The E11A was planned to a 1936 requirement for a successor to the same company’s E10A as the noctur-nal spotter carried by Japanese battleships and cruisers, and first flew in June 1937. The Aichi prototype was evaluated competitively against the Kawanishi El1K, and ordered into production during April 1938 with the full designation Navy Type 98 Night Recon-naissance Seaplane, and the short designation E11A1 (reconnaissance seaplane, 11th in series, built by Aichi, 1st model). Including prototypes, production up to 1940 amounted to just 17 aircraft, and these saw limited operational service in the opening rounds of Japan’s Pacific campaign in the Second World War.
Of biplane configuration, the two-step hull carried a braced tail unit, with the tail-plane and elevator mounted almost halfway up the fin. Accommodation was provided for a crew of three, and there was an open bow position that could be used during on-water manoeuvres, or mounting a defensive machine gun. Balancer floats were mounted beneath each lower wing, close to the wingtip. The engine was a Hiro Type 91 Model 22 inline engine, mounted at the centre-section of the upper wing, and driving a pusher propeller with spinner.
Engine: 1 x Hiro Type 91 Model 11 inline piston, 620-hp (462-kW)
Maximum speed: 135 mph (217 kph) at 7,875 ft (2,400 m)
Climb to 9,845 ft (3,000 m): 18 min 32 sec
Service ceiling: 14,520 ft (4,425 m)
Range: 1,209 miles (1,945 km)
Weight empty: 4,248 lb (1,927 kg)
Maximum take-off weight: 7,275 lb (3,300 kg)
Wing span: 47 ft 6.5 in (14.49 m)
Length: 35 ft 1.75 in (l0.7lm)
Height: 18ft 0.5 in (5.50m)
Armament: one 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun