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Mitsubishi Q2M (Taiyo) Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patrol Aircraft Proposal

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.

 Updated: 10/5/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

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.

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Mitsubishi Q2M (Taiyo) Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1946
Type: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patrol Aircraft Proposal
National Origin: Imperial Japan
Manufacturer(s): Mitsubishi - Imperial Japan
Production Total: 0

Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 6
Overall Length: 61.52 feet (18.75 meters)
Overall Width: 82.02 feet (25.00 meters)
Overall Height: 15.58 feet (4.75 meters)

Weight (Empty): 19,511 lb (8,850 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 29,983 lb (13,600 kg)

Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

Propulsion: 2 x Mitsubishi "Kasei 25 Otsu" 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,380 horsepower each.

Maximum Speed: 304 mph (490 kph; 265 knots)
Maximum Range: 1,501 miles (2,415 km)
Service Ceiling: 12,156 feet (3,705 meters; 2.30 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

3 x 13mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs)

4 x 550lb conventional drop bombs

Global Operators / Customers

Imperial Japan (cancelled)

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

Q2M "Taiyo" - Base Series Name