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Aichi AB-2 & AB-3


The Aichi AB-2 was a prototype Japanese reconnaissance floatplane from the 1930s.

It was designed as a single-engine biplane, and although two examples were built, it never went into production.

Tetsuo Miki, a designer at Aichi Tokei Denki Kabushiki Kaisha, initiated the design in 1929 to create a catapult-launched reconnaissance floatplane to replace the Nakajima E2N on the Imperial Japanese Navy’s vessels.

Miki’s design featured a compact single-engine biplane structure.

The aircraft had a steel tube construction fuselage covered with fabric, and its wings were made of wood and could be folded to the rear for storage on a ship.

It was powered by an experimental radial engine called the Aichi AC-1, which had a power output of 330 hp (246 kW).

The aircraft had open cockpits for the two-man crew, and its undercarriage consisted of twin floats.

In 1930, both prototypes were completed and successfully flown.

Unfortunately, the AC-1 engine did not perform well, leading to the project’s abandonment after one of the prototypes was destroyed due to an exhaust fire that spread to the fuselage.

However, the design of this aircraft served as the foundation for the later Aichi AB-3 floatplane, which was built in 1932 as a single example for China.
The Aichi AB-3, developed in the 1930s, was a reconnaissance floatplane specifically designed for ship-board operations.

This single-seat, single-engine biplane was intended to be utilized on the light cruiser Ning Hai, which was being constructed in Japan for the Chinese navy.

Only one aircraft was ultimately 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 (0.30 in) machine gun
1 machine gun in rear cockpit
2× 30 kg (66 lb) bombs.


Japanese Aircraft 1910–1941-R C Mikesh & A Shorzoe.


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