Experiments with the UF-XS
With the foundation design completed, we found ourselves faced with yet another major, though not technical, challenge: it was necessary to secure funds for the development of our amphibians. We set about publicizing the fact that amphibians are the most effective means of anti-submarine patrolling, in the hopes that the government would place orders with us. Our PR successfully drew the attention of the U.S. Navy, who then invited Kikuhara to Washington, D.C. in 1959. Meeting with high-ranking officers from the Navy, Kikuhara managed to obtain a promise to the effect that the U.S. Navy was prepared to offer all-out support for the project in terms of technology and materials if the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) would make an official request.
Kikuhara replied by saying that he wanted the U.S. Navy to provide one of its amphibians so that he could test the new technology with an experimental plane before setting about the development in earnest.
His request was accepted, and the Grumman Albatross was made available to ShinMaywa.
In 1960, the Defense Agency of Japan (now the Ministry of Defense) decided on a policy concerning the development of a new anti-submarine patrol plane. Meanwhile, having arrived at our Konan Plant in December 1960, the Albatross was remodeled into the UF-XS experimental plane. Featuring the new technology, the UF-XS made a successful maiden flight in December 1962. The JMSDF continued experimentation with the UF-XS until 1964 to confirm its outstanding seaworthiness.