Airborne Ambulances

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Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 26 Nov 2002 17:20

Nice site with some info about Ju-52 (actually CASA-352):

Image ... oireGB.htm

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Robert Hurst
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Post by Robert Hurst » 16 Jun 2003 14:44


One of the first nation's to use ambulance aircraft operationally were the Japanese.

The first aircraft of this type was a Kawasaki-Dornier Merkur transport. This was converted at the request of the Imperial Japanese Army for use in Manchuria. This aircraft was funded by the public and became well-known as the Aikoku (patriotic gift) No.2.

With this success, the Army considered conversions of the Nakajima-Fokker Super Universal for the same duties.

Under the supervision of Senior Army Surgeon Dr Yoshinobu Teraji, one Super Universal was converted in the autunm of 1932. Modifications made to the normal passenger model were the replacement of the six passenger seats and cargo compartment with two litters and three folding seats. The cabin was provided with soundproofing, temperature control and ventilation. Provisions two ambulatory and two litter patients included intravenous drip feeding and oxygen. The crew of three comprised two pilots and a flight surgeon or medical attendant.

This first Nakajima-Fokker ambulance was donated to the Army as Aikoku No.40 Bocho-go in October 1932. In May 1938 another Super Universal ambulance was donated as Aikoku No.268 Nihon Kangofu No.1 (Japanese Nurses No.1). This was converted from a later production aircraft that was powered by the Kotobuki engine. Ambulance aircraft served a vital role from their first use during the Manchurian Incident, and a number, including small aircraft, were active in carrying sick and wounded from the front-line battle areas to hospitals behind-the-lines.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki KK (Nakajima Aeroplane Co Ltd)
Type: Three-seat ambulance aircraft
Powerplant: One 420 hp Nakajima-Jupiter nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine (1st aircraft), one 460 hp Nakajima Kotobuki 2-kai-1 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine (2nd aircraft), driving two-bladed fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Dimensions: Span 15.34 m (50 ft 7 3/4 in); length 11.09 m (36 ft 4 1/2 in); height 2.819 m (9 ft 3 in); wing area 34.37 sq m (369.967 sq ft).
Weights: Empty (Jupiter) 1,640 kg (2,615 lb), (Kotobuki) 1.720 kg (3,791 lb); loaded 2,700 kg (5,952 lb); wing loading 78.6 kg/sq m (16.1 lb/sq ft); power loading (Jupiter) 5.2 kg/hp (11.4 lb/hp), (Kotobuki) 6.43 kg/hp (14.1 lb/hp).
Performance: maximum speed (Jupiter) 231.5 km/h (144 mph), (Kotobuki) 243.1 km/h (154 mph); cruising speed (Jupiter) 170.3 km/h(106 mph), (Kotobuki) 216.6 km/h (135 mph); climb to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) in (Jupiter) 4 min 10 sec, (Kotobuki) 7 min 18 sec; service ceiling 6,000 m (19,685 ft); range (Jupiter) 1,044.5 km (649 miles), (Kotobuki) 899.7 km (559 miles); endurance (Jupiter) 5 1/2 hr, (Kotobuki) 5 hr.
Production: Aikoku No.40 built in October 1932 and Aikoku No.268 built in May 1938.

The photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.


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Robert Hurst
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Post by Robert Hurst » 16 Jun 2003 15:37


In August 1932, the Japanese Army had a requirement for a small, light-weight ambulance aircraft, and placed an order for such an aircraft with Ishikawajima. Based on the company's experience with the R-5 trainer, and design concepts found in the imported de Havilland D H 83 Fox Moth* light transport, Ryokichi Endo, with the support of Moriyuki Nakagawa, undert took the project.

The company designated the aircraft KKY, which stood for Kogata Kei Kanja Yusoki or Small Type Light Patient Transport. This 'small type' ambulance was to supplement the 'standard type' which at that time was the Nakajima-Fokker Universal converted for ambulance use. The KKY carried a pilot, stretchers for two patients, a seat for one medical attendant, and medical supplies and equipment stipulated by the Army's Senior Surgeon, Dr Yoshinobu Teraji. The KKY type was designed to operate from small airstrips for emergency evacuations. Low-pressure tyres, having a wider foot-print, were fitted when these aircraft were to be operated from unprepared strips.

Although the first prototype was completed in December 1933, it took a long time to complete flying and serviceability evaluations and make necessary modifications, and it was not until February 1935 that this first KKY was considered acceptable. After still further, but minor modifications, to the first aircraft, a small number of additional aircraft were manufactured from 1936 to 1940.

The KKY was an single-engined biplane. It had a welded steel tube fuselage, wooden unequal-span wings, and an aluminium empennage, which was fabric covered. The aircraft was designed for, and first built with, the Cirrus Hermes Mk.IV inverted inline engine with a metal propeller. Problems continued with the Cirrus engine, and later models from October 1938 were powered by the 150 hp Gasuden Jimpu seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engine and equipped with a two-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The wings, with Clark Y aerofoil section, had the area increased to improve short-field performance. This later version was the KKY-2, Kogata Kei Kanja Yusoki Kaizogata, the last word meaning modified version. By this time the company name had changed to Tachikawa and these aircraft were known by that name.

The KKYs were put into sevice as Aikoku-go aircraft (purchased through private donations) and were widely used in air-evacuation duties during the Sino-Japanese conflict up to the early stages of the Pacific War.

Technical Data (Relates to first prototype)

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type Airborne Ambulance.
Crew (2): Pilot & one medical attendant plus two patients.
Powerplant: One 120-135 hp Cirrus Hermes Mk.IV four-cylinder inverted air-cooled inline engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Dimensions: Span 10 m (32 ft 9 1/2 in); length 7.90 m (25 ft 11 in); height 2.38 m (7 ft 9 1/4 in); wing area 22 sq m (236.813 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 560 kg (1,234 lb); loaded 977 kg (2,154 lb); wing loading 44.4kg/sq m (9.1 lb/sq ft); power loading 7.24 kg/hp (15.9 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed 181.6 km/h (112.8 mph); cruising speed 155.7 km/h (96.7 mph); landing speed 79.7 km/h (49.5 mph); take off/landing distance aprrox 250 m (820 ft); climb to 2,000 m (6,562 ft) in 14 min; service ceiling 4,500 m (14,763 ft); range 620 km (385 miles).
Production: Twenty-three built 1933-1940.

* Three DH 83 Fox Moths had been imported into Japan, of which two had been modified into ambulance aircraft for the Japanese Army.


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