Kawanishi Baika (Plum Blossom)

The Kawanishi Baika (Plum Blossom) was a design for a piloted suicide aircraft based loosely on the V1 flying bomb. It was designed by Kawanishi and Professors Ichiro Tani and Taichiro Ogawa of Tokyo Imperial University, and although it was inspired by the German weapon, was an entirely new aircraft. The Baika was designed to be used against the Allied invasion fleets that were soon expected to be appearing off the coast of Japan. It was to be constructed from non-critical materials as much as possible.

The Baika never progressed beyond the design stage, so the final production details were never finalised. It was to be powered by a Maru Ka-10 pulse-jet, which provided 794lb of thrust for an estimated top speed of 460mph. This was based on the plans of the German Argus As 109-014 pulsejet which had reached Japan by submarine. Designs were produced with the engine mounted above the fuselage, as on the V1, or below it. The fuselage itself was similar in shape to the V1, but more curved, and significantly shorter.

The cockpit was mounted at the centre of the aircraft and was better integrated into the fuselage than on manned versions of the V1. It was a low-winged aircraft, a change from the mid-winged layout of the V1. It was to have a jettisonable undercarriage. The Baika was to be armed with a 551lb explosive warhead.

The Baika was selected for production at a meeting held in Tokyo on 5 August 1945. At the same time Kawanishi was ordered to produce one prototype and ten two-seat trainers with landing gear. The design was to be completed by September and production to start in October 1945. A project team was assembled on 8 August and some work did begin, but Japan surrendered on 15 August, and the project was cancelled while still on the drawing board.

Engine: Maru Ka-10
Power: 749lb thrust
Length: 22ft 11 19/32in
Span: 21ft 7 27/32in
Loaded Weight: 3,152lb
Maximum Speed: 402mph at 6,561lb

WWII Home Page | WWII Subject Index | WWII Books | WWII Links | Day by Day

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 March 2015), Kawanishi Baika (Plum Blossom) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_kawanishi_baika.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy