Friday, 2 December 2011

Kayaba Ka-Go ー カ号観測機

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.

By the way...it's overall orange.


2 comments:

Harold K said...

One of my personal favorite J-aircraft, the Ka-1 was the first Fine Molds kit I built (years ago).
Like all of their 1/72nd kits, it is excellent.
Was the Argus engine license-built in Japan, or were they able to import adequate numbers from Germany?

keithwwalker said...

Believe it or not, youtube has video of the Japanese autogiros (both rotary and inline models):
http://youtu.be/_EFt7cLCRSY
Showing both take off and landing tests on land, and on the aircraft carrier.

Incredible raw footage! Care to speculate on colors?