The Kawanishi E13K1 Experimental 12-Shi Three-seat Reconnaissance Seaplane was an unsuccessful attempt to design an aircraft to replace the Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane E7K.
In 1937 the Japanese Navy asked Aichi and Kawanishi to produce three-seat long-range reconnaissance aircraft capable of being launched from a catapult but also of operating from shore bases. Kawanishi responded with a low-wing twin-float monoplane of all metal construction apart from the fabric covered control surfaces. The crew of three sat in tandem in a covered cockpit with a greenhouse style canopy that sloped down towards the rear.
The first prototype made its maiden flight on 28 September 1938 and went to the Navy in October for tests against the Aichi E13A1. The Aichi aircraft was faster, easier to maintain and handle on deck, while the Kawanishi aircraft was more manoeuvrable and had a better rate of climb. The maintenance and deck handling problems counted against the Kawanishi design, and the Aichi E13A1 was accepted for production.
Both of the Kawanishi prototypes suffered from accidents. On the first prototype this was triggered by excessive vibration in flight. The second prototype disappeared during a test flight and was never recovered.
Engine: Mitsubishi Kinsei 3 kai fourteen cylinder double-row air-cooled radial engine
Span: 47ft 6.5in
Length: 38ft 5.5in
Height: 14ft 7.25in
Empty weight: 4,784lb
Loaded weight: 7,826lb
Max speed: 218mph
Climb Rate: 9min 14sec to 13,123ft
Service ceiling: 21,948ft
Endurance: 16 hours
Armament: One flexibly mounted dorsal 7.7mm machine gun
Bomb load: One 551lb or four 132lb bombs