Mitsubishi Q2M (Taiyo) - Imperial Japan, 1946
Detailing the development and operational history of the Mitsubishi Q2M (Taiyo) Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patrol Aircraft Proposal.
Entry last updated on 10/5/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Born during the last desperate months of World War 2, the Japanese Army Mitsubishi Q2M was to become an Anti-Submarine Warfare platform but did not progress beyond the paper stage.
The last desperate months of 1945 for the Axis in World War 2 saw both the Japanese and Germans undertaking advanced aircraft projects to help stem the tide of defeat. The Allied submarine campaign against Japanese shipping across the Pacific was taking its toll to the point that Mitsubishi was commissioned to design, development, and mass-produce a counter - this becoming the unfulfilled Mitsubishi "Q2M" Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patrol Bomber.
For expediency's sake, the design was an evolution of the existing - and proven - Mitsubishi Ki-67-I "Peggy" which served the Japanese Army and Navy as effective torpedo bombers. The aircraft was a twin-engine offering classified as a heavy bomber though it held qualities more akin to a Medium Bomber in the West. Some 767 of the type were produced following a first-flight in December of 1942.
The Q2M was developed to an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) requirement specifically to hunt enemy submarines over the vast ranges of the Pacific Theater. The aircraft was set to carry various radar-related equipment for the role with propulsion power from 2 x Mitsubishi "Kasei 25 Otsu" 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engines of 1,380 - 1,850 horsepower each and driving six-bladed (some sources state five-bladed) propeller units.
Proposed armament was 3 x 13mm machine guns for local defense and support for up to 2,200lb of stores to include torpedoes, depth charges, and conventional drop bombs. The crew numbered between five or six personnel to man the various onboard stations.
Projected performance was a maximum speed of 305 miles per hour, a range out to 1,500 miles, and a service ceiling of 12,150 feet. Dimensions included a length of 61.5 feet, a wingspan of 82 feet, and a height of 15.5 feet.
The Q2M program never yielded the intended fruit as the Japanese war situation only worsened into mid-1945 - leaving the Q2M as nothing more than a "paper" design and one of the many aircraft projects terminated by the Japanese surrender of August 1945.