J-HangarSpace

The Go-To Website for
Information on Japanese Aviation

www.j-hangarspace.jp

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JASDF
JGSDF
JMSDF
Japan Coast Guard
Where Are They Now?
Location Reports
Aviation Museums
Doctor-Heli Network
Fire/Disaster Prevention
Police Aviation Units
Japanese Aviation History (to 1945)

A Warm Welcome to J-HangarSpace!

Ashiya T-4 2017

A pair of Kawasaki T-4s from the 13th Flight Training Wing based at Ashiya AB, Fukuoka Prefecture, in
December 2016. One sporting a two-tone grey scheme is joined by a sister aircraft specially painted
for the base air show in October and bearing the slogan
1000 T-4 student pilots graduated to mark a
major unit milestone. The upper fuselage wording was changed from 
ASHIYA AIR SHOW 2016 to
ASHIYA AIR BASE 2017 for the aircraft’s appearances at displays in December.
The photo below shows that the intake marking carried on the starboard side is that of the 1st Sqn
of the 13th FTW; that on the port side is of the wing’s 2nd Sqn. 
(Photo source: JASDF Ashiya AB)
(http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/ashiya/gallery/index.html)

Ashiya T-4 2017 (2)

J-HangarSpace first slid open its doors on June 1, 2013, and the site already houses a wealth of detailed information on a wide range of Japanese aviation topics.

As you will notice from the navigation buttons to the left, the site is primarily devoted to subject matter from the 1950s onwards. Each section features, or will feature, information culled largely from Japanese-language sources, much of which will be appearing in English for the first time. Although some civil aviation topics are included, hangar space is at a premium and thus none is given over to airline operations.

JASDF 60th annivlogoJASDF 60th anninversary logo

Mindful that Japan’s three Self-Defence Forces commemorated their 60th anniversary in 2014, some emphasis is being placed on their formative years. Each SDF section contains a Where Are They Now? guide, providing information on and selected photos from the locations of surviving examples of withdrawn aircraft. A Where Are They Now? Guide by Prefecture is included at the end of the JMSDF page.

Avengers at Tateyama 1954

(Above and below) Around 60 years ago, the supply of U.S. aircraft to the three SDF services was in full swing. These photos were taken at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, on February 12, 1955, when a ceremony was held to mark the official handover of 10 Grumman TBM-3W2 Avengers and 12 North American SNJs to the nascent JMSDF. The event was covered by Sekai no Kōkūki (The World’s Aircraft), a
monthly magazine that had been launched in 1951 but sadly was to cease publication in 1957.
(Photos from April 1955 issue of The World’s Aircraft used with permission of Hobun Shorin Co., Ltd.)

SNJs Tateyama 1954

JGSDF L-5 OitaA rare photo of  a JGSDF Stinson L-5A Sentinel. Assigned to the 4th District Air Unit at Ozuki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, this example was noted at Oita airfield, Oita Prefecture, on November 1, 1955, in the days when security was not a high priority. The JGSDF inherited a motley collection of around 
35 L-5s in four variants from the National Police Reserve, but all had been retired by 1958.
(Photo: Takao Kadokami)

Each service has a page devoted to updates on its current aircraft programmes and projects. One click will ultimately also take site visitors from the homepage to squadron histories and markings or base histories, the latter including contact information. Planned for inclusion over the longer term are aircraft profiles that will focus on the design, development, and operation (including pilot perspectives) of selected indigenous types utilized by these services over the years.

As the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has been more in the news of late, I will be building on the of necessity brief information I included some years ago in an article that appeared the UK magazine Air International. Again, the early days of JCG air operations are worthy of closer scrutiny.

Hardly surprisingly, the air operations of the Japanese prefectural police have received scant coverage overseas. The same can be said of the so-called parapublic operations conducted by fire and disaster prevention air units at the municipal and prefectural levels and the Doctor-Heli emergency medical services (EMS) network; further down the road (in my spare time!), I will be seeking to use this site to redress the balance.

Historical content has thus far spotlighted Japan’s aviation museums, particularly those that have little or no English-language content. One aim here is to provide translations of exhibit information to make museum tours by overseas visitors that much more rewarding.

F-35A JASDF (4)The JASDF’s newest face saw the official light of day for the first time on June 5, 2017,
as covered by a Bulletin Board report.
(Photo: Kenichi Sunohara/Aireview)

As time passes, I hope to be adding more regular news reports to the Bulletin Board started in 2016 that now has a dedicated page. Other exciting site features will be revealed nearer the time.

This is still very much a work in progress, so please bear with me while I continue to add meatier content to the “bare bones” of some sections. An overview of J-HangarSpace operations can be found at the foot of this page.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to click on Contact and send me a completed form.

Thanks for your visit and keep watching this space!

Paul Thompson

Toda, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
January 2017

Japan’s Newest Aviation Museum Visited

Kisarazu Museum KV-107

J-HangarSpace finally manages to find the time to file its latest roving report, from the new aviation museum at JGSDF Kisarazu Army Camp, Chiba Prefecture (link), which was officially opened on February 25, 2017. The collection’s KV-107II-4A is featured in the third Displayed Aircraft Special Report that follows the JGSDF Where Are They Now? section (link). 

Tokorozawa Type 91

Shown above, The Nakajima Type 91 at the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum (TAM), Saitama Prefecture, is historically important for two reasons: as the sole survivor of the around 450 that were produced in two versions and as an example of one of the few Japanese-produced aircraft of the 1930s aircraft that remains in the same condition now as it was then.

For the second feature on its Japanese Aviation History (to 1945) page (link), J-HangarSpace focuses on the work of the little-known Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) Aviation Heritage Archive and some of the aircraft, from the TAM Type 91 to the Misawa Aviation & Science Museum Tachikawa Ki-54 (below), that have received certification under the JAA’s Important Aviation Heritage Asset programme.

Misawa Ki-54 (2)(Photo: Yukio Suzuki, Executive Director, Japan Aviation Journalists’ Association)

New Book Time 2017

F-2B book tsunami

Covering a current JASDF aircraft type from a markedly different angle (of attack), this book charts the project to return to operational service F-2Bs damaged by the March 2011 tsunami. (A review can be found on the Magazines/Books page here link.)

Green Cross surrender aircraft

June 2017 saw the release of a revised and updated version of a book that focuses on seven days in August 1945; from the issue of an order to fly a Japanese delegation to Manila to discuss the surrender terms to their return at the end of the mission. The well-known main aircraft protagonists were two white-painted Betty bombers bearing green cross surrender markings, neither of which was destined to return to base due to technical problems. Information about the book can be found in the Aviation Books: Japanese Language/Historical section here (link). As a taster, colour footage exists on YouTube (link) of the two aircraft arriving at Iejima, Okinawa Prefecture, on August 19, 1945.

Japanese Aero-engines

The latest addition to the section devoted to reviews of English-language books on Japanese aviation history topics is this important April release from Stratus/MMP.

Shiden book cover

New releases from Japanese aviation publishers have been few and far between of late, but this February 2017 offering from DaiNippon Kaiga was well worth the wait. You can find a review in the Japanese Language/Historical section on the Magazines/Books page.

While I Was Away in 2015

TAH14
Every year, work enforces periods of absence from the hangar. During that time in 2015, I was happy to once again assist Japanese aviation historian Kōji Yanagisawa in telling the story of two intrepid aviators who flew a Japanese-designed biplane from Tokyo to Rome in 1931. Aptly enough, the article appears in Issue 14 of The Aviation Historian. A superbly designed and executed quarterly magazine for the discerning reader of more offbeat topics, TAH more than lives up to the wording trumpeted on the cover: The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying.

A banner link to the TAH website appears in the right-hand Notices column of this homepage.

南海の海鷲たち2During the course of 2015, J-HangarSpace compiled a roundup of site-relevant content carried in the major Japanese aviation magazines. In 2017, selected titles will be added to the existing “e-cupboard” of book reviews. These two sections are separated by access information for the Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) library in Tokyo. Visitors’ attention is also drawn to the Bookstall carousel of recommended reading at the foot of this homepage.

JASDF T-34A William T. LarkinsKindly provided by well-known aviation photographer and historian William T. “Bill” Larkins, this shot shows a lineup of factory-fresh, JASDF-bound Beech T-34A Mentors at Oakland Airport, California, in October 1954. A view from another angle, on the Early SDF History chronology page,
 reveals a surprising fact about these aircraft.
(A true aviation photography veteran, Bill Larkins has photographed for posterity thousands of aircraft that have graced the skies, airfields and airports of his native California.
[link]

(All photographs on this website are copyright J-HangarSpace
unless otherwise stated.)

Tokyo Heliport 170208(1)Continuing the theme of the previous report, J-HangarSpace took a tour of Tokyo Heliport on a sunny February afternoon to bring you Location Report 9. Visits to three of the resident operators provided a rare look behind the scenes and offer visitors to J-HangarSpace a taste of the reports and features to come on the pages covering the Police Aviation Units, Fire/Disaster Prevention and the Doctor-Heli Network.

JCG Haneda hangarMany passengers travelling on the Tokyo Monorail that connects Tokyo International
(Haneda) Airport with the city’s Hamamatsucho Station will have caught sight of an
unassuming hangar close to Seibijo (‘maintenance area’) Station emblazoned with
the name Japan Coast Guard above the doors. Thanks to a fortunate chain of
events, J-HangarSpace was recently able to join a 15-strong group that was
granted a tour of the facility for Location Report 8

Kawaguchiko G4M2 nose(3)Every August, the Zero Fighter Museum (Kawaguchiko Aviation Hall) in Yamanashi Prefecture offers the general public a time-limited chance to check on the status of its restoration projects and other treasures. J-HangarSpace’s report focuses on the collection’s unique restored/reverse-engineered fuselage of
a Mitsubishi G4M2 Betty bomber.
 

Kasumigaura PI CenterOf all the displays at the JGSDF Public Information Center at Kasumigaura Army Camp in Ibaraki Prefecture, perhaps the most fascinating are those covering its time as an Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force (IJNAF) base.
The June 2014 addition to the Aviation Museum page reveals more. 

Memorial Hall frontMarking a slight departure from the normal coverage, the May 2014 Location Report 7 had J-HangarSpace joining a group tour of the Ministry of Defense compound in Tokyo.

Atsugi P-1 5503Location Report 6 was from the 2014 Spring Festival at the U.S. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi. There J-HangarSpace was able to photograph Kawasaki P-1
patrol aircraft on the ground and, an added bonus, in the air.
 

Kumagaya CH-47J (3)Part air show report, part museum visit, J-HangarSpace’s fifth Location Report came from the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Kumagaya AB in Saitama Prefecture.

ShusuiIn February 2014, the museum collection at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Komaki South Plant became the fifth to be visited by J-HangarSpace. Among the gems on display are a restored J8M1 Shusui interceptor and A6M5 Zero Type 52 fighter.
(Note: This facility has been closed since June 2017 pending refurbishment/relocation.)

J79 close-upRecognize this engine? J-HangarSpace’s fourth aviation museum report came from the
collection entrusted to Mitsu Seiki Co., Ltd., a company that has carved itself several
niches in the precision engineering industry from its base in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture.

US-1A landsOne of the JMSDF’s two remaining ShinMaywa US-1A rescue amphibians returned to its birthplace for the last time in February 2014. J-HangarSpace was present to witness two days of test flying that involved takeoffs and landings at sea
for Location Report 4.

oyabe kv-107 (3)
To mark the 60th anniversary of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, J-HangarSpace conducted a census of retired SDF aircraft. See the end of the JGSDF Where Are They Now? page for details of two early results from the census.
(Photos: CROSSLAND OYABE [above], Herb World Akita [below])

Herb World Akita UH-1H

test1

J-HangarSpace’s last feature of 2013 covered a special exhibition at the well-known Tokyo home of a Mitsubishi Zero fighter, the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park. Part of the Japan Aeronautic Association’s centenary celebrations, the exhibition showcased some fascinating memorabilia and evocative images from bygone eras of Japanese civil aviation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


asakaus-1a
This JMSDF ShinMaywa US-1A rescue amphibian was one of 50 aircraft that took part in the flypast at the 2013 SDF Review ceremony. See Location Report 3
for more details.

gyodat-1b6The October 2013 addition to the aviation museum section involved a visit to the Subaru service centre that has a Fuji T-1B as its very own gate guard.

yoyogi11Kumazo Hino steps out of Yoshitoshi Tokugawa’s shadow in J-HangarSpace’s debut Japanese aviation history topic (here). The article reports from the monument to the
two men instrumental in sowing the seeds of Japanese aviation development by
being the first to fly heavier-than-air machines in the country. 

Overview of J-HangarSpace Feature Operations

Temporarily under tarp in corner of hangar: Tokorozawa Aviation Museum guide
Parts in process: The run-up to and early days of the Self-Defense Forces
JASDF Squadron Histories (Part 2)
JMSDF Squadron Histories (Part 2)

2017

Oct. Displayed Aircraft Special Report 3: JGSDF Kisarazu KV-107II-4A
  Review of book on F-2B added
Sept. Museum Visit 8: Kisarazu Army Camp Museum 
Apr. Second feature for Japanese Aviation History (pre-1945) page:
Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) Aviation Heritage Archive and
Important Aviation Heritage Asset certifications 
Feb. Location Report 9: Tokyo Heliport
Jan. First JMSDF Squadron Histories (Sqn Nos. 1-31) uploaded

2016

Dec. Location Report 8: Japan Coast Guard Haneda Air Station
  Bulletin Board moved from homepage to dedicated page
Sept. Reviews of books on X-2 and F-104J/DJ added
Apr. Interim JGSDF Squadron Histories page uploaded
Mar. SDF Orders of Battle pages updated
Feb. JCG says sayonara to its final Bell 212  (see Aircraft Data File)
  Feature on Hien restoration project added, combined with news of Kakamigahara Aerospace Science Museum refurbishment plans
Jan. Aircraft programmes updated

2015

Dec. Magazines/Books page updated
June Fifth JMSDF base history (Kanoya) added
Feb. Japan Coast Guard Aircraft Data File (Ver1.0) added
Jan. Sample JASDF base histories (Akita, Ashiya) added
  Magazines/Books page launched

2014

Dec. Principal JASDF fighter squadron histories/markings added
Nov. Museum Visit 7: Zero Fighter Museum (Kawaguchiko Aviation Hall)
June Where Are They Now? by prefecture guide added (here)
  Museum Visit 6: JGSDF Kasumigaura Public Information Center
May Location Report 7: Japan Ministry of Defense, Tokyo
  JMSDF Aircraft Profiles/Nose to Tail photos: Kawasaki P-1
  Location Report 6: U.S. NAF Atsugi (Kawasaki P-1)
Apr. Location Report 5: Cherry Blossom Festival, Kumagaya AB
  Displayed Aircraft Special Report 2: Herb World Akita’s UH-1H
  Report from MHI/Nagoya Aerospace Systems’ Komaki Plant museum
Mar. Report from Mitsu Seiki museum collection, Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture
  Location Report 4: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Kobe (US-1A)
Feb. Displayed Aircraft Special Report 1: Crossland Oyabe’s KV-107II

2013

Dec. Special report from National Museum of Nature & Science, Tokyo
Nov. Chronology of Events (Ver 1.0) added to Early SDF History page
Oct. Location Report 3: SDF Review ceremony, Asaka
  Report on preserved Fuji T-1B added to Aviation Museums (see above)
  Prototype Japanese Aviation History article (see above) completed
Sept. Location Report 2: Gunma Heliport, Maebashi
  Report from Tokyo Fire Museum filed under Aviation Museums
  Location Report 1: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Kobe (US-2)

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Bookstall: Hangar Manager’s Recommendations

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Soredemo Watashi Wa Tobu (They Flew Regardless: Pictorial Mementos of Aviation in Japan, 1909–1940)
Kugisho E14Y Glen: The Aircraft That Bombed America
Japanese Experimental Aircraft of the Pacific War
Buruu Inparusu: Kurosawa Eisuke Shashinshu (Blue Impulse: Eisuke Kurosawa Photo Collection)
Nippon Kaigun Kanjo Bakugekiki Suisei (Suisei: IJN Carrier-Based Bomber)
Notices

Announcements

JASDF
2017 Airshow Dates
Mar. 5  Komaki
Apr. 2  Kumagaya

JASDF Hofu-Kita

May 21  Hofu-Kita
May 21  Shizuhama

Miho poster 2017

May 28  Miho
July 23  Chitose
Aug. 27  Matsushima
Sept. 10  Misawa
Sept. 18  Komatsu
Oct. 1  Akita

Oct. 15  Hamamatsu
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. 19  Gifu
Nov. 25  Kasuga
Nov. 26  Tsuiki
Dec. 3  Nyutabaru
Dec. 9-10  Naha

2018 Airshow Dates
Feb. 18  Ashiya
Mar. 3  Komaki
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. *  Hyakuri

JGSDF
2017 Airshow Dates

Kisarazu 170225

Feb. 25  Kisarazu

Metabaru 2017

Apr. 1  Metabaru
(Cherry Blossom
    Festival on Apr. 2)

Somagahara 170408

Apr. 8  Somagahara
Apr. 9  Takayubaru

Apr. 16  Kasuminome
   (60th anniversary)

Utsunomiya 170416

Apr. 16  Utsunomiya
   (67th anniversary
   with parade/flypast)
May 21  Kasumigaura
   (64th anniversary)
May 28
    Kita-Utsunomiya
   (44th anniversary)
June 25  Okadama
Sept. 2  Obihiro

Kisarazu poster 2017

Sept. 10  Kisarazu
Oct. 15  Yao
Nov. 4  Akeno
Nov. 19  Naha
Nov. 23  Tachikawa

2018 Airshow Dates
Jan. 7  Kisarazu
Jan. 14  Narashino 

JMSDF
2017 Airshow Dates
Apr. 29  NAF Atsugi
Apr. 30  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(joint Friendship Day)
May 21  Omura
June 10  Ohminato
July 16 Komatsushima

Ozuki event July 2017

July 23  Ozuki
  (Children’s event)
July 29  Maizuru
July 29  Tateyama
Sept. 24  Hachinohe
Sept. 30  Tokushima
Oct. 7  Shimofusa

Ozuki Swell 2017

Oct. 22  Ozuki
  (“Swell Festival”)

(*) Date to be confirmed

(Please note that air show dates are subject to change/cancellation.)


Links

The Aviation Historian

Japan Association of Aviation Photo-
graphers
 (JAAP, Japanese only)

Asian Air Arms

Visitors
(from Feb. 2016, earlier shown below)

Visitors to Feb. 2016

Past visitors