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Gas Patch 1/48 IJA Otsu1 Salmson 2A2 WWI 2-Seater Biplane Fighter w/Various Markings Kit

Gas Patch 1/48 IJA Otsu1 Salmson 2A2 WWI 2-Seater Biplane Fighter w/Various Markings Kit

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$55.99 $69.99

Built in large numbers, the French Salmson 2A2 was the most widely used reconnaissance aircraft in the final year of the First World War. So much was the amazement of the Japanese observers in France at its performance that several of these two-seater biplanes were sent to Japan and were later used to train the Japanese aircrew according to the most up-to-date flying techniques. Also, in 1919 the President of the Kawasaki Dockyard Company acquired not only the manufacturing rights to it but also an army contract to build it. This became a reality in 1920 although the Japanese Army was only allowed to manufacture engines. Salmson representatives filed a protest, but the two parties came soon to a mutual agreement and worked in collaboration thereafter.

Otsu-1 was the first Japanese Army-built version of the French Salmson 2A2 produced in 1920. The Japanese-built 2A2 biplanes were almost identical to the original aircraft apart from minor modifications. Both the French and the Japanese experimented on alternative engines; however, due to overheating problems, their production ceased. The modified Type Otsu-1 took part in the Russian Civil War in 1922 and had a wide range of uses including bombing, liaison, light cargo transport and ration re-supply to name just a few. It remained the Japanese Army’s principal reconnaissance aircraft until 1933. After their release from the military service, their popularity rose when they were sold as military surplus to civilian pilots and were used as mail planes.

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