Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane

The Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane was a single-engined biplane designed by the German Dr Richard Vogt that served with the Imperial Japanese Army during the early 1930s.

The Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane was designed by Dr Richard Vogt in response to an Imperial Japanese Army request. Vogt had previously worked with Kawasaki on the Dornier Do-N, which was co-produced in Germany and Japan as the Army Type 87 Night Bomber. During 1927 three prototypes of Vogt's new design were built, as the Kawasaki KDA-2. This was a conventional biplane, with wings of unequal length (longer upper wing), a fixed undercarriage, and powered by a BMW VI inverted-V water cooled inline engine with the radiator mounted under the nose.

The KDA-2 was approved for mass production by the Japanese Army, and entered service as the Type 88-I Reconnaissance Biplane. It was armed with two 7.7mm machine guns, one fixed forward firing and one flexibly mounted in the rear cockpit. The Type 88-I was followed by the Type 88-II, which had an improved engine cowling and new tail fin. A total of 707 Type 88-Is and -IIs were produced between 1927 and 1931, for a total of 710 aircraft including the prototypes. The type was also developed into the Type 88 Light Bomber, of which 407 were built. All three models were used during the conflict in Manchuria, and a small number were still in service during the 1937 fighting around Shanghai.

Engine: BMW VI inverted-V water cooled inline engine
Power: 600hp
Wing span: 49ft 2.5in
Maximum Take-off Weight: 6,283lb
Max Speed: 137mph
Armament: One fixed and one flexibly mounted 7.7mm machine gun

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 September 2010), Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_kawasaki_type_88_reconnaissance_biplane.html

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