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Mitsubishi 1MF

The Mitsubishi 1MF was a Japanese carrier fighter aircraft of the 1920s.

Designed for the Mitsubishi Aircraft Company by the British aircraft designer Herbert Smith, the 1MF, also known as the Navy Type 10 Carrier Fighter, was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1923 to 1930.

The Japanese shipbuilding company Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd set up a subsidiary company, the Mitsubishi Internal Combustion Engine Manufacturing Co Ltd (Mitsubishi Nainenki Seizo KK) in 1920 to produce aircraft and automobiles at Nagoya.

It quickly gained a contract from the Imperial Japanese Navy to produce three types of aircraft for operation from aircraft carriers: a fighter, a torpedo bomber and a reconnaissance aircraft.

To produce these aircraft, it hired Herbert Smith, formerly of the Sopwith Aviation Company to assist the design of these aircraft, Smith bringing to Japan Jack Hyland and a team of six other British engineers.

The fighter designed by Smith and his team, designated the 1MF by Mitsubishi, and known as the Navy Type 10 Carrier Fighter by the Japanese Navy (referring to the year of design of 1921, the 10th year of the Taishō period), first flew in October 1921.

The 1MF was a single-seat, single-bay biplane with unequal-span wings and all-wooden construction, powered by a 224 kW (300 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8 engine (license produced as the Mitsubishi Hi engine).

It was fitted with claw-type arrestor gear for use with British-style fore and aft arrestor cables.

After successful flight testing, the aircraft was accepted by the Japanese Navy as a standard fighter, with 138 of various versions being built, production continuing until 1928.



Initial prototype.

Fitted with car-type radiator on front of nose.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-1 Carrier Fighter.


Experimental version with increased wing area.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-1 Carrier Fighter.


Experimental prototype with two bay wings.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-1 Carrier Fighter.


Production version with Lamblin radiators under nose replacing original car type radiators.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-2 Carrier Fighter.


Revised production version with cockpit moved forwards.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-2 Carrier Fighter.


Minor changes.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-2 Carrier Fighter.

Carrier trainer version with a jettison wheeled undercarriage and floats under wings to allow safe ditching.

Navy designation Navy Type 10-2 Carrier Fighter.





6.9 m (22 ft 8 in)


8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)


3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)

Empty weight

940 kg (2,072 lb)

Gross weight

1,280 kg (2,822 lb)


1 × Mitsubishi Hi,

V-8 water-cooled piston engine,

224 kW (300 hp)


2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed

213 km/h (132 mph, 115 kn)


2½ hours

Service ceiling

7,000 m (23,000 ft)

Time to altitude

3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 10 minutes


0.18 kW/kg (0.11 hp/lb)



2 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns.



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