This year was especially hard for all of us living in Japan but also for Greece. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who stood beside us sending messages of friendship, care and support. We hope the new year of the dragon to be better in every way than the year before.
In a Manga series with the title "Gale over Rabaul - Air Battle History", released '99-'00 and written by Kawamata Chiaki, a Zero of quite interesting design is roaming the skies of South Pacific.
What if the all-well-known Zero design had a pair of engines on it's wings leaving the nose free to install different kinds of cannons and machine guns? It certainly looks cool to me and I wouldn't mind experimenting with a couple kits from the spare box.
Manga cover illustration by Takani Yoshiyuki (Born 1935)
The rumored IJNAF Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Condor with four 2000hp Homare engines borrowed from the Nakajima G8N "Renzan" (Rita) project. The Fw-200 so modified was used as an engine test bed. This particular aircraft was found damaged at the end of the war.
This is the first in a series of postings about Japanese X-planes, what-if and fantasy projects.
We would love to hear your feedback and ideas as well as feature your models and artwork.
First up is the manga/VHS/DVD series "Konpeki no Kantai" (Deep Blue Fleet).
Story by: Aramaki Yoshio
Art by: Imura Shinji
Published by: Tokuma Shoten (1992-1996) 20 Vols.
"In Konpeki no Kantai's first episode, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's death on April 18, 1943, still proceeds exactly as in the real event. Just before his damaged plane crashes into Bougainville Island, Yamamoto blacks out, before awakening in a ship quarters. Unclear about what has just happened, Yamamoto speaks with a crewman, and discovers that he is aboard the Japanese cruiser Nisshin. He is then informed that the date is May 28, 1905 and that Battle of Tsushima has just ended. Yamamoto realizes that he has somehow been transported back in time (or to a parallel world).
After Yamamoto decides to revert to his old name of Isoroku Takano, he vows to use his advance-knowledge of the next 38 years to ensure that Japan does not make the same mistakes as before.
Yamamoto's first priority is to spearhead a massive naval construction program. It involves building a large fleet of advanced battleships and supercarriers, nuclear submarines based on the design of the real-life I-400 Sen Toku submarine, and advanced combat aircraft that were in prototype or concept form during the late stages of the actual Pacific War.
His plan for success begins with a coup d'état against the hardline government of Army General Hideki Tōjō in late 1941, on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack, and installing an ally, Lt Gen Yasaburo Otaka as prime minister. Otaka, who has also been transported back in time, agrees to work with Yamamoto to change history and ensure that the Japanese Empire emerges victorious against the United States in the Second World War."
First VHS of the series.
Cover of the 9th VHS.
Some sample pages from the manga.
Tomorrow we will post more scans and details about the various airplane types presented in the series.
The old model with the Hiro Type 91 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine and the four-blade wooden prop. Photo from a vintage magazine.
A dramatic shot showing the perils of lowering the floatplane from a warship. Note the guy at the far edge of the starboard wing tip releasing the attachment cable. I know I wouldn't like to be in his shoes.
Anyone interested to build a diorama out of this shot?
January 1945, Clark airfield, Luson, Philippines.
A Kawasaki Ki-48-IIa "99 shokei", belonging to the 208th Sentai has just been captured by advancing US forces and is put aside for evaluation.
The unit was decimated during the battle for New Guinea, was reduced to transport duties during the Philippine campaign and operated only a small number of Lilys. Considering this, the color of the simplified white tail marking didn't indicate any particular chutai.
Overall color is "hairyokushoku" (gray-green) with green "madara" (mottled) camo applied by airbrush. Brown prop & spinner.
There are very few photos of this autogyro inspired by the Kellet KD-1A and built by Kayaba.
This one is the Kayaba Ka-go 2 with a Jakobs L-4 M A-7 air-cooled, seven-cylinder engine.
The story goes like this: the IJAAF imported a Kellet KD-1A from the States for evaluation. Unfortunately it was damaged during trials and the Army gave it to Kayaba to repair it. Kayaba installed a Jacobs engine and produced one more experimental test machine designated Ka-2. It was found to be very satisfactory and the Army decided to put it into mass production as the Ka-1 but with a different engine; an Argus As 10c eight-cylinder.
It served as artillery spotter and, according to a Japanese reference, with the 107Sentai.
It also served in the anti-submarine role equipped with depth charges from the Army aircraft carrier (yes, the Army had some of those too) Akitsu Maru. The first in the world to do so.
A rare photo I'm sure X-plane lovers will like.
Those who have the Francillon volume will notice some differences with the text above.