02/28/2011. The Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd (NAMC) was formed in May 1957 as a joint venture company between the major Japanese aircraft manufacturers, Fuji, Japan Aircraft Manufacturing, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, Shin Meiwa and Showa. Its purpose was to design and build a short haul airliner to meet the needs of the Japanese domestic carriers. The NAMC solution was a fairly conventional low-wing twin turboprop aircraft of rugged construction and capable of carrying 64 passengers in pressurized single class accommodation.
Two flying prototypes (JA8611 c/n 1001, JA8612 c/n 1003, c/n later changed to 2001 and 2002 respectively) and two airframes for static strength testing (c/n 1002) and fatigue testing (c/n 1004) were produced, and powered by two 3,060 shp Rolls-Royce Dart Mk.542-10K turboprops, JA8611 was flown on August 30, 1962. Almost exactly two years later Japanese type certification was granted.
Production examples of the YS-11 started to emerge with the first passenger service being operated by Toa Airways, who acquired four aircraft, in April 1965. Other early deliveries were made to All Nippon (seven aircraft) and Japan Domestic Airlines (eleven aircraft) together with four of a military variant to the JASDF and two to the JCAB. In due course NAMC produced 182 aircraft in the following variants:
YS-11-100, version with a TOGW of 50,265 lb (22,800 kg), 50 built.
YS-11A-200, version with a TOGW of 54,013 lb (24,500 kg) and higher useful load, 94 built.
YS-11A-300, convertible passenger/freight version with port side forward cargo door and 46 passenger seating in mixed configuration, 16 built.
YS-11A-400, all-freight military version without cabin windows for JASDF, 8 built.
YS-11A-500, YS-11A-200 with 55,116 lb (25,000 kg) TOGW and increased useful load, 5 built.
YS-11A-600, YS-11A-300 with 55,116 lb (25,000 kg) TOGW and increased useful load, 9 built.
NAMC was able to penetrate the American market with a sale to Piedmont Airlines, and several other US operators used the YS-11 including Reeve Aleutian, Mid Pacific Airlines and Airborne Express which flew the YS-11 on small package services. Elsewhere, the YS-11 flew with Olympic Airways in Greece, Cruzeiro do Sul and VASP in Brazil and Philippine Airlines.
The 175th and one of the last built, the pictured aircraft was produced for the Japan Coast Guard. It first flew in October 1971 and coded LA702 it was delivered to the Coast Guard on November 30. The aircraft was withdrawn from use after 38 years of service on March 2, 2010.