Aichi AB-1 / AB-2 / AB-3

In 1929, Tetsuo Miki, a designer at Aichi Tokei Denki Kabushiki Kaisha started the design of a catapult launched reconnaissance floatplane with the aim of replacing the Nakajima E2N aboard the Imperial Japanese Navy’s warships.

Miki’s design was a small single-engine biplane.

Its fuselage was of steel tube construction with fabric covering, while it had wooden wings that folded to the rear for storage aboard ship.

Powerplant was a 330 hp (246 kW) Aichi AC-1, an experimental radial engine.

The two man crew sat in open cockpits, while the aircraft’s undercarriage consisted of twin floats.

The two prototypes were completed and flown in 1930.

The AC-1 engine was not successful, however, and the project was abandoned after one of the prototypes was destroyed when an exhaust fire spread to the fuselage.

The Aichi AB-3 was a Japanese shipboard reconnaissance floatplane of the 1930s.

The AB-3, a single seat, single engine biplane, was designed to equip a light cruiser Ning Hai being built in Japan for the Chinese navy, a single aircraft being accepted by the Chinese.





8.24 m (27 ft 0 in)


11 m (36 ft 1 in)


3.446 m (11 ft 4 in)

Wing area

36 m2 (390 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,115 kg (2,458 lb)

Gross weight

1,656 kg (3,651 lb)


1 × Aichi AC-1, 9 cylinder air cooled radial engine,

250 kW (330 hp)


Maximum speed

180.4 km/h (112.1 mph, 97.4 kn)

Cruise speed

130 km/h (81 mph, 70 kn)

Stall speed

71.9 km/h (44.7 mph, 38.8 kn)


5.9 hr

Time to altitude

3,000 m (9,840 ft) in 20 min



1× fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm machine gun


1 machine gun in rear cockpit


2 × 30 kg (66 lb) bombs.


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