The Aichi AB-2 was a prototype Japanese reconnaissance floatplane of the 1930s. It was a single-engine biplane, of which two examples were built, but no production followed.
In 1929, Tetsuo Miki, a designer at Aichi Tokei Denki Kabushiki Kaisha (Aichi Watch and Electrical Machinery Company) 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 type did form the basis of the later Aichi AB-3 floatplane, of which a single example was built in 1932 for China. AB-3 The Aichi AB-3 was a Japanese ship-board 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. Specifications AB-2 Crew 2 Length 8.24 m (27 ft 0 in) Wingspan 11 m (36 ft 1 in) Height 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) Powerplant 1 × Aichi AC-1, 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 250 kW (330 hp) Performance 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) Endurance 5.9 hr Time to altitude 3,000 m (9,840 ft) in 20 min Armament Guns 1× fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.30 in) machine gun & 1 machine gun in rear cockpit Bombs 2× 30 kg (66 lb) bombs.