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
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
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
|Dimensions & Performances||US-2
|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
|Max Take-Off Weight||47.7t||19.9t||41.0t|
|Cruise Altitude||over 6,000m||3,048m||7,986m|
|Wave Height||up to 3m||up to 1.8m||up to 1.2m|
Source: Jane’s encyclopedia of Aviation
Updated Jun 18, 2017
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