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Kawasaki Army Type 88 Aircraft Information

Kawasaki Army Type 88 Reconnaisance Aircraft

Manufacturer: Kawasaki
Designed by: Richard Vogt
First flight: 1927
Primary user: Imperial Japanese Army Air Force
Produced: 1929-1932
Number built: 1117

The Kawasaki KDA-2 was a Japanese single-engined biplane of the late 1920s designed by the German Richard Vogt working for Kawasaki. It was built in large numbers as both a reconnaissance aircraft and a light bomber for the Imperial Japanese Army, being used in combat over China and remaining in service until 1940.

Design and development

The KDA-2 was designed by Richard Vogt to meet a Japanese Army requirement for a reconnaissance biplane to replace the Salmson 2. Three prototypes were built by Kawasaki in 1927. Following testing the aircraft was ordered into production as the Army Type 88-1 Reconnaissance Biplane. The aircraft was of all-metal construction, with a stressed skin forward fuselage, had unequal-span wings and a slim angular fuselage, cross-axle tailwheel landing gear and was powered by a 447 kW (600 hp) BMW VI engine. An improved version (the Type 88-II) was developed with an improved engine cowling and a revised tail unit. By the end of 1931, a total of 710 (including the three prototypes) had been built by both Kawasaki and Tachikawa (187 of the total).

Between 1929 and 1932, a bomber version was built as the Type 88 Light Bomber, differing in having a strengthened lower wing and an additional pair of centre-section struts. Bomb racks were located under the fuselage and lower wings. A total of 407 were produced. A transport variant was developed as the KDC-2 with room for a pilot and four passengers in an enclosed cabin. Only two KDC-2s were built and one of was tested on floats.

Operational history

Both reconnaissance and bomber versions saw action with the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in Manchuria, and a few were still in service in 1937 during fighting at Shanghai.


KDA-2 Three prototypes. Type 88-I Reconnaissance Biplane Production reconnaissance biplane. Type 88-II Reconnaissance Biplane Improved version of the 88-I, 707 built of both the 88-I and 88-II. Type 88 Light Bomber Light bomber variant able to carry 200 kg (440 lb) of bombs, 407 built. KDC-2 Transport variant, two built.



Imperial Japanese Army Air Force

Specifications (88-II)

Data from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941 The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. pp. 2238.

General characteristics

Crew: 2
Length: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 2 in)
Height: 3.40 m (11 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 48 m (517 ft)
Empty weight: 1,800 kg (3,968 lb)
Gross weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb)
Powerplant: 1 x BMW VI, 447 kW (600 hp)


Maximum speed: 221 km/h (137 mph)
Endurance: 6 hours
Service ceiling: 6,200 m (20,350 ft)


2 x 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns (one fixed and one manual)

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. pp. 2237-8.
Mikesh, Robert C; Shorzoe Abe (1990). Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 85177 840 2.

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Source: WikiPedia

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