Friday 27 December 2019

IJAAF & IJNAF photos & more

Photos of a drop tank recently on-sale on the Japanese ebay. The owner knew nothing about it, so no information from that end, except that it's 203cm long and 50cm wide. The tags could have shed more light but they are in bad condition and we can barely read some parts of them.
The top kanji in the circle reads "A" (as in Asia), the other reads "mokusei" (wooden). 

From the above tag we can only partially read the top inscription which says: "Gokoku No 4110 factory". "The term "gokoku" is associated with presentation aircraft in Manchuria, so perhaps this tank was manufactured there.
The other indication we can read is the "Weight: 19.6 kg".

Unfortunately we can read nothing on this tag.

After checking the drop tank designs of the IJNAF and IJAAF single engine fighters (Zero, "Raiden", "Shoki", "Hien" etc) it is safe for me to say that it's not a drop tank carried by one of them. Also, it's too long. My other thought is that it was probably used by a reconnaissance plane. It's too big for a "Babs" and too short for a "Myrt" (it's drop tank was 4 meters long) so my only other conclusion is that it could be a drop tank for a "Dinah".
If it's indeed an IJAAF drop tank, it offers a brilliant sample of the Army hairyokushoku standard paint. 
Any ideas?
By the way, it was sold for a mere 231,000Yen or 2,110$US.


Michael Thurow said...

I guess this is an IJN wooden drop tank (judged by the type of connectors and pipes), possibly a late A6M5-7 wing tank - see also Model Art: Imperial Japanese Army&Navy Airplanes Illustrated Book 2, p. 58.

Arawasi said...

Thanks Mike.
That book was the first I checked. It doesn't look like a Zero drop tank to me. The shape is wrong, the pipes and connectors are not the same. It looks more like a tank hang under a belly than a wing drop tank.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to narrow it down to just army or navy?

Wind Swords

Honza78 said...

My guess. The tank is most similar to the tank under the hull Kawanishi N1K1-Ja type 11.

Michael Thurow said...

I'm not sure Honza. This looks like a 300 litre tank. The tank of the Shiden 11 had 400 litres and one pipe on either side of the shackle. But I agree that it appears to be a IJN tank.

Happy New Year to all Arawasi fans!

Honza78 said...

Michael Thurow:
You're right. I recalculated it, the tank of N1K is approx. 0.8 m. And as you wrote, it has only two outlets.
We keep looking. ;)

Ps: Happy New Year to all.

Honza78 said...

See photos of A6M5c. Very similar-the same tank under the fuselage.