Reconnaissance / Bomber Flying Boat Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Kawanishi - Imperial Japan
Production: 167
Global Operators:
Imperial Japan
Historical 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 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 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
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Kawanishi H8K2 (Emily) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
10


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
92.29 ft


Meters
28.13 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
124.67 ft


Meters
38 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
30.02 ft


Meters
9.15 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
40,521 lb


Kilograms
18,380 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
71,650 lb


Kilograms
32,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x Mitsubishi Kasei 22 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines developing 1,850 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
290 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
467 kph


Knots
252 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
4,461 mi


Kilometers
7,180 km


Nautical Miles
3,877 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
28,740 ft


Meters
8,760 m


Miles
5.44 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,624 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
495 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

STANDARD:
1 x 20mm cannon in bow position
1 x 20mm cannon in dorsal position
1 x 20mm cannon in left blister position
1 x 20mm cannon in right blister position
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in beam position
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in beam position
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in beam position
1 x 7.7mm machien gun in beam position

OPTIONAL:
Up to 4,409 lb (2,000 kg) of external stores OR 2 x 1,764 (800 kg) torpedoes
Variants: Series Model Variants
• H8K1 - Prototype
• H8K1 (Navy Flying Boat Type 2, Model 11) - 14 produced; initial service models.
• H8K1-L - Dedicated Transport Variant
• H8K2 (Model 12) - Improved engine output through Mitsubishi Kasei 22 radials of 1,850 horsepower and defensive armament; ASW radar equipped; 120 produced.
• H8K2-L "Seiku" (Model 32) - Dedicated Transport Variant based on the H8K1 model.
• H6K3 - Two prototype experimental models based on the H8K2; featuring retractable wingtip floats and dorsal turret; blisters removed in favor of sliding gun hatches.
• H8K4 (Model 23) - Two conversion models fitted with different powerplants.