The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Kawanishi H6K4 "Mavis"
|Dimensions||131'3" by 84'1" by 20'7"
40m by 25.625m by 6.27m
170 square meters
|Maximum speed||211 mph at 13,120 feet
340 km/h at 4000 meters
|Cruising speed||138 mph at 13,125 feet
222 km/h at 4000 meters
|Climb rate||20 feet per second
6.1 meters per second
|Service ceiling||31,530 feet
|Power plant||Four 1000 hp (746 kW) Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines driving three-blade metal propellers.|
|Armament||One flexible 7.7 mm Type 92 machine
gun in an open bow
One flexible 7.7 mm Type 92 machine gun in a power-operated dorsal turret
One hand-held 7.7 mm Type 92 machine gun in a tail turret (H6K1 and H6K2).
|Bomb load||Two 800 kg (1760 lb) torpedoes, or up to 2200 lbs (1000 kg) of bombs.|
|Normal range||2981 miles
|Maximum range||3779 miles
|Production||A total of 215 H6Ks were built by Kawanishi K.K. in
their Naruo plant
4 H6K1 prototypes (1936-38)
(3) H6K1 Model 1 modified from prototypes (1938)
10 H6K2 Model 11 (1938-39)
(2) H6K2 modified as experimental transports (1939)
2 H6K3 (1939)
127 H6K4 Model 22 (1939-42)
36 H6K5 Model 23 (1942)
16 H6K2-L (1940-42)
20 H6K4-L (1942-43)
(2) H6K4-L modified from H6K4 airframes (1942)
|Variants||The -L designates unarmed transport
versions of the Mavis, with room for 18 passengers
The -5 used Kinsei 51 or 53 engines, pushing the speed up to 239 mph (385 km/h).
"Mavis" was the Japanese Navy's standard flying boat at the time of Pearl Harbor. Curiously, "Mavis" and its successor, "Emily," were about the only aircraft in the Japanese arsenal at the start of the war that were more rugged than their Allied counterparts, though "Mavis" lacked armor and self-sealing fuel tanks. Its remarkable range was of great value in the vastness of the Pacific. "Mavis'" biggest drawback was that the Japanese were unable to build it in larger numbers.
The design originated in 1933 with a request from
the Navy to Kawanishi for a flying boat. The Navy was unimpressed with
either design proposed by the company, and in 1934 a revised
specification was issued for an aircraft superior to the American
Sikorsky S-42. The design team, led by Hashiguchi Yoshi and Kikahura
Shizuo, drew on data from the British
Short firm to design a new
prototype, which first flew on 14 July 1936. The Navy found the
aircraft had excellent water handling and was otherwise satisfactory in
every respect except being somewhat underpowered. This was remedied by
replacing the Hikari
engines with more powerful Kinsei engines, and the aircraft was
accepted for production in January 1938.
The unarmed transport versions (-L)
were given the code name "Tillie" by the Allies. Most of the surviving
aircraft were converted to transports as they were replaced by the
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