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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

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

Photos

  • Mitsubishi F1M Pete floatplane

 

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.

Construction

The F1M was of all metal construction with the control surfaces being covered by fabric.

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 Prototype: 4
  • Mitsubishi F1M2: 1,114
    • Mitsubishi: 524
    • Dai-Nijuichi Kaigun Kokusho (21st Naval Air Arsenal): 590
  • Total: 1,118
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: 1938 - ?

Variants

  • Mitsubishi Ka-17 / F1M1: Prototype. Had Nakajima Hikari 1 radial 9 engine (820 HP).
  • Mitsubishi F1M2, Navy Type 0 Observation Seaplane Model 11: Increased vertical tail surfaces from 30 - 85%. Longer cowling. Straight taper wings. Wing dihedral was increased from 2° to 3°.
  • Mitsubishi F1M2-K: Trainer. Converted from F1M2.

Usage

Units

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.

Battle of Midway

Two F1M2s were launched from the Kirishima during the Battle of Midway.

Specifications

  F1M
Type Reconnaissance floatplane
Crew 2
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 7.7 mm MG
Bombs - under wings 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg
  F1M1
Type Reconnaissance
Crew Pilot, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) Nakajima Hikari 1
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 820
Propeller blades 2, 2 metal
  F1M2
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Pilot, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Hikari 1
Mitsubishi Zuisei 13
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 820, 875
Propeller blades 3, 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1.0625", 36' 1.1", 36' 2", 36' 11"
11 m
Length 31' 2"
9.5 m
Height 13' 1", 13' 1.46875", 13' 1.5"
4 m, 4.02 m
Wing area 317.965 sq ft, 317.97 sq ft
29.54 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,250 lb, 4,251 lb
1,928 kg
Normal load 5,622 lb
2,550 kg
Maximum load 6,294 lb
2,855 kg
Performance  
Speed at 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 minutes 36 seconds, 9.6 minutes
Service ceiling 30,970'
9,440 m
Range 460 miles
740 km
Armament 3: MG
Nose 2: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Bombs 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg

Sources:

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