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Aichi E12A

The Aichi E12A was a twin-float reconnaissance floatplane with two seats that was created to meet the requirements of the Japanese Navy’s 12-Shi specification in 1937.

This specification aimed to find a replacement for the Kawanishi E7K2 three-seat reconnaissance seaplane.

Initially, Aichi, Kawanishi, and Nakajima were tasked with developing prototypes for the two-seat model.

However, before the prototypes were finished, a second 12-Shi specification was introduced, which also called for a three-seat floatplane to be developed concurrently with the two-seat version.

Aichi was the only one to make the decision to develop both aircraft, creating prototypes for both the E12A and E13A.

Kawanishi focused on the three-seat version, producing the E13K, while Nakajima concentrated on their two-seat E12N.

The E12A was a floatplane with a single engine and a monoplane design.

It was powered by an 870hp Mitsubishi Zuisei radial engine.

The two crew members sat in tandem in a single cockpit.

The E13A, on the other hand, was a larger version of the same design with a more powerful engine.

By the end of 1938, both the prototype E12As and E13As were ready.

Aichi’s own tests revealed that the larger and more powerful aircraft was faster and more stable during flight.

In 1939, the Japanese Navy also expressed a preference for the three-seat designs, leading to the suspension of work on the E12A (as well as the E12N).

Competitive tests were conducted for the Aichi E13A and Kawanishi E13K, and in December 1940, the Aichi design was declared the winner.

It entered production as the Navy Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 1.

The E12As specification was altered after the production of just two prototypes, which were subsequently utilised solely for research endeavours.

Japanese Aircraft 1910–1941-R C Mikesh & A Shorzoe.
The Xplanes of Imperial Japanese Army & Navy 1924-1945-Illustrated Warplane History.

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