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Japan's Mitsubishi C5M, Ki-15 reconnaissance; Navy Type 98, Army Type 97
Allied code name: Babs

Photos

Mitsubishi T-98 Karigane (Wild Goose), Army KB-98:
Japan's Mitsubishi T-98 <em>Karigane</em> (Wild Goose), Army KB-98
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Mitsubishi T-98 Karigane (Wild Goose), Army KB-98:
Japan's Mitsubishi T-98 <em>Karigane</em> (Wild Goose), Army KB-98
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Mitsubishi T-98 Karigane (Wild Goose) II, Army TS-98-2:
Japan's Mitsubishi T-98 <em>Karigane</em> (Wild Goose) II, Army TS-98-2
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Mitsubishi T-98 Karigane (Wild Goose) II, Army TS-98-2:
Japan's Mitsubishi T-98 <em>Karigane</em> (Wild Goose) II, Army TS-98-2
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Mitsubishi Ki-15 Army Type 97 reconnaissance:
Japan's Mitsubishi Ki-15 Army Type 97 reconnaissance

Design

In the summer of 1935 a specification was put out for an aircraft that could go 280 mph at 8,750', operate between 6,500' and 13,000', and weigh less than 5,000 lbs.1 In May 1936 a prototype was ready.1

The Ki-15 was an all metal low winged plane with fixed landing gear.1

After the Ki-15s excellent performance in the 2nd Sino-Japanese War the Navy ordered 20 of the Ki-15-IIs that were modified for Naval use.1

Production

  • Mitsubishi C5M: ~501
  • Mitsubishi Ki-15:
  • Total: 4891
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.1
  • Production: 1937 - ?1

Variants

  • Mitsubishi T-98: Mitsubishi designation.2
  • Mitsubishi C5M: Navy version.1
  • Mitsubishi C5M1:
  • Mitsubishi C5M2: Appeared in 1940.1
  • Mitsubishi KB-98: Army version.2
  • Mitsubishi Ki-15: Army version.1
  • Mitsubishi Ki-15-II: More powerful engine.1

Usage

Record Flight

The second prototype of the Ki-15 was purchased by Asahi Shimbu, a Japanese newspaper.1 It was flown by Masaaki Iinuma, pilot, and Kenji Tsukagoshi, navigator almost 10,000 at an average speed of 100 mph between April 6 and April 9, 1937.1 This was a record at the time.1 The plane was named Kamikaze.1

The 1930s

Before World War II the Army's Ki-15 and the Navy's C5M were the most popular reconnaissance planes in the military.1

2nd Sino-Japanese War

The Ki-15 was first used operationally in the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.1

World War II

The Ki-15s and C5Ms were used operationally through 1942.1 They were eventually relegated to training and liaison tasks.1

Finds Prince of Wales and Repulse

On December 10, 1941, a C5M2 was the first to spot the Prince of Wales and Repulse.1

Specifications

  Mitsubishi C5M2
Type Reconnaissance1
Crew 21
Engine (Type) Nakajima Sakae 121
Cylinders Radial 141
Cooling Air1
Net HP 9501
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"1
Length 28' 6"1
Height 11' 4"1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,170 lb1
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 14,930' 303 mph1
Climb  
Service ceiling 31,430'1
Range 691 miles1
Armament 1: MG1
  Mitsubishi T-98
Type Light bomber2
Crew  
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei A-142
Cylinders Radial2
Cooling  
Net HP 8002
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"2
Length 27'2
Height 9' 2"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 8,000 lb2
Performance  
Speed 300 mph2
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 1,500 miles2
Armament 1: MG2
  Mitsubishi T-98
TS-98-2
Type Reconnaissance2
Crew 22
Engine (Type) 1: Mitsubishi A-142
Cylinders Radial2
Cooling Air2
Net HP 8002
Propeller blades 22
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"2
Length 27' 11"2
Height 11' 6"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,060 lb2
Performance  
Speed 310 mph2
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 1,500 miles2
Armament  

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site