ShinMaywa, Yamaha Motors Partner To Develop Next-Gen Small Aircraft

ShinMaywa has procured and assembled a prototype small aircraft to be used in early-stage flight testing.
Credit: ShinMaywa

Japan-based Yamaha Motors and ShinMaywa Industries have signed an agreement to jointly research a new next-generation small aircraft. 

Under the partnership, Yamaha Motors will explore ways to adapt its small-engine technologies to the aviation industry. ShinMaywa will adapt its aircraft engineering technologies and experience in developing flying boats and other aircraft to designing concepts, constructing prototypes, conducting tests and verifying autonomous technology for small aircraft, the companies say. 

The two will use the joint research effort to explore possibilities for commercialization, considering the “direction and future of the project based on market interest and other factors,” they say. 

ShinMaywa manufactures the US-1A and US-2 STOL search and rescue amphibian aircraft capable of open sea landing and takeoff. The aircraft allow the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force to carry emergency patients from outlying islands and rescue victims of disasters at sea, it says. 

ShinMaywa also produces components for Boeing and Airbus commercial airliners and the flaps, spoilers and slats for Bombardier’s Global 7500 and the flaps, ailerons and other components of Gulfstream’s G550. It has procured and assembled a prototype small aircraft to be used in early-stage flight testing, but it did not release other details. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.