Japan ShinMaywa US-2-amphibian aircraft

It is derived from the similarly looking US-1 (for sometime the -2 was called US-1kai – for improved) that first flew in the ’70s. It may look similar to older amphibious aircrafts (even the WWII era ones) but the US-2 is a highly advanced aircraft, adapted to its role of maritime patrol, search and rescue and firefighting.


The US-2 has slightly larger wingspan than a Bombardier 415 but it is quite longer and with four Rolls-Royce AE 2100 turboprops that produce 4.600shp each is almost 4 times as powerful. It has state of the art subsystems that include fly-by-wire flight control system, a full glass cockpit and pressurized cabin, necessary for its cruising altitude of 20.000ft.

4 x Rolls-Royce AE 2100 turboprops


Four Rolls-Royce AE 2100 turboprops that produce 4.600shp each


A significant characteristic of the US-2 is the boundary layer control system that provides the aircraft with excellent STOL capabilities. You can see the general layout in the very cartoonish diagram above (I can’t imagine a non-Japanese company to have graphics as cool as these!). There is a dedicated turbine (a converted LHTEC T800 helicopter turboshaft) that provides flow through a system of pipes and ducts. The momentum that is introduced in the blown flaps and high-lift surfaces keeps the boundary layer attached and diverts the flow downwards thus providing lift in speeds where normally the wing should stall. Source: Robot Pig

Technological features / equipment

In addition to better cruising performance, the US-2 features numerous improvements over its predecessor US-1 for safe operations even during inclement weather.


1. Electronic integrated instrument panel

Digitalized meters are integrated into one LCD panel

2. Pressurized cabin

For high-altitude flights above low-pressure areas to ease stress on patients

3. “Fly-by-wire (FBW)” control system

Computer-controlled flight system enhances safety and flight controllability

4. High-powered engines / propellers using the latest designs

5. Outstanding seaworthiness

6. Takeoff / landing on water at extremely low speeds

Outstanding Seaworthiness

ShinMaywa’s original spray suppressor and spray strip realize excellent seaworthiness, thereby preventing damage to airframes when landing on water. Together with its capability to cruise at extremely low speeds, the US-2 can take off and land on water with waves up to three meters high. Source: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Japan


① Spray suppressor


② Spray strip


Fire Fighting

With modifications, the US-2 can carry 15 t of firefighting water and fire extinguishers, which is equivalent to the amount that about 21 ordinary firefighting helicopters can carry. The STOL aircraft can drop water with pinpoint accuracy on the area where a fire has spread.


By taxiing on the surface of the water (ocean, etc.) for approx. 20 seconds, the 15 tons water tank can be filled up. In case of a major fire, the US-2 can scoop up water to repeatedly extinguish fires. Source: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Japan

Other Information


US-2 Specifications

Dimensions & Performances US-2
Length 33.3m
Wing Span 33.2m
Height 9.8m
Engine Rolls-Royce AE2100Jx4
Propeller Dowty R414
Max Take-Off Weight/Distance 47.7t / 490m
Max Landing Weight/Distance 47.7t / 1,500m
Max Take-Off Weight/Distance (on water) 43.0t / 280m
Max Landing Weight/Distance (on water) 43.0t / 330m
Range over 4,500 km
Cruise Altitude More than 6,000m
Cruise Speed More than 480km/h
Max Speed More than 560km/h

Amphibians around the World

There are three major types of amphibians in the world: US-2 of Japan, CL-415 of Canada, Be-200 of Russia. Although they vary in size and features, a comparison of their performance will reveal the US-2’s superiority.


Major Specifications Comparison

Dimensions & Performances US-2
Power Plant Four-turboprop Twin-turboprop Twin-turbofan
Length 33.3m 19.8m 31.4m
Wing Span 33.2m 28.6m 32.8m
Max Take-Off Weight 47.7t 19.9t 41.0t
Range over 4,500km 2,426km 3,300km
Cruise Altitude over 6,000m 3,048m 7,986m
Cruise Speed 480km/h 278km/h 560km/h
Take-Off Distance
(on water)
280m 808m 1,000m
Landing Distance
(on water)
330m 665m 1,300m
Wave Height up to 3m up to 1.8m up to 1.2m

Source: Jane’s encyclopedia of Aviation

ShinMaywa US-1


Updated Jun 18, 2017

Follow us on FB World Military Forum


One thought on “Japan ShinMaywa US-2-amphibian aircraft

  1. Pingback: India, Japan to finalise aircraft pact during Shinzo Abe’s India visit | thaimilitaryandasianregion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s