Morita Shinzo

森田新造

1911年(明治44年)4月24日、城東練兵場において初めて飛行試験が行われました。その森田式単葉機は、1,200メ-トルを滑走したところで、10メ-トルの高度に達し、円形を描きながら、益々高く上がりました。そこで、一先ず、降下して、着陸しようとしましたが、それまでに、経験がなく、ようやく、着地しましたが、かなりの衝撃を受け、少しその飛行機は壊れましたが、直ぐ手直しをしたそうです。4月27日、いよいよ大勢の見物人の前で初飛行の日がやって来ました。城東練兵場には、多くの新聞記者や大観衆が集まって来ました。そこで、ゆっくり格納庫から出てきた飛行機には、飛行帽を目深にかぶり、眼鏡を掛け、飛行服を着た父、森田新造が操縦桿を握っておりました。飛行機が動き出すと観衆があとを追って、走り始め、自転車も十数台がその後を追いかけました。丁度エンジンの出力を上げ、滑走をはじめようとしたその時に、一台の自転車が前を横切りました。飛行機の翼でその自転車を引っ掛けてしまいましたが、そのまま凡そ1メ-トルばかり上がり、80メ-トル程を飛行して着陸しました。幸い怪我はなかったのですが、私の祖母はもう人様に何かあってはいけないと、懇々諭したため、もう二度と飛行機には乗らなくなったそうです。その次には、模型飛行機の研究をはじめました。日本では始めてだと思われる、大阪の中ノ島公園で模型飛行機の大会を開きました。その大会で審査員をもしたのです。

On April 24, 1911, a test flight was carried out for the first time at Joto parade ground. The Morita-style monoplane reached an altitude of 10 meters after running 1,200 meters and then flew even higher, drawing circles. He then tried to descend and land. Although he had no experience before, he managed to land. It was a hard impact landing and the body of the plane got damaged a little, but he fixed it immediately. And then, April 27 was the first flight day in front of a lot of people. Many newspaper reporters and spectators gathered at the Joto parade ground. The airplane emerged slowly from the hangar, when my father, Shinzo Morita, wearing his flight suit and glasses, with his aviation cap pulled low, was holding a control stick. When the airplane started to move, the spectators ran after it, and so did bicycles. Just when my father increased the engine power output and started to run, a bicycle crossed in front of the plane. The plane picked up the bicycle with one of the wings and went up about one meter high and flew 80 meters and landed. Fortunately, no one got injured, but his mother told him nothing was to happen to anyone and persuaded him not to fly a plane again. Next, he started to study about model airplanes. He held a model airplane competition (probably the first one in Japan) at Nakanoshima Park in Osaka. He was also on the jury at the competition. In 1910, my father visited France en route home from the US. He had a trunk in which he had a frock coat, a tail coat, and a morning coat. Also, his leather hat box had a silk hat and a derby hat. He was a tall man and he escorted beautifully dressed ladies to the Paris Opera House. I guess he enjoyed the life there very much. At that time, a world exposition was held in Brussels, and he attended the Expo as a member of the Japan delegation.
At the Expo, he saw an airplane for the first time in his life and thought it would soon be the age of airplanes. So he returned to Paris and entered a flying training school, where he leaned the theory and techniques of airplanes. There were two Japanese people who were learning at the school, Captain Hino and Captain Tokugawa. My father had flight training with them. He started to think about buying a European airplane and returning to Japan with it. But he had spent too much money in Paris, so he bought only a motor, a propeller from a 45 horsepower Gregorian ship, and a blueprint for the price of 13,000 yen at that time. Soon after returning to Japan with them, he built a hangar of about 11 meters square in Joto parade ground in Osaka. Then, he invited Mitsuzo Onishi, who was knowledgeable about drafting. He showed him the blueprint and thought about the design. He also invited a bowmaker from Tamba district, now a part of Kyoto and Osaka. He asked Noboru Tarao and Kensuke Shimizu to help him as assistants, and made a strongly-built airplane, combining wood and bamboo. It took almost one year to completely build a Morita-style monoplane.

Copyright©Sasaki Shuho Allrights reserved

大阪の城東練兵場で初飛行のため
飛行服一式を着た森田新造

Shinzo Morita worn the flight suit

大阪城東練兵場で日本初の竹と木と英国の布地で製作した
単葉飛行機の前で左より4人目が森田新造です

Shinzo Morita with stuffs made of bamboo and
wood first time in Japan 1911 at Osaka