Mitsubishi B1M

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Mitsubishi B1M.jpg
Role Torpedo bomber
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
First flight 1923
Introduction 1924
Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy
Number built 443
Variants Mitsubishi 2MB1

The Mitsubishi B1M was a Japanese torpedo bomber of the 1920s, also known as the Navy Type 13 Carrier-Borne Attack Aircraft. It was designed and built by Mitsubishi and used in combat against China.


While working with the Mitsubishi company, the British aircraft designer Herbert Smith designed the 2MT1 two-seat biplane torpedo bomber which flew for the first time in January 1923.[1] It went into Japanese Navy service as the Type 13-1 carrier-borne attack aircraft or B1M1, and was followed by the 2MT2 and 2MT3 variants (also designated B1M1). The redesigned Type 13-2 was designated B1M2. The final version, the Type 13-3 or B1M3, had the company designation 3MT2 and was a three-seater. Total production was 443.[1] The B1M was powered by a 450 hp (340 kW) Napier Lion or Hispano-Suiza engine according to version.

Operational history


The type entered service in 1924 and served into the 1930s, 32 flying from the aircraft carriers Kaga and Hōshō during the Shanghai Incident in 1932.[1] An aircraft from Kaga was lost during an aerial engagement between an American air force adviser and demonstration pilot to the Chinese government, Robert Short, who also lost his life, and regarded as a hero defending the Chinese city against the Japanese aircraft.[2]

From 1929, a number of surplus B1Ms were converted for civilian use, being fitted with an enclosed cabin for passengers or cargo.


Initial two seat production version powered by 450 hp (340 kW) Napier Lion engine - formal (long) navy designation Navy Type 13-1 Carrier Attack Aircraft. Company designation 2MT1, 2MT2 and 2MT3. 197 built by Mitsubishi.[3]
Experimental reconnaissance seaplane version. One built.
Prototype two-seat torpedo bomber powered by 450 hp (340 kW) Mitsubishi Hi engine (licensed built Hispano-Suiza). One built.
Three-seat production torpedo bomber, based on 2MT5, powered by Mitsubishi Hi engine. - formal (long) navy designation Navy Type 13-2 Carrier Attack Aircraft. Company designation 3MT1. 115 built by Mitsubishi.
Improved B1M2 with revised propellor and reduction gear. Long Navy designation Navy Type 13-3 Carrier Attack Aircraft. Company designation 3MT2. 128 built by Mitsubishi and Hiro Naval Arsenal.
Mitsubishi Army Type 87 Light Bomber
Mitsubishi B1Ms used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air force.
T-1.2 Converted Aeroplane
Civil conversion of B1M. Several variations on type. Enclosed cabin for two or three passengers. Powered by original Lion or Hispano-Suiza engines or converted with licensed built Bristol Jupiter radial engine. Also known as Type 13th Year Converted Aeroplane.[3]



Specifications (2MT2)

Data from The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft [1]

General characteristics



  • Guns: 2 × fixed, forward-firing 7.7 mm machine guns and 2 × pivoted 7.7 mm machine guns in rear cockpit
  • Ordnance: 1 × 18-inch torpedo or 2 × 240 kg (529 lb) bombs

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Donald, David (Editor) (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mikesh, Robert C; Abe, Shorzoe (1990). Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-85177-840-2. 

External links