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Thread: Rib Stiching technique for Japanese aircraft, do you know it?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Elkhart, Indiana
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    Rib Stiching technique for Japanese aircraft, do you know it?

    I have been asked to research the way Japanese manufacturers rib stitched their fabric aircraft and aircraft surfaces. It has been said they had a different technique, but no one as yet has defined what it was, and how it was done. If you have experience or know of a reference work that tells of it would you please pass it on? The subject aircraft is a KI27.

    Thanks,

    Marty

    King Aero Aviation Inc.
    www.kingaeroaviation.com

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    677
    Marty,

    Are you actually restoring an original Ki-27 trainer/fighter or is it a replica? Either way, that's very cool! I think the allies called it the "Nate".

    They were built by the famous Nakajima Co. as well as the Mansyu Co. Both still exist with Nakajima having an office in LA. They are now manufacturers of plush toys and collectibles--quite the sea-change from famous aircraft producer. Mansyu is now a food processing co. in Japan. You should contact each to find out if any archives exist of their original manufacturing companies. You never know what you may discover by taking that first step and what it might lead to. You could also contact the Smithsonian, they have an incredible array of archival material.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Elkhart, Indiana
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    I received an email from Pete Geiler who had a contact in Japan. The jist of the email was that they followed the American style of construction more so than even the German. The stitching therefore was most likely what we still practice today. I replaied that I assumed silk thread was used vs the cotton thread we used do to the fact cotton was in short supply to them during the war and they did have access to silk. Thank you for responding.
    Marty King

    King Aero Aviation Inc.
    Restoration and Fabric Specialists
    www.kingaeroaviation.com

    Business Phone:574-304-5781
    56632 Boss Blvd.
    Elkhart, Indiana 46516

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    959
    It sounds like you have your answer, but if you need more detail I would suggest that the folks at the National Air & Space Museum likely have the answer. A few years ago I was at the Garber facility and they were restoring a Japanese float plane. I think that it was of the type that could be folded up and carried on a submarine. I recall that the docent who was walking my group around recounted that the museum had hosted visitors from Japan at one point who were very familiar with the aircraft from the time it was constructed and operational and helped provide some details for the restoration.

    And looking at the NASM web site, I see that the airplane is an Aichi M6A1 Seiran and currently on display at the Udvah-Hazy.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

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