Best known for the motorcycles it produces, Yamaha on Tuesday announced a partnership with manufacturer ShinMaywa to study a new-generation light aircraft.
In the agreement, Yamaha will have the task of adapting a small engine for use in aviation while the partner will use its experience with aircraft manufacturing to develop the prototype of the plane.
Born as a division of the Kawanishi Aircraft Company, ShinMaywa is currently a Japanese conglomerate that operates in various transportation sectors and is known for its only plane, the US-2 amphibious model, a four-engine used by the Japanese government.
Japanese manufacturers said they will use their expertise to “explore possibilities for the commercialization of next-generation small aircraft, and take into account the direction and future of the project based on market interest and other factors.”
History linked to aviation
ShinMaywa officially emerged in 1949 as Shin Meiwa Industry Company Limited and resumed production of aircraft in 1952 from Kawanishi after the end of the ban imposed on Japan after the end of World War II.
In 1966, the manufacturer was awarded a government order for an amphibious aircraft, the PS-1, a four-engine propeller plane that first flew in 1974. In 2003, ShinMaywa launched the US-2, a version updated version of the aircraft.
Yamaha is not new to aviation either. In the 1990s, the company created the R-MAX, a small unmanned helicopter for agricultural use. Furthermore, since the 2000s an American company, Mohawk Aero Craft, has adapted Yamaha snowmobile engines for use in gyrocopters.