The Kawanishi E10K1 Experimental 9-Shi Night Reconnaissance Seaplane was designed to serve as a spotter aircraft with the Japanese fleet, but failed to satisfy in that role, or in its alternative role as a light transport.
In 1934 the Japanese Navy asked Aichi and Kawanishi to produce an improved version of the 6-Shi Experimental Small Night Reconnaissance Flying-boat, a Aichi design that had not lived up to expectations. The specifications called for a small flying boat, stable in flight at low speeds to allow it to operate for long periods of time while serving as a spotter for gunfire and torpedoes in night actions. It also needed to have good water handling characteristics, including the ability to operate in open seas close to the fleet.
Although Kawanishi had experience of designing agile seaplanes, this would be their first internally designed flying boat. Work on the Type T began in January 1934. It was a biplane, using the wings from the Kawanishi E7K Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane ('Alf'), with floats towards the wing tips. It was powered by an air cooled radial engine that was mounted the upper wing, and powered a puller propeller (Aichi used a pusher).
The Type T made its maiden flight on 10 September 1934. It was then delivered to the Navy, where it became the E10K1. It performs badly in Naval tests, where it was found to be unstable both in the air and on the water. This made it unsuitable for use as spotter, and the contract went to Aichi's AB-12, which became the Type 96 Reconnaissance Seaplane.
Kawanishi attempted to make something of the Type T by turning it into a utility transport. In this modified form the aircraft was shorter, with a wider wingspan and slightly larger wings. It was given a more powerful engine, and could carry an extra 1,124lb of cargo. It was also give beaching gear that could simply be rotated out of the way when not needed. One prototype was produced and given the official designation Navy Type 94 Transport, but no production orders followed.
The Navy wasn't entirely happy with the new Aichi aircraft, and in 1936 repeated the same exercise. Once again Kawanishi produced a new design, the Experimental 11-Shi Special Reconnaissance Seaplane E11K1, and once again this was rejected then turned into a transport, this time as the Navy Type 96 Transport.
Stats for 9-Shi Reconnaissance Seaplane
Engine: Kokobuki 1 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Span: 47ft 8.75in
Length: 37ft 2.25in
Height: 14ft 5.25in
Empty weight: 3,681lb
Loaded weight: 6,327lb
Max speed: 128mph
Armament: One flexibly mounted 7.7mm machine gun in nose