Section 5. Wartime Research and Production

Item 9. Aircraft Development and Production

Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Aircraft Plant

In January 1943, in a plan separate to the one involving Tokai Hikoki, the army issued a request to Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. to manufacture the Ha-13A-2 aircraft engine. In response, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. established an aircraft plant at Kariya and began production in 1944.1

As a preliminary stage to the production of the Ha-140 water-cooled engine, Tokai Hikoki planned to manufacture the air-cooled engine Ha-13A-2. However, before the establishment of Tokai Hikoki, the army changed its policy and approached Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. with a commission for the production of the Ha-13A-2.

On January 26, 1943, having received the army request, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. issued an order for prototype production of an aircraft engine in the name of the President (Kiichiro Toyoda) and set a goal of producing five prototype units in a period of three months.2 On this basis, preparations started for prototype production and machine processing for the Ha-13A-2 engine began in March of the same year using the Koromo Plant's machining plant and part of the machinery plant. The machine tools were later moved to the Kariya components plant.3 Along with other issues, this meant that the development required some time, but the first prototype was completed in January 1944.

Incidentally, from as early as September 1942, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. had been engaged in production of different types of cooler (water- and lubricant oil-based), exhaust pipes, prototype fuel pumps, and other aircraft engine parts. This was done by adapting manufacturing technology for radiators and other automotive parts. Manufacture was carried out at a disused plant belonging to the Chuo Spinning Company. Because of this, the electrical components plant and the radiator division were moved in August 1943 to the Chuo Spinning Company's Kariya North Plant, which began operation as the Kariya components plant.

As this Kariya components plant was to manufacture the Ha-13A-2 aircraft engine, the automobile radiator division (cooler plant) was moved to the Koromo Plant in September 1943 and the electrical components plant was moved to the Chuo Spinning Company's Kariya South Plant in November. Additionally, operations relating to aircraft engine coolers were transferred to the Chuo Spinning Company's Aichi Plant (Nagoya City), which had been manufacturing aircraft engine exhaust pipes.

In November 1943, when Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. absorbed Chuo Spinning Company, it was decided to use the former Chuo Spinning Company's staff and plant buildings for aircraft production. In January 1944, three plants - the Aircraft Plant, the Aircraft Annex Plant, and the Aichi Aircraft Plant - were established. The background to each plant is summarized below.

  1. 1) Aircraft Plant: before becoming the Aircraft Plant, had been in succession the Chuo Spinning Company Plant, the Chuo Spinning Company Kariya North Plant, and the Kariya components plant.
  2. 2) Aircraft Annex Plant: before becoming the Aircraft Annex Plant, had been the Toyoda Boshoku Corporation Kariya Plant and then the Chuo Spinning Company Kariya South Plant.
  3. 3) Aichi Aircraft Plant: before becoming the Aichi Aircraft Plant, had been in succession the Kikui Boshoku Plant, the Toyoda Boshoku Corporation South Plant, and the Chuo Spinning Company Aichi Plant (later became the Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Nakagawa Plant)

The organizational structure of the Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Aircraft Plant and an outline of its products are shown in Figure 1-1 and Table 1-17.

Table 1-17. Products Manufactured at the Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Aircraft Plant and Aichi Aircraft Plant (1944)

Products Manufactured
Aircraft Plant & Aircraft Annex Plant
Machining of parts for the Ha-13A-2 air-cooled 9-cylinder radial engine and engine assembly
Aichi Aircraft Plant
Exhaust pipes for aircraft engines (for Ki-61 I & II and Ki-67)
Radiators for cooling water (for Ki-61 I & II)
Radiators for lubricating oil (for Ki-61 I & II, Ki-67, Ki-84, Ki-46 II & III and E16A1-11)
Fuel pumps for aircraft engines (for Ki-84, Ki-67, and Ki-46 III)
Intermediate radiators (inter-coolers for exhaust turbine superchargers) (for Ki-74 and Ki-94)
The Ki-61 was the Type 3 Hien fighter. The Ki-67 was the Type 4 Hiryu heavy bomber. The Ki-84 was the Type 4 Shippu fighter. The Ki-46 was the Type 100 headquarters reconnaissance plane. The E16A1 was the Zuiun reconnaissance seaplane. The Ki- 74 was a prototype long-range reconnaissance bomber. The Ki- 94 was a prototype high-altitude fighter that was completed by Tatsuo Hasegawa, who joined Toyota Motor in 1946, during his time as senior designer at Tachikawa Aircraft before the end of the war. The plane was equipped with the Ha-219-Ru engine (uniform designation: Ha 44-12) with an exhaust turbine supercharger.

The Ha-13A-2 engine's raw blanks were manufactured at the Koromo Plant's forging plant and light alloy foundry, where part of the machine processing was also carried out.

Ultimately, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. carried out production of a total of 151 units of the Ha-13A-2 engine in the period up to August 15, 1945, of which 142 were completed models which had passed testing.4

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