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  • Writer's pictureroy blewett


The YS-11 project was initiated by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1954 as part of broader efforts to rebuild Japan’s manufacturing capacity following the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951 and the resulting departure of occupying forces. Six manufacturers - Fuji, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, Nippi, Shin Meiwa and Showa - were brought together, initially under the Transport Aircraft Development Association and, from 1 June 1959, as the Nihon Aeroplane Manufacturing Company (NAMC), to design and produce a short- to medium-range airliner for use on Japan’s domestic air routes. The resulting aircraft proved extremely successful and NAMC was able to exploit the aircraft’s position as the only 60-seater on the market, securing nearly half the orders received from outside Japan. The YS-11 enjoyed a small renaissance in the Philippines after commercial flights in Japan ended, but the only operator of the type is currently the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Overall survivor numbers are in sharp decline.

First flight: 30 Aug 62 (c/n 2001, JA8611)

Production: 182, with final assembly by Mitsubishi at Nagoya-Komaki, Japan.

First delivery: 11 Mar 65, to Japan Domestic Airlines (c/n 2002, JA8612)

Last delivery: 1 Feb 64, to Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (c/n 2181, 6906)

Variants: 100 - prototype and initial production version powered by 2 Rolls-Royce RDa.10 Dart turboprops, with seating for up to 60 passengers (47 built, including 4 for JASDF and 1 for JMSDF);

A-200 - developed version of -100 (95 built, including 1 for JASDF and 4 for JMSDF);

A-300 - mixed cargo/passenger version of A-200 with aft cargo door and seating for up to 46 passengers (16 built, including 1 for JASDF);

A-400 - all-cargo version of A-300 (9 built, 7 for JASDF and 2 for JMSDF)

A-500 - higher weight version of A-200 (4 built);

A-600 - higher weight version of A-300 (9 buiilt, including 3 for JMSDF);

Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft have additional designators which signify their role. The 6 YS-11EA/EB aircraft were re-engined with locally-built General Electric T64-IHI-10J turboprops in the late-1990s (these are marked with an asterisk in the list of survivors).

YS-11EA - electronic warfare training

YS-11EB - signals intelligence gathering (converted from YS-11EL at the time they were re-engined)

YS-11FC - flight checker

YS-11M - cargo transport

YS-11NT - navigation training

YS-11P - passenger transport

YS-11T-A - maritime patrol crew training

NAMC YS-11 survivors
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