Mitsubishi B2M


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Mitsubishi B2M

In 1928 Mitsubishi presented to the Imperial Japanese Navy three new types: the Mitsubishi 1MF9 Taka carrier fighter biplane, which featured a French-type avion marin keel; the Type R experimental twin-engine monoplane flying-boat, built also in a civil transport version, both of them based on Rohrbach designs; and the 3MR4 carrier reconnaissance biplane. This last was in reality designed by G. E. Petty, chief designer of the British Blackburn Aeroplane Company, and had been built in the UK. Three development prototypes were constructed subsequently by Mitsubishi, and it was decided that the aircraft would be used primarily as a carrier-based torpedo-bomber. Prolonged difficulties prevented naval adoption of the 3MR4 until March 1932, when it went into service as the Navy Type 89-1 Carrier Attacker or Mitsubishi B2M1.

Powered by a 485kW Hispano-Suiza 12Lb engine, the B2M1 had a maximum speed of 213km/h, and was an equal-span biplane with wide-track landing gear, its crew of three carried in tandem cockpits. Defensive armament comprised one fixed and one movably-mounted 7.7mm machine-gun; and for offensive purposes an 800kg torpedo carried between the main landing gear legs could be supplemented by six light bombs on underwing racks. An improved B2M2 or Type 89-2 appeared in 1934, this having a wing span of 14.98m and a maximum take-off weight of 3600kg, but its overall performance showed little advantage over the B2M1. Production of both versions totalled 204, and they were used extensively for medium- and low-level bombing attacks against Chinese troops during the Shanghai Incident.

 ENGINE1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Lb, 485kW
  Max. speed213 km/h132 mph
 ARMAMENT2 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 800-kg torpedo, 6 bombs

Anonymous, 12.12.2021 19:09

This was actually based upon a successful Blackburn design which was widely used by the British Royal Navy, except that the Japanese version was larger than the original British version in order to carry a crew of three and was powered by a license-built Hispano-Suiza engine. In fact, the first prototype was actually built in Britain and then shipped to Japan and assembled there by a team of British technicians. During the 1920s and 1930s the British provided a great deal of technical assistance to Japanese naval aviation which later turned around to bite them.


Scott Russell, e-mail, 07.03.2008 08:54

Dear Sir or Madam -

I am trying to obtain a photograph of the B2M1 for a public display at the Saipan International Airport. Can you help me acquire a good quality electronic copy?

Scott Russell


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