Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024)
Aviation / Aerospace

Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga (Frances)

Light-Medium Bomber / Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber / Night-Fighter [ 1944 ]

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

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/06/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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).

A first-flight of a P1Y prototype occurred during August 1943 and this led to a contract order for 1,002 aircraft which came from Nakajima factories. Twelve total prototypes were eventually constructed testing and mainly carried the Homare 11 series radial. Production yielded variants from the original P1Y1 with Homare 11 or Homare 12 engines to the thirty P1Y1 ground attack forms (these fitted 20 x 20mm Type 99 cannons to specifically target American B-29s on the ground). A non-flying ground replica for decoy purposes was also built under the "MXY10" designator. Production peaked in 1944 with 620 examples of all variants delivered and a further 434 followed during the first half of 1945.

Introduction of the P1Y was during October 1944 and the type saw combat service until the end of the war in August of 1945. By this time, the Japanese situation had deteriorated enough to showcase the P1Y bombers as kamikaze weapons against Allied warships. This proved the case during the Okinawa assault that helped pave the way for the Japanese surrender. At the end of the war, at least three P1Y examples were delivered to the United States for testing.

One notable offshoot of the P1Y program became the P1Y2 "Kyokko" ("Aurora") which was a night-fighter / night-intruder version of the original. Kawanishi handled manufacture of 96 of this aircraft which carried Mitsubishi Kasei engines (due to the growing scarcity of the Homare engines) and were fitted with radar kits. Armament included an oblique-firing system which allowed for attacking bombers from their more vulnerable bellies. However, this design failed to produce the needed performance to assail enemy Boeing B-29 Superfortresses and were therefore reconfigured to their traditional bomber roles before the end.

Over twenty IJN squadrons fielded the P1Y including the 302nd Kokutai which became the sole night-fighter group.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan

Not in Service.


Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal / Nakajima / Kawanishi - Imperial Japan
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Special-Mission: Anti-Ship
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.

49.2 ft
(15.00 m)
65.6 ft
(20.00 m)
14.1 ft
(4.30 m)
Empty Wgt
16,017 lb
(7,265 kg)
29,762 lb
(13,500 kg)
Wgt Diff
+13,746 lb
(+6,235 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Yokosuka P1Y1a production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Yokosuka P1Y1a production variant)
Installed: 2 x Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial piston engines developing 1,825 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units.
Max Speed
342 mph
(550 kph | 297 kts)
30,840 ft
(9,400 m | 6 mi)
3,337 mi
(5,370 km | 9,945 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Yokosuka P1Y1a production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
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.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 4
Mounting Points



Fuselage Centerline
Fuselage Port/Wingroot
Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot
Wingtip Mount(s)
Internal Bay(s)
Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).

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

General Assessment
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (342mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Yokosuka P1Y1a operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected above are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (1,102)
Compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian).

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga (Frances)
Image from the Public Domain.

Similar Aircraft

Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga (Frances)...

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)