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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Yokosuka P1Y Ginga (milky way) attack bomber, night fighter
Allied code name: Frances

Photos

  • Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga bomber

 

Design

The P1Y Ginga was intended to be a multirole military aircraft along the same lines as the Mosquito and Ju 88. It has much promise but the war ended before its full potential was realized.

The P1Y was to meet an Imperial Japanese Navy 15-Shi requirement issued in 1940. It was to be a low level bomber, torpedo bomber, and dive bomber. It was designed by Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho starting in 1940 with Tadanao Mitsuzi and Masao Yamana leading the design effort.

Pilot Protection

The pilot was protected by 20 mm of armor behind his head.

Prototype

The first prototype to fly was in summer 1943 / August 1943. It performed so well that mass production started right away.

Pilots enjoyed the aircraft, but ground crews disliked its problems with the engines and hydraulic systems.

Production

  • Prototype: 6
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Koizumi
    • Production: 1943
  • Yokosuka P1Y1, Yokosuka P1Y1-S: 996
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Koizumi
    • Production: 1943 - 1945, mid 1944 - ?
  • Yokosuka P1Y2, Yokosuka P1Y2-S: 96
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. at Konan
    • Production: 1944 - 1945
  • Total: 1,098
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.
    • Production: ? - October 1944 (453)

Variants

  • Prototype, Y-20:
  • Yokosuka P1Y:
  • Yokosuka P1Y1 Model 11, Navy Bomber Ginga Model 11:
  • Yokosuka P1Y1a: Primarily changes in armament. A 20 mm Type 99 in the nose and a 13 mm Type 2 in the cockpit rear.
  • Yokosuka P1Y1b: Primarily changes in armament. A 20 mm Type 99 in the nose and two 13 mm Type 2s in the dorsal turret.
  • Yokosuka P1Y1c: Primarily changes in armament. A 13 mm Type 2 in the nose and two 13 mm type 2s in the dorsal turret.
  • Yokosuka P1Y1-S, Navy Night Fighter Byakko (white light): Night fighter. Four oblique firing 20 mm Type 99 guns in fuselage (two each front and rear of cockpit) and a 13 mm type 2 in the cockpit rear.
  • Yokosuka P1Y2, Navy Bomber Ginga Model 16: Bomber.
  • Yokosuka P1Y2a: A 20 mm Type 99 in the nose and a 13 mm Type 2 in the cockpit rear.
  • Yokosuka P1Y2b: A 20 mm Type 99 in the nose and two 13 mm Type 2s in the dorsal turret.
  • Yokosuka P1Y2c: A 13 mm Type 2 in the nose and two 13 mm type 2s in the dorsal turret.
  • Yokosuka P1Y2-S Kyokko (aurora), Navy Night Fighter Kyokko: Night fighter. Two oblique firing 20 mm Type 99 guns and a 20 mm Type 99 in the cockpit rear.
  • Yokosuka P1Y3, Yokosuka P1Y3 Model 33: Was to be parent aircraft for the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka suicide rocket aircraft.
  • Yokosuka P1Y4, Yokosuka P1Y4 Model 12: Better engines. Only drawing board.
  • Yokosuka P1Y5: Better engines. Only drawing board.
  • Yokosuka P1Y6, Yokosuka P1Y6 Model 17: Better engines. Only drawing board.

Usage

The P1Y1 wasn't used extensively because of engine problems.

Units

  • Kokutais: 522nd, 752nd, 761st, 762nd, Yokosuka

Specifications

  P1Y
Type Attack bomber, night fighter
Crew 3
Engine (Type)  
Fuel Capacity 1,218 gallons
5,535 liters
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 92 MG
1: 20 mm
Cockpit - Rear 1: 13 mm MG
OR 2: 13 mm MG
OR 1: 20 mm Type 99
Bombs 2,205 lb
2: 1,102 lb
1,000 kg
2: 500 kg
OR  
Torpedo 1
1,764 lb
800 kg
Drop Tanks 2: 48 gallon
2: 220 liter
  P1Y1
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima NK9B Homare 11
2: Nakajima Nk9C Homare 12
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,820 each, 1,825 each
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 65' 7", 65' 7 15/32", 65' 7.5"
20 m
Length 49' 2", 49' 2.5", 49' 2 9/16"
15 m
Height 14' 1", 14' 1.25", 14' 1 9/32"
4.3 m
Wing area 592.013 sq ft
55 sq m
Weight  
Empty 16,017 lb
7,265 kg
Loaded 23,149 lb
10,500 kg
Load - Maximum 29,762 lb, 30,840 lb
13,500 kg
Performance  
Speed at 19,355' / 5,900 m 340 mph
547 kph
295 knots
Speed - Cruising 230 mph
370 kph
Speed - Cruising at 13,125' / 4,000 m 230 mph
200 knots
Climb to 9,840' / 3,000 m 4.3 minutes, 4 minutes 15 seconds
Service ceiling 30,840'
9,400 m
Range 1,192 miles, 3,338 miles
1,192 statute miles
1,918 km
1,035 nautical miles
Range - Maximum 3,337 miles
3,338 statute miles
5,370 km
2,900 nautical miles
Armament 2: 20 mm
Nose 1: 20 mm Type 99
Cockpit - Rear 1: 13 mm Type 2 MG
Bombs 2,200 lb, 2,205 lb
1,00 kg
OR  
Torpedo 1: 1,764 lb
1: 800 kg
  P1Y1a, P1Y1b, P1Y1c, P1Y1-S
Type Bomber, Night Fighter
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima NK9C Homare 12
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,825 each
Propeller blades 3
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm Type 99
Cockpit - Rear 1: 13 mm Type 2 MG
  P1Y2, P1Y2-S
Type Bomber, Night Fighter
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T-A-Kasei 25a
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,850 each
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 65' 7.5", 65' 7 19/32"
20 m
Length 49' 2.5", 49' 2 9/16"
15 m
Height 14' 1.25", 14' 1 9/32"
4.3 m
Wing Area 592.013 sq ft
55 sq m
Weight  
Empty 17,196 lb
7,800 kg
Loaded 23,149 lb
10,500 kg
Load - Maximum 29,762 lb
13,500 kg
Performance  
Speed at 17,715' / 5,400 m 325 mph
282 knots
Speed - Cruising at 13,125' / 4,000 m 230 mph
200 knots
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 9 minutes 23 seconds
Ceiling 16,405'
5,000 m
Range - Maximum 2,475 statute miles
2,150 nautical miles
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm Type 99
Cockpit - Rear 1: 20 mm Type 99
Bombs 2,205 lb
1,00 kg
OR  
Torpedo 1: 1,764 lb
1: 800 kg
  P1Y3
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima NK9H Homare 21
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,990 each
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2 1/8"
22 m
Length 62' 4 1/32"
19 m
Height 14' 1 9/32"
4.3 m
Wing area 628.61 sq ft
58.4 sq m
Weight  
Empty 21,164 lb
9,600 kg
Loaded 29,762 lb
13,500 kg
Load - Maximum 37,699 lb
17,100 kg
Performance  
Speed at 20,015' / 6,100 m 340 mph
295 knots
Range - Maximum 4,029 statute miles
3,500 nautical miles
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm Type 2 MG
Turret - Dorsal 2: 13 mm Type 2 MG
Bombs 3,525 lb
1,600 kg
  P1Y4
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima NK9H-S Homare 23
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,000 each
Propeller blades 3
  P1Y5
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Ha-43 MK9A 11
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,200 each
Propeller blades 4
  P1Y6
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi MK4T-C Kasei 25c
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,825 each
Propeller blades 3

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site