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Mitsubishi K3M

The Mitsubishi K3M was a trainer built by Mitsubishi which was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in an extremely wide variety of roles, including light transport, liaison aircraft, utility aircraft and occasionally light bomber.

The Mitsubishi K3M was designed by British aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer Herbert Smith, from Sopwith working in Japan for Mitsubishi.

The prototype, designated Mitsubishi 4MS1, made its maiden flight in 1930.

The aircraft was strut-braced high-wing cabin monoplane, with fixed wide-track landing gear, and was powered by a single 300 hp (220 kW) water-cooled radial piston engine.

Pilot and gunner were located in separate open cockpits, with an instructor and two pupils in the enclosed cabin in the fuselage.

Later passenger variants seated five passengers in the cabin.

Total production of all versions was around 625 aircraft, with production mostly undertaken by Kyushu Hikoki K.K. and Aichi Kokuki.

Production continued until 1941, and examples pressed into service as liaison aircraft in the post-war period were found in a variety of national markings.


Mitsubishi K3M1

Initial version

Mitsubishi K3M2 

Japanese Navy Type 90 Crew Training Aircraft

Initial production version for Imperial Japanese Navy

Mitsubishi K3M3

Japanese Navy Type 90 Crew Training Aircraft

Final production version for Imperial Japanese Navy

Mitsubishi K3M3-L

Military transport used by Imperial Japanese Navy


Version for Imperial Japanese Army, 2 built

Mitsubishi MS-1

Civil transport version







9.54 m (31 ft 4 in)


15.78 m (51 ft 9 in)


3.82 m (12 ft 6 in)

Wing area

34.5 m2 (371.35 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,360 kg (2,998 lb)

Gross weight

2,200 kg (4,850 lb)


1 × Nakajima Kotobuki-2,

435 kW (580 hp)


Maximum speed

230 km/h (143 mph, 124 kn)


790 km (491 mi, 427 nmi)

Service ceiling

6,389 m (20,950 ft)

Rate of climb

8.77 m/s (1,726 ft/min)


1 × 7.7 mm Type 92 machine guns, rear-mounted

4 × 30 kg (66 lb) bombs.



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