The Japanese benefitted greatly from the alliance struck with Nazi Germany during World War 2 (1939-1945). The Germans sent complete examples of both aircraft and engines along with engineering paperwork to Japan in an effort to help their ally in the Pacific region stave off elimination during the years-long war. The Japanese were only able to do so much amidst a worsening war situation and copied several designs (including the Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet" rocket-powered fighter and the Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe" jet-powered fighter) while beginning development of offshoots based on these German concepts. Among the technologies passed onto Japanese engineers was the pulsejet engine.
The pulsejets offered considerable performance improvements over traditional piston-powered aircraft types. They were also lighter and less complex than turbojets of the period. However, one limitation lay in the inability for the pulsejet to generate its own thrust from zero airspeed, requiring an additional, external power source such as rocket booster to achieve take-off. Once at a certain minimum airspeed, the rockets were jettisoned and the pulsejet could take over.
Pulsejets produced their thrust by way of its own forward motion with air being drawn through the intake at front and exhausted as hot gas through the rear port. In between, valves ensured a proper closure of the combustion chamber where ignition of the air mixed with fuel took place. The result was forward thrust suitable for use in high-speed military aircraft delivered in pulses, hence its name - Pulsejet.
While the Kawanishi aircraft took on a largely conventional appearance with its low-set monoplane wings, mid-set cockpit, single-finned tail unit and tail-dragger (jettisonable) undercarriage, a pulsejet engine installation was installed over the aft dorsal section of the fuselage. Rocket boosters would have given it the take-off power needed. It was intended for service with the Imperial Japanese Navy whose power during the war was ebbing away weekly. The original design was known as Type I.
Type II followed and was a revision of the basic approach, the pulsejet engine moved slightly forwards over the dorsal spine. This variant was intended for launching from IJN submarines giving the weapon and a direct line to vital American and British warships operating in the theater. From this came the final proposed iteration of the Baika concept - the Type III. This design was more of a radical departure from the previous two offerings, its pulsejet engine to be mounted ventrally and, lacking any undercarriage system, was to be air-launched by a Japanese bomber.
Regardless of the planning and physical work put into the Baika project, nothing came of it save for prototypes of the Argus pulsejet engine - known locally as the Maru Ka 10 series and promising an output rating of 795 lb thrust. The end of the war ended all work on these suicide aircraft and their respective engines.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
Baika - Base Project Name
Type I - Jettisonable undercarriage; conventional take-off capable (rocket-assisted); pulsejet engine fitted dorsally behind cockpit position.
Type II - Sans undercarriage; submarine-launch capable; pulsejet engine relocated slightly forwards when compared to Type I offering.
Type III - Sans undercarriage; air-launched; pulsejet engine moved to ventral position.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
1 / 1
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Kawanishi Baika (Ume Blossom)...
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.