Kawanishi E7K

The Kawanishi E7K was a Japanese 1930s three-seat reconnaissance floatplane. It was allocated the reporting name Alf by the Allies of World War II.

Role reconnaissance floatplane
Manufacturer Kawanishi Aircraft Company
First flight 6 February 1933
Introduction 1935
Retired 1943
Primary user IJN Air Service
Number built 533

Design and development

In 1932 the Imperial Japanese Navy requested the Kawanishi Aircraft Company to produce a replacement for the company's Kawanishi E5K. The resulting design, designated the Kawanishi E7K1, was an equal span biplane powered by a 462 kW (620 hp) Hiro Type 91 W-12 liquid-cooled inline engine. The first aircraft flew on 6 February 1933 and was handed over to the navy for trials three months later. It was flown in competition with the Aichi AB-6 which was designed to meet the same 7-Shi requirement.[1] The E7K1 was ordered into production as the Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane (九四式水上偵察機) and entered service in early 1935. It became a popular aircraft, but was hindered by the unreliability of the Hiro engine. Later production E7K1s were fitted with a more powerful version of the Hiro 91, but this did not improve the reliability. In 1938 Kawanishi developed an improved E7K2 with a Mitsubishi Zuisei 11 radial engine, it first flew in August 1938 and was ordered by the Navy as the Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 2. The earlier E7K1 was renamed to Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 1.

Operational history

The type was used extensively by the Japanese Navy from 1938 until the beginning of the Pacific War, when E7K1 were relegated to second-line duties. The E7K2 continued in front-line service until 1943 and both versions were used in Kamikaze operations in the closing stages of the war.


Production version with a Hiro Type 91 520 hp water-cooled W-12 engine, 183 built (including 57 built by Nippon Hikoki K.K.)
Re-engined version with a Mitsubishi Zuisei 11 radial engine, about 350 built (including 60 built by Nippon Hikoki K.K.)



Specifications (E7K2)

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[2], [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 10.41 m (34 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 14 m (45 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.85 m (15 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 43.6 m2 (469 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 2,100 kg (4,630 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,300 kg (7,275 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mitsubishi MK2 Zuisei 11 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 650 kW (870 hp) for take-off
  • 630 kW (850 hp) at 2,300 m (7,546 ft)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed metal propeller


  • Maximum speed: 276 km/h (171 mph, 149 kn) at 2,000 m (6,562 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 185 km/h (115 mph, 100 kn) at 1,000 m (3,281 ft)
  • Endurance: 11 hours 19 minutes
  • Time to altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 9 minutes 6 seconds
  • Wing loading: 75.7 kg/m2 (15.5 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.196 kW/kg (0.119 hp/lb)


See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. Green 1962, p. 121.
  2. Francillon 1979, p. 300
  3. Green 1962, p. 123
  • Francillon, Ph.D., Réne J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970 (2nd edition 1979). ISBN 0-370-30251-6.
  • Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Six, Floatplanes. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962.
  • Unknown Author. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing, 1982-1985.

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