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  • Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga (Frances) Light-Medium Bomber / Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber / Night-Fighter

    A late entry into World War 2 for the Japanese Navy, the Yokosuka P1Y failed to make much of an impact despite the 1,000 examples produced.

     Updated: 5/23/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The twin-engine combat platform proved popular with the forces of the Japanese Empire during World War 2 (1939-1945) - they offered capable bomb loads, strong performance, and the operational ranges needed to cover the vast reaches of the Pacific. One mid-war twin-engine bomber development became the Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" (meaning "Galaxy") which was developed for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) but intended for service from established land bases. Production reached 1,102 units before war's end. The Allies codenamed the bomber "Frances".

    The Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal pushed for a new modern combining the operational range, firepower, and performance of the best platforms then available to the IJN. In additional to conventional level bombing, it was thought to include a capability for dive bombing and torpedo bombing to make for a more multi-faceted battlefield performer. Engineers elected for a conventional monoplane design form incorporating the two engines at each wing leading edge. The nose section of the aircraft was glazed for good vision out-of-the-cockpit and for bombing. The wing mainplanes were mid-mounted appendages and the tail given a traditional single-rudder form. A "tail-dragger" undercarriage was used. The operating crew would number three. Dimensions included a length of 49 feet, a wingspan of 65.5 feet and a height of 14 feet. Empty weight was 16,000lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 29,765lb.

    The engines were 2 x Nakajima NK9C "Homare 12" series 18-cylinder radial piston engines of 1,825 horsepower each. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 340 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 230 miles per hour, a range out to 3,340 miles, and a service ceiling up to 30,840 feet.

    Beyond the internal bombload of 2,205lb (or 1 x 1,800lb torpedo), the aircraft typically carried defensive armament in the form of 1 x 20mm Type 99 cannon in the nose and 1 x 13mm Type 2 heavy machine gun facing aft on a trainable mounting).

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    Yokosuka P1Y1a Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1944
    Type: Light-Medium Bomber / Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber / Night-Fighter
    National Origin: Imperial Japan
    Manufacturer(s): Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal / Nakajima / Kawanishi - Imperial Japan
    Production Total: 1,102

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 49.21 feet (15 meters)
    Width: 65.62 feet (20.00 meters)
    Height: 14.11 feet (4.30 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 16,017 lb (7,265 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 29,762 lb (13,500 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial piston engines developing 1,825 horsepower each.

    Maximum Speed: 342 mph (550 kph; 297 knots)
    Maximum Range: 3,337 miles (5,370 km)
    Service Ceiling: 30,840 feet (9,400 meters; 5.84 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 20mm Type 99 cannon in nose position
    1 x 13mm Type 2 heavy machine gun in rear-facing trainable position.

    Up to 2.205lb of conventional drop stores OR 1 x 1,800lb torpedo.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Imperial Japan

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    P1Y1 "Ginga" - Base Series Designation; medium bomber form.

    P1Y1a - Nakajima Homare 12 engines; 1 x 13mm machine gun in aft-facing position.

    P1Y1b - Developed from P1Y1a; Nakajima Homare 12 engines; 2 x 13mm machine guns in aft-facing position.

    P1Y1c - Developed from P1Y1b; Nakajima Homare 12 engines; 1 x 13mm defensive machine gun; single example completed.

    P1Y1 Model 11 - Night-fighter development based on P1Y1; 2 x 20mm Type 99 cannons.

    P1Y1-S - Night-fighter development; 4 x 20mm cannons in two obliquely-angled positions, one fitted fore and the other aft of cockpit; 1 x 13mm machine gun in aft position for defense.

    P1Y1 Attacker - Ground attack model; 20 x 20mm Type 99 cannons in ventral bay; 30 examples completed.

    P1Y2-S "Kyokko" - Night-fighter variant; 96 examples built from the P1Y1.

    P1Y2 - Developed from P1Y2-S nigth-fighter; Mitsubishi Kasei 25 engines.

    P1Y2a - Developed from P1Y1a; Mitsubishi Kasei 25 engines.

    P1Y2b - Developed from P1Y1b; Mitsubishi Kasei 25 engines.

    P1Y2c - Developed from P1Y1c; Mitsubishi Kasei 25 engines.

    P1Y3 - Developed from P1Y1; Nakajima Homare 21 engines.

    P1Y4 - Developed from P1Y1; Nakajima Homare 23 engines

    P1Y5 - Developed from P1Y1; Mitsubishi Ha-43 engines

    P1Y6 - Developed from P1Y2; Mitsubishi Kasai 25 engines

    Model 33 - Long-range bomber variant; 4-person crew and bombload of 3,000kg; not pursued.

    "Tenga" - Proposed jet-powered bomber form of 1945

    MXY10 - Decoy bomber; non-flying