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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi K3M trainer, Navy Type 90
Allied code name: Pine

Photos

  • Mitsubhishi K3M Navy Type 90 trainer

 

Design

In 1928 Mitsubishi hired Herbert Smith, formerly with Sopwith Aviation, to design a trainer that could carry three or four pupils. He submitted a design for an all wood biplane in December 1928 and it was initially designated the M-13. However no prototype was constructed as the military showed no interest.

In 1929 the Imperial Japanese Navy asked Mitsubishi to develop a crew trainer. Two prototypes of the Ka-2, designed by Hattori, were ordered. It had a metal fuselage and a high wing parasol. It was initially designated the 4MS1.

By 1933 the Army also became interested and a modified version was designed by Masakishi Mizumo. It initially was designated the Ki-7.

The Mitsubishi K3M was a popular crew trainer.

Prototype

The initial prototype was finished in May 1930 and was flown by pilot Nakawa shortly afterwards. It was found to have poor stability in flight.

The third and fourth prototypes improved stability by using dihedral.

The prototype for the Army was completed in December 1933 but was destroyed in a crash and the project never proceeded.

Production

  • Mitsubishi K3M1: 4
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: 1930 - 1931
  • Mitsubishi K3M2: 317
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. (70), Aichi Tokei Denki K.K. (247)
    • Production: 1932 - 1935
  • Mitsubishi K3M3: 301
    • Manufacturer: K.K. Watanabe Tekkosho
    • Production: 1939 - 1941
  • Mitsubishi Ki-7: 2
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: 1933
  • Mitsubishi MS-1: 1
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: 1934
  • Total: 624
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.

Variants

  • Mitsubishi K3M1: Prototype.
  • Mitsubishi K3M2, Navy Type 90 Crew Trainer Model 1: Production aircraft.
  • Mitsubishi K3M3, Navy Type 90 Crew Trainer Model 2: More powerful engine and aerodynamic improvements. Appeared in 1939.
  • Mitsubishi K3M3-L: Utility transport.

Usage

One K3M was made into a civilian transport in 1934.

Specifications

  Ki-7 #1
Type Trainer
Crew Pilot, gunner, instructor, pupils (2)
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Type 92
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 475
Propeller blades 2 metal
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
  Ki-7 #2
Type Trainer
Crew Pilot, gunner, instructor, pupils (2)
Engine (Type) Nakajima Kotobuki
Cylinders Radial
Cooling Air
Net HP 450
Propeller blades 2 wood
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
  MS-1
Type Civilian Transport
Crew Pilot, passengers (4 - 5)
Engine (Type) Nakajima built Bristol Jupiter VI
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 420
Propeller blades 2 wood
  K3M1
Type Trainer
Crew Pilot, gunner, instructor, pupils (2)
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi (Hispano-Suiza)
Cylinders V 8
Cooling Liquid
Net HP 340
Propeller blades 2 wood
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
  K3M2
Type Trainer
Crew Pilot, gunner, instructor, pupils (2)
Engine (Type) Hitachi Amakaze 11
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 300
Propeller blades 2 wood
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg
  K3M3
Type Trainer
Crew 5
Pilot, gunner, instructor, pupils (2)
Engine (Type) Nakajima Kotobuki 2 KA1 2
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 580
Propeller blades 2 metal
Dimensions  
Span 51' 9", 51' 9.25"
15.78 m
Length 31' 3", 31' 3 19/32"
9.54 m
Height 12' 6", 12' 6 15/32"
3.82 m
Wing area 371.354 sq ft
34.5 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,998 lb
1,360 kg
Loaded 4,850 lb
2,200 kg
Performance  
Speed at 3,280' / 1,000 m 146 mph
127 knots
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 9 minutes 30 seconds
Service ceiling 20,965'
6,390 m
Range 497 miles
497 statute miles
432 nautical miles
Armament 1: MG
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs 4: 66 lb
4: 30 kg

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site