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Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92)

Four-Engined Long-Range Heavy Bomber Aircraft

Imperial Japan | 1932

"The German-Japanese relationship prior to World War 2 provided Mitsubishi with plans for a militarized form of the Junkers G38 as the Ki-20."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/27/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
In pre-World War 2 Germany, the concern of Junkers developed their four-engined G38 heavy-haul passenger airliner - representing the largest land-based aircraft anywhere in the world. This massive bird sported wings deep enough to house passenger compartments and provide engine access to the onboard engineers in flight. Only two were built and the first prototype crashed, suffering enough damage to be written off by the company. The second aircraft saw some service in the early years of World War 2 as a military transport but was destroyed by Royal Air Force aircraft while on the ground in Athens, Greece.

Prior to the war in 1932, the Japanese concern of Mitsubishi has secured a license for the model G38 and intended to develop the heavy bomber form from earlier Junkers plans to militarize the product (the Junkers "K.51"). For Japan, this produced the "Army Type 92 designation" and six were commissioned to be built to the standard. The operating crew numbered ten and dimensions included a length of 23.2 meters, a wingspan of 44 meters and a height of 7 meters. Power was served through 4 x Junkers Jumo 204 "inline-6" diesel-fueled piston engines developing 750 horsepower each (the original fit was 4 x Junkers L88 series engines). The aircraft could make headway at 125 miles per hour and weighed 56,105lb when loaded.

Unlike the civilian market-minded G38 for Germany, the Army Type 92 was designed as a military platform from the outset. This meant that it was armed defensively and carried an internal war load as well. 2 x 7.7mm machine guns were fitted to the nose and 1 x 20mm cannon was added to a dorsal position. 2 x 7.7mm were installed in two upper wing turret emplacements and 1 x 7.7mm followed in each of the ventral wing turret locations. The aircraft was cleared to carry up to 11,025lb of conventional drop bombs.

The initial pair of aircraft were assembled from Junkers-provided components by Mitsubishi and this led to an official first-flight recorded in 1932 (with German assistance). The remaining four aircraft of the lot followed from 1933 to 1935 and these relied heavier on Mitsubishi-manufactured components - which provided the company with good exposure to Western aviation design and construction approaches. The Junkers Jumo 204 engine was also produced locally in Japan under license.

When the Japanese commitment to World War 2 grew across the Pacific and Southeast Asia, the Army Type 92 was pressed into service as the "Ki-20" for its long-range bombing capabilities. While operating during the early phases of the war - a war which spanned from 1939 to 1945 - the Ki-20 fleet was not officially identified by outside observers until sometime in 1940 - it operated under a veil of secrecy for its part in the war. However, the aircraft contributed little to the ultimate outcome for Japan as the group of six was reduced to just one example by the end of the war arriving in August of 1945, the others either having been destroyed during the war or in the immediate period following the years-long conflict.

The Ki-20 became the largest aircraft to be operated by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service branch.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92) Four-Engined Long-Range Heavy Bomber Aircraft.
4 x Junkers Jumo 204 inline-6 opposed diesel engines developing 750 horsepower.
125 mph
201 kph | 109 kts
Max Speed
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92) Four-Engined Long-Range Heavy Bomber Aircraft.
76.1 ft
23.20 m
O/A Length
144.4 ft
(44.00 m)
O/A Width
23.0 ft
(7.00 m)
O/A Height
33,069 lb
(15,000 kg)
Empty Weight
56,218 lb
(25,500 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92) Four-Engined Long-Range Heavy Bomber Aircraft .
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in nose position
1 x 20mm cannon in dorsal position
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in portside upper wing
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in starboard upper wing
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in portside lower wing
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in starboard lower wing

Up to 11,025lb of conventional drop ordnance.
Notable series variants as part of the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92) family line.
Army Type 92 - Base Series Designation; six examples completed in all.
Ki-20 - IJAAS Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 6 Units

Contractor(s): Mitsubishi - Imperial Japan / Junkers - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (125mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Mitsubishi Ki-20 (Army Type 92) Four-Engined Long-Range Heavy Bomber Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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