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Kyushu K11W Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum)

Imperial Japan (1942)
Picture of Kyushu K11W Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum) Advanced Bomber Crew Trainer / Transport / ASW Aircraft

The Kyushu K11W Shiragiku played the all-important role of bomber crew trainer for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kyushu K11W Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum) Advanced Bomber Crew Trainer / Transport / ASW Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 4/3/2017. Authored by Captain Jack. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Oft-forgotten, but no less important to the Japanese war effort of World War 2, was the Kyushu K11W Shiragiku ("White Chrysanthemum") advanced bomber crew trainer. The aircraft served as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was produced from 1942 to 1945 in some 798 examples. Though primarily a trainer, a second limited-production model existed as a submarine hunter and transport while many K11's ultimately fell into the macabre role of Kamikaze suicide planes by war's end. The K11W directly replaced the aged Mitsubishi K3M types and proved a serviceable and economic aircraft in her defined roles.

The Imperial Japanese Navy put forth a requirement for an advanced and modern crew trainer to train its bomber personnel. Watanabe Ironworks Company (Watanabe Tekkosho KK Design Team) designed their K11W1 prototype and achieved first flight in November of 1942. Further evaluation of the airframe completed in an impressively short amount of time with few setbacks noted in the program and the type was ordered for production under the formal designation of "Navy Operations Trainer Shiragiku". However, by the end of 1942, Watanabe of Fukoaka Japan had been reorganized to become the Kyushu Aeroplane Company and so the designation for the new trainer became "Kyushu K11W". First production examples were delivered in the summer of 1943.

Design was quite conventional and utilitarian in nature. The K11 sported mid-mounted monoplane wings with curved wingtips. The assemblies were set just ahead of amidships. The radial piston engine was fitted to the extreme forward of the fuselage and powered a two-bladed propeller system. The cockpit area was heavily glazed and contained the pilot and gunner trainee seated in tandem. The gunner trainee also doubled as the radio operator. The stout profile of the K11 allowed a lower deck to be installed in the deep fuselage, this area containing room for the bombardier, navigator and the instructor. The lower deck sat beneath the wing assemblies and rectangular windows could be identified along the fuselage sides. The empennage featured a slab-sided appearance and was capped by a traditional tail system featuring a single vertical tail fin and applicable horizontal planes with curved edges. The undercarriage was of the conventional "tail dragger" arrangement made up of two main single-wheeled landing gear legs and a single-wheeled tail leg - all being fully retractable.
Power was supplied from a single Hitachi GK2B Amakaze 21 series 9-cylinder radial piston engine rated at 515 horsepower. Maximum speed was listed at 143 miles per hour at 5,600 feet. Cruising speed was 109 miles per hour. Range was an impressive 1,093 miles while the service ceiling capped off at 18,440 feet.

Armament was strictly practice-minded and included a single 7.7mm Type 92 rear-firing machine gun on a flexible mount for gunnery training and a practice ordnance load of 2 x 66lb bombs. When used in the Kamikaze role, the K11W1 was fitted with a single 550lb bomb for maximum effect.

While the K11W1 was the designation for the base bomber crew trainer, the K11W2 was a limited-production Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) variant that doubled as a transport platform. The major difference between the two was in the K11W2's use of all-wood construction as opposed to the costlier K11W1's use of all-metal (though the latter with fabric-covered control surfaces). A third proposed variant existed under the designation of Q3W1 "Nankai" ("South Sea"). This unfulfilled design would have fought as an maritime patrol anti-submarine aircraft however the prototype was lost to a landing accident in January of 1945.

The existence (and importance) of the stout K11W trainer series was little known to the Allies and, as such, no traditional "codename" was assigned to her.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (143mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 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 Kyushu K11W Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
789
789


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Origin: Imperial Japan
Year: 1942
Type: Advanced Bomber Crew Trainer / Transport / ASW Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Watanabe Tekkosho Kabushiki Kaisha - Japan
Production: 789
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 Kyushu K11W Shiragiku (White Chrysanthemum) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
5


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
33.60 ft


Meters
10.24 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
49.15 ft


Meters
14.98 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
12.89 ft


Meters
3.93 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,697 lb


Kilograms
1,677 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,173 lb


Kilograms
2,800 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hitachi GK2B Amakaze 21 9-cylinder radial piston engine developing 515 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
143 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
230 kph


Knots
124 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,094 mi


Kilometers
1,760 km


Nautical Miles
950 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
18,438 ft


Meters
5,620 m


Miles
3.49 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
153 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
47 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Type 92 rear-firing machine gun on flexible mounting (training).

OPTIONAL:
2 x 66lb bombs (training)

KAMIKAZE:
1 x 551lb bomb
Variants: Series Model Variants
• K11W - Main Production Model; 789 examples produced; all-metal construction.
• K11W2 - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Transport Model; limited production; all-wood construction.