Military Review

The most expensive seaplane in the world. ShinMaywa US-2 (Japan)

Today in the world there are not many countries that can develop and produce seaplanes, but Japan is one of them. Currently, the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Forces use ShinMaywa US-2 multi-purpose amphibious aircraft for their needs. As part of the marine aviation fleet there are five such aircraft. In 2013, the Japanese government funded the purchase of the sixth ShinMaywa US-2 seaplane worth 12,5 billion yen (about $ 156 million), which makes the US-2 the most expensive amphibious aircraft in the world.

At present, this seaplane is actively moving forward for export, and there is interest in it on the international market. Subject interest in the seaplane show India, Indonesia and Thailand. India was the closest to the purchase, the Japanese seaplane won the tender for the supply of an amphibious search and rescue aircraft in 2014, in total, India could purchase such aircraft from 6 to 15, but the deal has not been concluded so far. In January, 2017 showed that official Delhi scared the cost of a Japanese seaplane, which ShinMaywa called the best in the world, is worth mentioning. In terms of seaworthiness, none of the modern production seaplanes can argue with the Japanese development.

Interest in the rescue version of the ShinMaywa seaplane US-2 in June 2016 of the year was shown by Thailand. In the same year, but in August, representatives of the Indonesian Defense Ministry held a meeting with their Japanese counterparts to discuss the purchase of military products, including the amphibian US-2. Indonesia was also interested in this plane in the aspect of conducting search and rescue operations at sea. At this circle of potential buyers of the Japanese seaplane so far ends.

ShinMaywa Industries has quite a long time. history and vast experience in creating amphibians for various purposes and sizes. The company was founded in 1949 year, while it became the heir of another Japanese aircraft manufacturer - Kawanishi Aircraft Company, which by that time had already become famous for its large flying boats, turning into a versatile industrial conglomerate and one of the flagships of Japanese industry. During the Second World War, it was the main supplier of flying boats for the Japanese military, its engineers had designed a giant seaplane H8K "Emily", which was recognized as one of the best flying boats of those years.

Since then, ShinMaywa has successfully retained its unique specialization in the field of hydroaviation. It is worth noting that this is a fairly narrow niche on a global scale. In 1962, the company began testing an experimental four-engine turboprop flying boat UF-XS (brand designation SS1), which was distinguished by the presence of an innovative boundary layer control system on the wing. In the UF-XS flying boat, a two-jet wing with slats and two-section flaps with a boundary layer blowing system was used. The implemented system of blowing the boundary layer provided the aircraft with better control at low flight speeds, including during takeoff and landing. To increase the stability of the wing floats were installed. The boundary layer blow-off system is still a proprietary feature of the ShinMaywa seaplane. The developer of the UF-XS aircraft was the creator of the former large amphibious aircraft from Kawanishi, Shizuo Kukihara.

After that, on the order of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces on the basis of the UF-XS, a large antisubmarine four-propulsion turboprop flying boat PS-1 (brand designation SS2) was created and mass-produced. From 1967 to 1978, the 23 aircraft of this type were assembled in Japan. Based on this seaplane, a US-1 / US-1A (SS2A) search and rescue version was created, it was mass-produced from 1975 to 2004, during which time 20 aircraft were built, only by the end of 2017 of the year . The new ShinMaywa US-2 flying boat is the most modern modernization of the US-1A aircraft.

Work on the further development of the US-1A seaplane was launched in Japan in the 1996 year. In the course of these works, the ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious search and rescue aircraft appeared (it originally wore the designation US-1A Kai; the company designation of SS3). The aircraft, designed for the Japanese fleet, is produced literally by the piece. From 2004 to 2017, Japanese naval aviation received two experienced and five production aircraft, the US-2. Funding for the sixth aircraft in the amount of 156 million dollars was made in 2013 year. In this case, one of the serial seaplane crashed 28 April 2015 of the year. As part of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, amphibious aircraft US-2 are in service with the 71 search and rescue squadron of the 31-wing of the fleet aviation, they are based on the air bases in Atsugi and Iwakuni.

One of the reasons for the intensification of work on the creation of an upgraded version of the four-engine seaplane US-1A was the lack of funding for the creation of a new amphibious aircraft US-X. The assembly of the first prototype of the new aircraft began in the year 2000. 22 April 2003 at the Konano Aviation Plant near Kobe held the official rollout ceremony of the first prototype. In addition to the prototypes, two fuselages of an amphibian designed for static tests were also created. The first flight of ShinMaywa US-2 made 18 on December 2003 of the year, it lasted only 15 minutes. Official military trials began in April 2004, with the 2007, the aircraft is mass-produced.

The aircraft received a completely sealed cockpit, more powerful engines Rolls-Royce AE2100J, developing the power of the 4600 hp. each, the crew cabin received new equipment. The “glass cabin” principle has been implemented, the crew members have modern LCD panels. A large number of improvements have been made to the design of the aircraft, making it possible to expand the possibility of its use in inclement weather (based on the operating experience of the predecessor aircraft). The design of the wings was also changed, with fuel tanks integrated into them. In addition, US-2 is the only seaplane in the world with a boundary layer control system (Boundary layer control, BLC), which employs an additional LHTEC T800 engine with an 1364 hp power. Thanks to this system, the aircraft can fly at very low speeds (of the order of 90 km / h) and take off and land from the water, being content with a very short distance for this.

The most expensive seaplane in the world. ShinMaywa US-2 (Japan)

Amphibian ShinMaywa US-2 is a four-engine cantilever high-wing with a straight wing, to increase stability on the water on it there are floats, and a T-shaped tail. The fuselage is a tight all-metal type of semi-monocoque. The installation of the new Rolls-Royce AE2100J turboprop engines has increased cruising and maximum aircraft speed The aircraft can accelerate in the sky to 560 km / h, cruising speed is more than 480 km / h. At the same time, it can cover distances greater than 4500 km. Japanese seaplane is big enough. The maximum length of the US-2 is 33,3 meters, the wingspan is 33,2 meters, the maximum take-off weight is 47,7 tons. In size and weight, it exceeds its two main competitors - mass-produced seaplanes CL-415 (Bombardier) (Canada) and Be-200 (Russia). But very soon he will give way to the championship of another production model - the Chinese amphibian aircraft AG600which made its first flight 24 December 2017 of the year.

A distinctive feature of the US amphibious aircraft US-2 is excellent seaworthiness. This is the only aircraft in the world that can take off and land on the water when the sea is rough at 5 points and the height of the waves - 3 meters. The manufacturer emphasizes the fact that the aircraft can be operated at wave heights up to the height of the aircraft itself (the height of the US-1 is 3 meter) up to 2 / 9,8. This is especially important for the search and rescue machine, which is designed to help and save lives, even in harsh conditions. For comparison, the Be-200 can only be used at wave heights up to an 1,2 meter.

Indicative is the participation of US-2 in the Indian tender for an amphibious search and rescue aircraft, which the Japanese seaplane won in 2014, although the supply contract has not yet been concluded. In addition to US-2, the Canadian company Bombardier Aerospace with the Bombardier 415 aircraft, Rosoboronexport OJSC and TANTK named after G.M. Beriev ”with the Be-200 aircraft and the American firm Dornier Seaplane Company, which proposed an updated draft of the SeaStar CD2 aircraft. As experts noted, with the appearance in the Indian tender of the Japanese US-2, its result was foreshadowed in favor of the latter. The reason is the fact that the US-2 amphibious aircraft from ShinMaywa has outstanding takeoff and landing characteristics due to the use of a unique wing boundary layer control system on the wing driven by an additional fifth engine and excellent seaworthiness, superior to its competitors. A Japanese seaplane with a take-off weight of 43 tons is able to take off from the water with a takeoff of just 280 meters and land with a run - 330 meters.

In addition to the existing US-2 amphibious search and rescue variant, ShinMaywa has also been promoting two other aircraft types to the market since the 2006 - the passenger version (capacity from 38 to 42 seats) and the fire-fighting option. A seaplane can safely be called a multi-purpose, after minor upgrades it can be used for transporting passengers and cargo, transporting the wounded and injured, patrolling the ocean and using it to help those who are injured in emergency situations. In 2010, the aircraft manufacturer declared the cost of a flying boat in the “commercial” version at the level of 7 billion yen (about 90 million dollars).

Flight technical characteristics of ShinMaywa US-2:
Overall dimensions: length - 33,3 m, height - 9,8 m, wing span - 33,2 m, wing area - 135,8 m2.
Empty weight - 25 630 kg.
Maximum take-off weight - 47 700 kg.
The power plant - 4 TVD Rolls-Royce AE2100J with power 4600 hp each.
Auxiliary power unit - LHTEC T800 power 1364 hp
The maximum speed is 560 km / h.
Cruising speed - 480 km / h.
Practical range - more than 4500 km.
Practical ceiling - 7195 m.
Allowable wave height (seaworthiness) - 3 m.
Takeoff run (take-off from water) - 280 m.
Run length (landing on water) - 330 m.
Passenger capacity - 20 man or 12 injured on a stretcher.
Crew - 3 person.

Information sources:
Open source materials
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. m.cempbell
    m.cempbell 2 February 2018 06: 54
    A strong competitor to our and Canadians, but very expensive.
    1. Evdokim
      Evdokim 2 February 2018 08: 56
      Quote: m.cempbell
      A strong competitor to our and Canadians, but very expensive.

      Well, the stake is very expensive, that means it’s not such a competitor. Service, spare parts are expensive, but this is a serious argument. hi
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 2 February 2018 06: 55
    Yes, nothing particularly outstanding, except for the price, of course!
  3. shuravi
    shuravi 2 February 2018 09: 28
    He did not become the progenitor of the Chinese AG600?
    1. Dead duck
      Dead duck 2 February 2018 12: 07
      Quote: shuravi
      He did not become the progenitor of the Chinese AG600?

      called - find the differences laughing
      They have been talking about this for a long time ... request
  4. cormorant
    cormorant 2 February 2018 09: 48
    How low he sits and how he manages not to break his belly when landing ...
    1. FID
      FID 2 February 2018 12: 38
      This is a boat ...
  5. san4es
    san4es 2 February 2018 10: 52
    hi .Video to the article
    .ShinMaywa STOL US-2 and US-1A

    November 2012
    1. Des10
      Des10 2 February 2018 12: 03
      Here you always have awesome videos!
      1. san4es
        san4es 2 February 2018 15: 21
        ... Thank you ... Hand full angry wink
      2. san4es
        san4es 5 February 2018 23: 00
        hi... Austrian drift.
        During the Scalaria Air Challenge, this seaplane managed to travel from 97 knots to a total stop of just 265 feet and even added about 360 rpm at the end of the stunt landing, like a cherry on top.

        Sep 2 2015 year
    2. masterovoy
      masterovoy 5 February 2018 19: 29
      In the video, in accordance with the "Classification of wind power, sea waves" the sea is only 2 points, and this is the strength of the Be-200. I would like to see the landing of Japanese and Chinese aircraft with a wave of 5 points, when the wave height, in accordance with the same international classification of 2,5 - 4,0 m, and the whole sea is covered with white lambs?
      1. san4es
        san4es 5 February 2018 22: 07
        Quote: masterovoy
        .. aircraft with a wave of 5 points, when the wave height, in accordance with the same international classification of 2,5 - 4,0 m,,

        hi ... They’re better next to the “passenger” soldier

        ShinMaywa (formerly Shin Meiwa) US-2 is the STOL Japanese large amphibious aircraft designed for aircraft rescue (SAR) operations. The aircraft is currently operated by the 31st Air Fleet (71st Air Force, 71st Squadron) at Ivakuni Air Base and Atsugi Air Base. US-2 planned to replace with older ShinMaywa US-1

        .... $$ from tourists will receive $$ /
        And then they will fly bully
  6. prodi
    prodi 2 February 2018 12: 49
    It sits and takes off beautifully, but if the truth is the most expensive, then they could have made a “seagull wing” and bent down wingtips with floats, instead of this squalor.
    1. FID
      FID 2 February 2018 13: 25
      What for? It flies and flies well ... The wingtips were invented to reduce stall, and the Japanese decided this problem differently ...
      1. prodi
        prodi 2 February 2018 14: 27
        bendable wingtips with floats instead of underwing floats afloat
        1. FID
          FID 2 February 2018 16: 06
          Ah ... At first I didn’t understand, is it like Be-12th? Well, he (Be-12) has less seaworthiness, and the designer probably considered the strength of the wing ... Yes, and about the wing - the height of this car is about 2-plus meters more than that of the 12th, so the Chaikino wing and not needed - motors high from the water ...
          1. prodi
            prodi 2 February 2018 17: 12
            Be-12 floats are also common. I meant bending hydraulics (like flaps, but across) at the current place of attachment afloat, and straightened in flight: it would add speed, range, and it’s better to land on the ground without such suspensions. But on the wing, in comparison with the Be-12, there are engines below. I would have thought in their place
  7. NF68
    NF68 2 February 2018 16: 45
    + + + + + + + + + +
  8. Falcon5555
    Falcon5555 2 February 2018 16: 46
    State-of-the-art airplane - at the art level. We would like that - both civilian and military, and the Ministry of Emergencies.
  9. Turist1996
    Turist1996 3 February 2018 01: 27
    Wretchedness .. Of the advantages, only the system of blowing off the boundary layer. But the old-time idea is presented as awesomely revolutionary.
    At this cost, you can at our TANTK them. Berieva to resume production of the A-40 - a much better machine than this misunderstanding ..

    Cant again - who is the author of the article ?! Moderators, no author - delete the article from the site !!
    1. masterovoy
      masterovoy 5 February 2018 19: 31
      You are absolutely right!!!
  10. rubin6286
    rubin6286 3 February 2018 12: 32
    The article is interesting and quite detailed. Shin Maiva, the seaplane is definitely good. The point is not so much in its performance characteristics, which by the way are completely outstanding, but in what are the possibilities of its design used in solving specific problems.
    At the end of the 70s, as part of the officers' study of the Foreign Armies course, we were shown a secret film about the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. I saw this plane in it and its capabilities made an indelible impression on me.

    His saving option was shown.

    1. The plane lands on water. A large hatch opens at the top of the fuselage. There are 4 specialists who, using special equipment, assemble some kind of structure. Then this design is inflated with some kind of gas (I think helium) and becomes a twin-engine mini-airship. Two specialists sit in it, unhook, start the engines and rise into the air. The airship rises to a height of about 50-70 meters and, having flown 200-300 meters from the plane, it approaches a small ship, from which several people rushed into the water, imitating people in distress. The airship sank and lowered the net into the water. People swam to the net and ended up in it. The airship took off and delivered them to the plane, through the upper hatch opened on it.

    2. 2 small motorized catamaran boats unloaded by a specialist were unloaded from an airplane landing on water. They approached the ship in distress, removed the crew from it and delivered it to the plane.

    There are no machines with such equipment and design capabilities in our aircraft to this day. If they were, the crew of the Komsomolets submarine, who died in ice water without special equipment, would probably have been saved. It seems to me that today it’s worth discussing not so much about the economic component of the project, but about the stagnation of design thought, the lack of creative inspiration, and the feeling of new in design bureau. Icebreakers and container ships are being built, operation of the Northern Sea Route begins, and emergency situations in the ice of the North are quite possible where such machines could be useful. Let not a plane, but a nuclear submarine of a special design, on board which could accommodate such a helicopter as the Kiowa (USA). The speed of the underwater course of the boat is higher than that of the surface vessel and it will be able to quickly approach the emergency site and provide assistance. The ekranoplane monster rusted with PU missiles is rusting in the Caspian Sea, seaplanes and small ekranoplanes, expensive and not in demand by business, are being created with some kind of artel, and there are no necessary models of rescue equipment (at least such as the Japanese).
    1. andrey-ivanov
      andrey-ivanov 3 February 2018 16: 34
      As a person with and operating a marine specialty, I can say the following: the vast majority of emergencies at sea occur in bad weather conditions. With a wave height of 2-3 meters and a wind speed (well, at least) of 10 m / s, launching some kind of airship or boat from the side of a splashed plane will be VERY problematic. And given how deep this pepelats sits in the water, there are strong doubts that he is capable of performing “body movements” on the surface of the sea to save anyone other than himself with a 3-meter wave. No, I do not claim that the car as a whole is bad. But some statements regarding the characteristics are given away by "advertising."
      1. Laughtermaster
        Laughtermaster 12 February 2018 23: 46
        With ekranoplanes the same problem. I remember a long time ago in the news they showed a rescue operation at sea. So there, in order to evacuate the crew, a dozen large vessels stood around the perimeter, protecting from the storm. But the Indians are special, they have yoga and Kama Sutra to help at sea.