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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi G4M bomber, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber
Nickname: Hamaki (cigar), Flying Cigar, Flying Lighter
Allied code name: Betty

Photos

  • Mitsubishi Type 01 bomber
  • Mitsubishi Type 01 bomber
  • Mitsubishi G4M Model 34 bomber
  • Mitsubishi G4M Model 34 bomber
  • Mitsubishi G4M bomber
  • Mitsubishi G4M bomber

Design

The Mitsubishi G4M was designed by Kiro Honjo in 1937 to meet a requirement for a long range land bomber for the Imperial Japanese Navy.1,2,4,7 It was to fly at 9,845'7/10,000' at 2477/250 mph and have a range of 2,300/2,3027 miles while carrying a torpedo.4

The G4M was to replace the Navy Type 96 Attack Bomber.7

Initially the Navy called for engines with 1,000 HP each, but it was found that they wouldn't be able to power the aircraft to meet the performance requirements.7 A pair of Mitsubishi Kasei 14 cylinder engines were fitted.7

To save weight for the addition of fuel, the G4M had no armor to protect it's fuel tanks.3,7 It carried 1,078 gallons of fuel in the wings.7

Cockpit

The pilots sat next to each other in the cockpit and had an escape hatch in the roof.1 The navigator was below and to the rear of them.1

Vulnerable Fuel Tanks

After starting to attack Port Moresby, New Guinea the G4M1s started to encure greater losses as Allied fighters were more prevelant than before.7 This lead to the need for better protected fuel tanks.7

G4M2

Had the blisters on the sides of the fuselage removed.1 These were replaced by a turret on the top of the fuselage.1

  • Bomber Range and Bomb Load Comparison

Prototype

A full scale model was inspected in August - September 1938.7

The G4M1 prototype was completed in September 1939.7

The Mitsubishi G4M1 prototype was first flown on October 23, 1939.1,2,3,4,6,7 The pilot was Katsuzo Shima.7

The second prototype was able to go 278 mph and fly 3,400 miles.4

The G4M2 prototype was completed in November 1942.7 The third prototype had bomb bay doors and became standard on 65th G4M2 produced.7

The first G4M3 prototype was completed in January 1944.7

Production

The first G4M2 flew in November 1942.3

Production ended in August 1945.3

  • Prototypes, 12-Shi: 23,7
    • Production: September 1939 - February 19407
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagoya7
  • Mitsubishi G6M1: 303,7
    • Production: 19403,7
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagoya7
  • Mitsubishi G4M1, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 11: 1,2002,3,6,7
    • Production: January 1941 - January 19447
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagoya7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 22: 1,1542,3,4,6,7
    • Production: November 1942 - August 19457
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagoya (640)7, Mitsubishi at Okayama (514)7
    • Mitsubishi G4M2 Model 22, 22A, 22B: 3507
    • Mitsubishi G4M2a, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 24: 147
    • Mitsubishi G4M2b Model 25: 17
  • Mitsubishi G4M3: 602,3,4,6,7
    • Production: December 1943 - August 19457
  • Total: 2,4463,4,7
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.4,7
    • Production: September 1939 - August 19454
  • Bomber Production Comparison

Variants

  • Mitsubishi G6M1: Heavy escort fighter.3,4
  • Mitsubishi G6M1-K: Trainer.3 Converted G6M1s.3
  • Mitsubishi G6M1-L2: Paratroop transports.3 Converted G6M1s.3
  • Mitsubishi G4M1: Prototype.2 Production.3 Deliveries started in April 1941.3
  • Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 11, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 11: First production.3,7
  • Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 12, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 12: More powerful Kasei 15 engines.3,7 Fuel tanks were protected by rubber sheets and sponge.7 Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers were added.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 22: Increased armament and fuel.2 The engines had water-methanol injection.7 Tailplane area was increased, wings and tails tips rounded, nose glazing increased, bombardier's window improved, two 7.7 mm machine guns added to nose, dorsal blister replaced by 20 mm turret, and a 350 gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the fuselage.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2 ??: Had Kasei 21 engines with water injection and 4 blade propellars.1
  • Mitsubishi G4M2 Model 22: Had more powerful engine.3,6 Enlarged tailplane.3 Wingtips were rounded.3 Had a laminar flow wing section.3 Added dorsal turret.3 More fuel.3,6
  • Mitsubishi G4M2 Model 22A: Lateral 7.7 mm machine guns replaced by 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 guns.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2 Model 22B: All cannons were 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 guns.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2a, Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber Model 24: Improved engine and bulging bomb bay doors installed.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2a Model 24A: Armament same as G4M2 Model 22A.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2a Model 24B: Armament same as G4M2 Model 22B.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2a Model 24C: Armament same as G4M2 Model 22B except there was an aded 13 mm Type 2 machine gun installed in the nose with the 7.7 mm.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M2e Model 24J: Bomb bay doors removed and shackels to carry an Ohka was installed.7
  • Mitsubishi G4M3: Had increased protection for the crew.2,6
  • Mitsubishi G4M3 Model 34: New tail turret.3 Fuselage shorter.3 Dihedral tailplane.3 Protection for crew and fuel.3,7 First appeared in early 1944.3
  • Mitsubishi G4M3 Model 34A: Transport and anti-submarine.7
  • Mitsubishi G6M1, Navy Type 1 Wingtip Convoy Fighter: Additional armament was installed and was to be used as an escort fighter for the G3Ms then in China.7
  • Mitsubishi G6M1-K, Navy Type 1 Large Land Transport: G6M1s converted to be transports.7
  • Mitsubishi G6M-L2, Navy Type 1 Transport: Modified G6M1-Ks to become paratroop transports.7
  • ???: Transport version.1
  • ???: Trainer version.1

Usage

Due to the ease at which the G4Ms blew up, American pilots nicknamed them the "flying cigarette lighter."1,3

Units

1st, 4th, 702nd, 705th, 706th, 721st, 722nd, 751st, 752nd, 753rd, 755th, 761st, 762nd, 763rd, 765th, 951st, 1021st, Chitose, Genzan, Kanoya, Kisarazu, Misawa, Takao, Yokosuka Kokutais.7

Trials

The Mitsubishi G4Ms became operational in 1940.1,4 The first G4M1 prototype was delivered to the Yokosuka Experimental Air Corps for trials in January 1940.7 The second was delivered in March 1940.7

The Yokosuka Experimental Air Corps recommended that the G4Ms be equiped with more armament and used as escorts for the G3Ms then in use in China.7

China

The first G4M1s were deployed in China in mid-1941.2 Their first mission was to attack Chungking.7

Early War

During the first year of World War II the G4M was able to have success against the Allies.3 But soon it was outmatched by the Allied fighters coming to the front lines.3

Prince of Wales and Repulse Sunk

Mitsubishi G4Ms helped in the destruction of the British HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on December 10, 1941.1,2,4,6,7

Darwin

On February 19, 1942, G4M1s attacked Darwin, Australia for the first time.7

The End of Admiral Yamamoto

The mastermind behind the early success in World War II of the Japanese was shot down by P-38s while being flown in a Mitsubishi G4M / G4M16 on April 18, 1943.1,2,6,7

G4Ms with Ohka

The very first mission, March 21, 1945, of the G4M2e with Ohkas attached ended with all sixteen planes being shot down before the Ohkas were released.1,7

Surrender

The G4Ms were used at the end of the war to carry the surrender delegation to Io Shima on August 19, 1945.2,3,4,6,7

Specifications

  Mitsubishi G4M, Mitsubishi Type 01
Type Medium bomber3
Crew 73,7
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4A Kasei 117
2: Kasei 211
Cylinders Radial5, Radial 147
Cooling Air5
Net HP 1,530 each7
Propeller blades 3 metal blades7
Fuel capacity - Wings 1,078 gallons7
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"3
25 m3
Height 19' 8.25"3
6 m3
Armament  
Tail 20 mm Type 991
60 rounds1
Torpedo 1 or 25
  Mitsubishi G4M1
Type Bomber4
Crew 74
Engine (Type) 2: Kasei 211
2: Mitsubishi Kasei 117
2: Mitsubishi MK4A Kasei 113,4
Cylinders Radial 143,4,7
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,530 each3,4,7
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 82'4, 82' 0.25"3
25 m3
Length 26' 7.5"3 , 65' 7"4
20 m3
Height 19' 8"4, 19' 8.25"3
6 m3
Weight  
Empty Model 11: 14,991 lb3
Model 11: 6,800 kg3
Loaded Model 11: 20,943 lb3, 20,946 lb4
Model 11: 9,500 kg3
Performance  
Speed 276 mph2
444 kph2
Speed @ 13,780' /
4,200 m
266 mph3,4
428 kph3
Cruising speed 196 mph3
315 kph3
Service ceiling 29,000'4
Range 3,132 miles3, 3,749 miles4
5,040 km3
Range - without bombs 3,450 miles2
5,555 km2
Armament 1: 20 mm4
4: MG4
Bombs 1,760 lb4
  Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 11
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"7
25 m7
Length 65' 7 13/32"7
20 m7
Height 19' 8 7/32"7
6 m7
Wing area 840.927 sq ft7
78.125 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 14,991 lb7
6,800 kg7
Loaded 20,944 lb7
9,500 kg7
Performance  
Speed at 13,780' / 4,200 m 266 mph7
231 kt7
Cruising speed at 9,845' / 3,000 m 196 mph7
170 kt7
Climb to 22, 965' / 7,000 m 18 minutes7
Range 3,256 nautical miles7
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 927
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm Type 927
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 12
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4E Kasei 157
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,530 each7
Propeller blades 3 metal blades7
Range 3,086 miles7
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 927
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm Type 927
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M2
Type Land based Navy medium bomber1,2,6
Crew 72,6
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Kasei 251
2: Mitsubishi MK4P Kasei 212,6,7
2: Mitsubishi Kasei 213
OR 2: Mitsubishi Kasei 25/25b3
Cylinders Radial1,2,6
Net HP 1,800 each2
21: 1,800 each3,6
25/25b: 1,825 each3
Propeller blades 3 each1,2,3
Fuel capacity 1,428 gallons7
6,490 liters7
Dimensions  
Span 82'1, 82' 1/8"2, 82' 0.25"6
25 m1,2,6
Length 66'1, 67' 7 3/8"6, 67' 7 7/8"2
20 m1,2,6
Height 19' 8"2, 19' 8.25"6, 20'1
6 m1,2,6
Wing area 840.93 ft2 2,6, 841 ft2 1
78.12 m2 1, 78.125 m2 2,6
Weight  
Empty 17,953 lb1, 17,990 lb2,6
8,160 kg1,2,6
Model 22: 17,990 lb3
Model 22: 8,160 kg3
Loaded 27,500 lb1, 27,558 lb2,6
12,500 kg1,2,6
Model 22: 27,558 lb3
Model 22: 12,500 kg3
Performance  
Speed at 15,000' / 4,600 m 270 mph1
438 kph1
Speed at 15,090' / 4,600 m 272 mph2,3,6
438 kph2,3,6
Cruising speed 196 mph3
315 kph3
Climb to 26,245' / 8,000 m 32.4 minutes2,6
Climb to 26,250' / 8,000 m 32 minutes1
Service ceiling 29,365'2,3,6
8,950 m2,3,6
Range 2,694 miles1, 2,982 miles3, 3,765 miles2,6
4,335 km1, 4,800 km3, 6,059 km2,6
Armament  
Tail turret 1: 20 mm3
1: 20 mm Type 991,2,6
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG3
2: 7.7 mm Type 922,6
2: 7.92 mm MG1
Beam positions 1: 7.7 mm Type 922
2: 7.7 mm MG3, 7.7 mm Type 926
2: 7.92 mm MG1
OR 1: 20 mm3
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm3
1: 20 mm Type 992,6
Bombs 2,200 lb1,2, 2,205 lb3,6
1,000 kg1,2,3,6
OR  
Torpedo 1,760 lb1, 1,764 lb2,3,6
800 kg1,2,3,6
  Mitsubishi G4M2 Model 22, 22A, 22B
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4P Kasei 217
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,800 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"7
25 m7
Length 65' 7 13/32"7
20 m7
Height 19' 8 7/32"7
6 m7
Wing area 840.927 sq ft7
78.125 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 17,990 lb7
8,160 kg7
Loaded 27,558 lb7
12,500 kg7
Performance  
Speed at 15,090' / 4,600 m 272 mph7
236 knots7
Cruising speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 196 mph7
170 knots7
Climb to 26,245' / 8,000 m 30 minutes 24 seconds7
Service ceiling 29,365'7
8,950 m7
Range 3,270 nautical miles7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M2a
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 257
Net HP 1,850 each7
  Mitsubishi G4M2a Model 24, 24A, 24B
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 257
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M2b Model 25
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4V Kasei 277
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,795 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M2c Model 26
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T-B Ru Kasei 25b Ru7
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
  Mitsubishi G4M2d Model 27
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T-B Kasei 25b7
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M2e Model 24J
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 257
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 7
Beam 2: 20 mm Type 99 Model 27
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 7
  Mitsubishi G4M3
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Kasei 213
OR 2: Mitsubishi Kasei 25/25b3
Net HP 21: 1,800 each3
25/25b: 1,825 each3
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"3
25 m3
Length 63' 11.75"3
19.5 m3
Height 19' 8.25"3
6 m3
  Mitsubishi G4M3 Model 34
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 257
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"7
25 m7
Length 65' 7 13/32"7
20 m7
Height 19' 8 7/32"7
6 m7
Wing area 840.927 sq ft7
78.125 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 18,409 lb7
8,350 kg7
Loaded 27,558 lb7
12,500 kg7
Performance  
Speed at 16,895' / 5,150 m 292 mph7
254 knots7
Cruising speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 196 mph7
170 knots7
Climb to 22,965' / 7,000 m 20 minutes 10 seconds7
Service ceiling 30,250'7
9,220 m7
Range 2,340 nautical miles7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M3a Model 34A
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 257
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Beam 2: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
  Mitsubishi G4M3 Model 36
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T-B Ru Kasei 25b Ru7
Cylinders Radial 147
Cooling Air7
Net HP 1,825 each7
Propeller blades 4 metal blades7
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 927
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 7
Beam 2: 20 mm Type 99 Model 27
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 7
  Mitsubishi G6M1
Type Heavy Escort Fighter7
Crew 107
Dimensions  
Span 82' 0.25"7
25 m7
Length 65' 7 13/32"7
20 m7
Height 19' 8 7/32"7
6 m7
Wing area 840.927 sq ft7
78.125 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 15,432 lb7
7,000 kg7
Loaded 20,944 lb7
9,500 kg7
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 927
Beam 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Turret - Tail 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Ventral - Forward 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7
Ventral - Rear 1: 20 mm Type 99 Model I7

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of World War II, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  7. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
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