Mitsubishi Shinten

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Type 14-cylinder air-cooled two-row radial piston engine
National origin Japan
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Aircraft Company
Major applications Mitsubishi Ki-21, Yokosuka H5Y
Produced 1934-1937
Number built 113
Developed from Mitsubishi Kinsei
Developed into Mitsubishi Kasei, Mitsubishi Zuisei

The Mitsubishi Shinten (震天, Progress) was a two-row, 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine built by the Mitsubishi Aircraft Company for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service (IJAAS) and the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) in the early 1930s. Like many aircraft engines in Japan, there were multiple designations for this engine. The company model designation was A6(7) while it was an experimental engine project. Once accepted, it was known as the "Shinten" or MK1 by the IJNAS, and Ha6 by the IJAAS.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The Mitsubishi Shinten was a development of the Mitsubishi Kinsei engine. The stroke of the Kinsei was increased from 150 mm (5.91 in) to 160 mm (6.30 in) on the Shinten model 11 and to 170 mm (6.69 in) on the Shinten model 21 and 21Kai designs.

Lengthening the stroke increased the displacement from the Kinsei's 32.3 L (1,970 cu in) to 36.1 L (2,200 cu in) for the Shintin model 11. The increased displacement raised the horsepower from 1,070 hp (1,080 PS) to 1,200 hp (1,200 PS) at take-off power.

Initially Ha-6 Shintens were to be installed on Mitsubishi Ki-21 bomber aircraft, but it was decided to use a competing engine, the Nakajima Ha-5 instead. Furthermore Mitsubishi was ordered to produce Nakajima's engine at its factory under license. So only 113 Shinten engines were made and they were installed on only few types of aircraft.

In order to beat the rival and also to develop a more powerful engine for the new Navy Attack Bomber that became famous Mitsubishi G6M Betty, Mitsubishi Shinten was developed into the Mitsubishi Kasei by increasing the bore from 140 mm (5.51 in) to 150 mm (5.91 in) which in turn brought the displacement to 42 L (2,600 cu in) and increased power to 1,500 hp (1,500 PS).

IJNAS engine naming method[edit]

It was the Imperial Japanese Navy's common practice to refer to its engines by name. The Japanese method of identifying model numbers of aircraft engines is unique in that the model number always has two digits and may be followed by one or more letters. The first digit represents the major version of the engine and the second number represents the minor version of that model engine.[1]

The first model number assigned to an engine is always 11, meaning the first major design and first minor version of that design. A major change to the design increments the first number and resets the second number to one. A minor change to the engine model increments the second number by one. If a very minor change is made, suffix letters are added after the model number. When a special modification is made, the model number is followed by the suffix 'kai', as in the Shinten 21kai model, which decodes as the second model of the Shinten engine, 1st revision, specially modified.[1]

IJAAS engine naming method[edit]

The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service referred to its engines by their engine (Japanese:Hatsudoki abbreviated Ha) model number. Ha numbers were assigned in sequence as the engine design was accepted.[1] This engine (Ha6) would be the 6th engine accepted by the IJAAS.


Shinten 11 A7
920 hp at 2300 rpm (take-off), 700 hp at 2100 rpm (normal). 1934 4 made
Shinten 21 A6
950 hp at 2320 rpm (take-off), 800 hp at 2150 rpm (normal).
Shinten 21kai A6
1200 hp at 2360 rpm (take-off), 1020 hp at 2250 rpm (normal). 1934-1939 109 made


Specifications (Shinten (Ha-6))[edit]

Data from Gunston.

General characteristics

  • Type: 14-cylinder, supercharged, air-cooled, two-row radial piston engine
  • Bore: 140 mm
  • Stroke: 170 mm
  • Displacement: 36.7 L
  • Diameter: 1,309 mm
  • Dry weight: 603 kg



See also[edit]

Comparable engines
Related lists



  1. ^ a b c d Francillon, René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. p. 515


  • Matsuoka Hisamitsu, Nakanishi Masayoshi. The History of Mitsubishi Aero Engines 1915-1945. Miki Press, Japan, 2005. ISBN 4-89522-461-9
  • Gunston, Bill (2006), World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines, 5th Edition, Phoenix Mill, Gloucestershire, England, UK: Sutton Publishing Limited, ISBN 0-7509-4479-X 
  • Francillon, R.J. (1970), Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, London: Putnam, ISBN 0-370-00033-1 
  • Mikesh, Robert C. & Shorzoe, Abe (1990), Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1-55750-563-2