Mitsubishi B2M

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B2M
Mitsubishi B2M.jpg
Role Torpedo bomber
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
First flight 28 December 1929
Introduction 1932
Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy
Number built 206
Developed from Blackburn Ripon

The Mitsubishi B2M was a Japanese carrier-based torpedo bomber of the 1920s and 30s. It was built by Mitsubishi to a design by Blackburn Aircraft of Britain and was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Design and development[edit]

In 1927, the Japanese company Mitsubishi commissioned the British aircraft manufacturer Blackburn Aircraft to design an aircraft, which would be built under licence by Mitsubishi if successful, to enter a competition held by the Imperial Japanese Navy for a carrier-based reconnaissance and torpedo bomber to replace its B1M. Blackburn developed a design, the Blackburn T.7B, which was an enlarged development of their Ripon, which was under development for Britain's Fleet Air Arm.[1] The T.7B was a three-seat biplane of steel tube construction and with high aspect ratio wings fitted with Handley Page slats, powered by a 466 kW (625 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Lbr engine.

The design was declared the winner of the competition, with a prototype (referred to as the 3MR4) being ordered from Blackburn. This first flew on 28 December 1929 at Blackburn's factory at Brough, Yorkshire,[1] and was shipped to Japan in February 1930.[2]

Three development prototypes were built by Mitsubishi in Japan before the aircraft was adopted as the Navy Type 89-1 Model 1 Carrier Attack Plane or Mitsubishi B2M1.[3]

Operational history[edit]

The B2M1 entered service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in March 1932,[3] serving aboard the carriers Akagi, Kaga and Hōshō. Modifications to improve maintainability resulted in the B2M2 or Navy Type 89-2 Carrier Attack Plane, which otherwise showed little improvement in performance over the B2M1. Production of both versions totalled 204 aircraft.[3]

B2Ms were extensively used for high- and low-level bombing attacks against China in the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937.[3][4]

Variants[edit]

Mitsubishi B2M carrier-based torpedo bomber
Blackburn T.7B
Prototype aircraft built by Blackburn Aircraft.
Mitsubishi 3MR4
Three Japanese built prototypes.
Misubishi B2M1
Initial production aircraft.
Mitsubishi B2M2
Improved production variant with reduced wingspan and modified tail.

Operators[edit]

 Japan

Specifications (B2M1)[edit]

Data from World Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three
  • Length: 10.27 m (33 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.22 m (49 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 3.71 m (12 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 55 m² [5] (592 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,260 kg[5] (4,982 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,600 kg (7,900 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Lbr V-12, 485 kW (650 hp)

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 1 × forward firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine gun and 1 × flexible 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine gun in rear cockpit
  • Ordnance: 1 × 800 kg (1,764 lb) torpedo or equivalent weight of bombs

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mason, Francis K (1994). The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-85177-861-5. 
  2. ^ a b Angelucci, Enzo (1981). World Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft. London: Jane's Publishing. ISBN 0-7106-0148-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d Donald, David (Editor) (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X. 
  4. ^ "Håkans Aviation page – Sino-Japanese Air War 1937". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b c Mikesh, Robert C; Abe, Shorzoe (1990). Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0-85177-840-2. 

External links[edit]