The Mitsubishi G3M bomber was the outstanding weapon of Japanese naval bombing during the first year of the war in the Far East. The aircraft was developed in the mid-1930s and remained in production until 1943. Four major variant models were developed, and a total of 1,048 aircraft were built. The father of the G3M was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. In 1933 Yamamoto was the director of the Air Office of the Imperial Navy, when he convinced the general staff that a long-range land plane was just as important as carrier-based aircraft to support naval operations in the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean. The program was started, resulting in a prototype that first took to the air in April of 1934. Testing showed that its aerodynamic qualities and performance were excellent, with the first official model (the G3M1) going into production in June of 1936. G3Ms went into service in August, 1937 during the second Sino-Japanese conflict. After Japan went to war in December, 1941, the Mitsubishi bombers took part in all of the island operations in the Pacific. They were later joined by the newer G4Ms. In the course of their long operational life, the G3Ms were used as civil and military transport planes as well. The Allies called the G3M bombers by the codename "Nell" and the transport models "Tina".
Mitsubishi G3M3 Model 23
Type: Land Based long range bomber Service: Japanese Navy Air Force (JNAF) Crew: seven Armament: four 7.7mm Type 92 machine guns (2 in waist, 1 dorsal, 1 cockpit) one 20mm Type 99 cannon in a dorsal turret one 1764 lb (800 kg) torpedo or up to 1764 lb (800 kg) bombs Reference: Francillon: 356, Mondey: 199 Specifications: Length: 53' 11.5" (16.45 m) Height: 12' 1" (3.685 m) Wingspan: 82' 0.25" (25 m) Wing area: 807.3 sq. ft (75 sq. m) Empty Weight: 11,551 lbs (5243 kg) Max Weight: 17,637 lbs (8000 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: Mitsubishi Kinsei 51 14-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1300 hp each Performance: Range: 3871 st miles (3363 naut miles) Cruise Speed: 184 mph (160 kt/hr) at 13125 ft (4000 m) Max Speed: 258 mph (224.5 kt/hr) at 19360 ft (5900 m) Climb to/in: 9845 ft (3000 m) in 5 min 29 sec Ceiling: 33730 ft (10280 m)
Production: 636 G3Ms (including 21 Ka-15 prototypes) were made by Mitsubishi, 412 more by Nakajima = 1048 total Nells
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia HERE.
For several very nice scale color drawings of this aircraft, see here (4 versions available on left).
Additional color schemes for this aircraft can be found
(go to Mitsubishi page)
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