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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi F1M reconnaissance floatplane, Navy Type 0
Allied Code Name: Pete

Design

The Mitsubishi F1M was designed to be a catapult launched observation floatplane. It was to meet a late 1934 Imperial Japanese Navy specification for a replacement for the Nakajima E8N1. Aichi and Kawanishi also tried to meet the requirements. Kawanishi withdrew and Aichi's was inadequate.

The Mitsubishi design team was lead by Joji Hattori.

A couple problems the F1M had was it would often porpoise in water and directional stability in flight.

Floats

There was a main, central, float, and two stabilizers attached to the lower wing.

Upgrade

The F1M2 was a major redesign that appeared in 1939.

Prototype

The prototype was designated the Ka-17, F1M1 by the military, and first flew in June 1936.

Production

Production ended in March 1944.

  • Mitsubishi F1M1: 4
  • Mitsubishi F1M2: 1,114
    • Mitsubishi: 524
    • Dai-Nijuichi: 590
  • Total: 1,118
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.

Variants

  • Mitsubishi Ka-17 / F1M1: Prototype. Had Nakajima Hikari 1 radial 9 engine (820 HP).
  • Mitsubishi F1M2: Increased vertical tail surfaces. Longer cowling. Straight taper wings. Wing dihedral was reduced.
  • Mitsubishi F1M2-K: Trainer. Converted from F1M2.

Usage

Variety of Duties

The F1M was very versatile and was used as a coastal patrol, convoy escort, search and rescue, ocean patrol, transport, anti submarine, interceptor, dive bomber, and bombing. It could be operated from water bases and ships.

The F1M was an aircraft carrier based aircraft that was used the most by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Eight battleships, nine cruisers, and six seaplane ships were equipped with the F1M2.

Specifications

  Mitsubishi F1M
Type Reconnaissance floatplane
Crew 2
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 7.7 mm MG
Bombs - under wings 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg
  Mitsubishi F1M1
Type Reconnaissance
Crew  
Engine (Type) Nakajima Hikari 1
Cylinders Radial
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades 2 metal
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Mitsubishi F1M2
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Zuisei 13
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 875
Propeller blades 3, 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 36' 2", 36' 11"
11 m
Length 31' 2"
9.5 m
Height 13' 1", 13' 1.5"
4.02 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,250 lb
1,928 kg
Normal load 5,622 lb
2,550 kg
Maximum load 6,294 lb
2,855 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 11,285' /
3,440 m
230 mph
370 kph
Cruising speed 127 mph
204 kph
Climb 1,968'/minute
600 m/minute
Climb to 9,840' /
3,000 m
5.1 minutes
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
9.6 minutes
Service ceiling 30,970'
9,440 m
Range 460 miles
740 km
Armament 3: MG
Bombs 132 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site