Aichi E16A Zuiun Paul

A captured Aichi E16A1 Zuiun "Paul" shown here in U.S. markings

The design of a twin-float reconnaissance seaplane, to supersede the E13A1 in service, was initiated by Aichi in October 1940. This had the company designation AM-22, and in early 1941 the Imperial Japanese navy drew up a specification based upon this design. The first of three prototypes was flown for the first time during May 1942, but the resolution of stability problems, and of buffeting from the dive brakes occupied 15 months, The navy ordering the E16A1 into production in August 1943 as the Navy Reconnaissance Seaplane Zuiun Model 11.

Of low-wing monoplane configuration, the E16A1 had wings that incorporated trailing-edge flaps, and which could be folded for shipboard stowage. Basic structure was of metal, but the tailplane and wingtips were of wood, and all control surfaces were fabric covered. The single-step floats each included a controllable rudder to assist in on water operation, and the forward mounting strut of the floats incorporated by hydraulically-actuated dive brakes to allow the E16A1 to operate as a dive-bomber. Accommodation for the crew of two was provided in tandem cockpits, enclosed by a long transparent canopy. Powerplant of the proto- type and of early production Zuiun (Auspicious Cloud) aircraft consisted of a 1,300 hp (969 kW) Mitsubishi MK8A Kinsei 51 radial engine driving a three-blade propeller. Later production aircraft used the 1,300 hp (969 kW) MK8D Mitusbishi Kinsei 54 radial engine. A single prototype of an improved E16A2 was being flight tested at the time of the Japanese surrender, powered by a 1,560 hp (1163 kW) Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 62 radial engine.

Production totalled 193 E16A1 production aircraft by Aichi Kokuki KK at Eitoku and 59 E16A1 production aircraft by Nipon Hikoki KK at Tomioka. Unfortunately for the navy, by the time the E16A1 entered service the Allies had gained air superiority and in consequence these aircraft, allocated the Allied codename 'Paul', suffered very heavy losses during 1944. The majority which survived were used for Kamikaze operations in the Okinawa area. 

(Navy Reconnaissance Seaplane Zuiun "Auspicious Cloud" Model 11 - Aichi E16A)

Allied Codename: Paul

Type: Two Seat Long Range Reconnaissance Floatplane

Design: Aichi Kokuki Kabushiki Kaisha Design Team

Manufacturer: Aichi Kokuki KK at Eitoku, 3 E16A1 prototypes (1942), 193 E16A1 production aircraft (Jan 1944-May 1945), 1 E16A2 prototype (1944) and by Nipon Hikoki KK at Tomioka, 59 E16A1 production aircraft (Aug 1944-Aug 1945).

Powerplant: (Prototypes and early production) One Mitsubishi MK8A Kinsei 51 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, rated at 1,300 hp (969 kW) for take-off, 1,200 hp (895 kW) at 9,842 ft (3000 m) and 1,100 hp (820 kW) at 20,340 ft (6200 m). (Late production) One Mitsubishi MK8D Kinsei 54 14-cylinder air-cooled radial, rated at 1,300 hp (969 kW) for take-off, 1,200 hp (895 kW) at 9,842 ft (3000 m) and 1,100 hp (820 kW) at 20,340 ft (6200 m). (E16A2 prototype) One Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 62 14-cylinder air-cooled radial, rated at 1,560 hp (1163 kW) for take-off, 1,340 hp (1000 kW) at 6,890 ft (2100 m) and 1,190 hp (887 kW) at 19,028 ft (5800 m). All aircraft used a three-blade constant-speed metal propeller.

Performance: Maximum speed 273 mph (440 km/h) at 18,045 ft (5500 m); cruising speed 208 mph (335 km/h) at 16,405 ft (5000 m); service ceiling 32,810 ft (10000 m); climb to 9,845 ft (3000 m) in 4 minutes 40 seconds.

Range: Maximum range 1,504 miles (2420 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty 6,493 lbs (2945 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 10,038 lbs (4553 kg).

Dimensions: Span 42 ft 0 1/4 in (12.81 m); length 35 ft 6 1/2 in (10.83 m); height 15 ft 8 1/2 in (4.79 m); wing area 301.40 sq ft (28.00 sq m); wing loading 28.5 lbs/sq ft (139.3 kg/sq m); power loading 6.7 lbs/hp (3.0 kg/hp).

Armament: Two wing mounted 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannon and one flexible rear-firing 13 mm (0.51 in) Type 2 machine-gun plus 551 lbs (250 kg) of bombs carried externally on under fuselage mountings. (Prototype) Two wing mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 97 machine-guns and one flexible rear-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 92 machine-gun plus 397 lbs (180 kg) of bombs carried externally.

Variants: E16A (three prototypes), E16A1 Model 11, E16A2 (single prototype).

Avionics: None.

History: First flight (prototype) May 1942; production (E16A1 Model 11) August 1943; flight testing (E16A2) August 1945.

Operators: Japan (Imperial Japanese Navy)

Units: Kokutais - 301st, 634th and Yokosuka.