Yokosuka P1Y Ginga

The Yokosuka P1Y Ginga was a twin-engine, land-based bomber developed for the Japanese Imperial Navy in World War II.

It was the successor to the Mitsubishi G4M and given the Allied reporting name “Frances”.

The P1Y was designed by the Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal to Navy specification 15-Shi calling for a fast bomber with speed matching the Zero, range matching the G4M, a 907 kg (2,000 lb) bombload, and the ability to dive-bomb as well as carry torpedoes.

As the result, the construction suffered from excess complexity, difficulty of manufacture, and poor serviceability.

Problems with the availability of enough reliable Nakajima Homare engines led to their replacement by the Mitsubishi Kasei in the P1Y2-S night-fighter version.

The streamlined design of the Ginga is attributed to Miki Tadanao, an engineer who after World War II went on to create a similar aerodynamic design for Japan’s earliest bullet trains (Shinkansen), while working with the Japan National Railways (JNR).

The first flight was in August 1943. Nakajima manufactured 1,002 examples, which were operated by five Kōkūtai (Air Groups) and acted as land-based medium and torpedo bombers from airfields in China, Taiwan, the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku, and Kyūshū.

During the last stages of the war the P1Y was used as a kamikaze aircraft against the United States Navy during the Okinawa Campaign in Operation Tan No. 2.

A night fighter version, the P1Y2-S Kyokko, with Mitsubishi Kasei engines, was equipped with radar and Schräge Musik-style upward-firing as well as forward-firing 20 mm cannon.

A total of 96 were produced by Kawanishi but due to inadequate high-altitude performance against the B-29 Superfortress, many were converted back to Ginga bombers.


P1Y1 Experimental Type 15 land-based bomber 

3 prototypes and 9 supplementary prototypes with 1,357 kW (1,820 hp) NK9C Nakajima NK9B Homare 11 engines.

Prototype #3 was later used for Ishikawajima Tsu-11 testbed.

P1Y1 Ginga Model 11 

First model of the series, Mounted Homare 11 or Homare 12.

P1Y1a Ginga Model 11A 

Mounted Homare 12 and fitted 1 × 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine gun in the back defensive position.

P1Y1b Provisional name Ginga Model 11B

  Converted from P1Y1a, mounted Homare 12, and fitted 2 × 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine guns in the back defensive position.

P1Y1c Provisional name Ginga Model 11C 

Converted from P1Y1b, mounted Homare 12, and fitted 1 × 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine gun in the forward position, prototype only.

P1Y1 Ginga Model 11 Night-fighter variant 

 Converted from P1Y1.

Armed with 2 × 20 mm Type 99 cannons, Equipped 302nd Kōkūtai only.

This was not naval regulation equipment.

P1Y1-S Provisional name Ginga Model 21 

Night fighter variant.

Armed with 4 × 20 mm Type 99 cannons firing obliquely forward, and 1 × 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine gun in the back defensive position.

Only a project.

P1Y1 Ground attack variant 

converted from P1Y1/P1Y1a, installed up to 20 × 20 mm Type 99 cannons in the bomb bay for land strikes against B-29 bases in the Marianas.

Approx 30 rebuilt.

P1Y2-S Provisional name Ginga Model 26/Test production Kyokkō 

Night fighter variant.

Initially named Hakkō in October 1943, renamed Kyokkō in March 1944.

Converted from P1Y1/P1Y1a.

Fitted Mitsubishi MK4T-A Kasei 25 engines.

Armed with 2 × 20 mm Type 99 cannons and 1 × 30 mm Type 5 cannon.

Later, almost all were converted to P1Y2. 

P1Y2 Provisional name Ginga Model 16 

Land based bomber.

Converted from P1Y2-S.

Mounted 1,380 kW (1,850 hp) Mitsubishi MK4T-A Kasei 25 Kō engines.

P1Y2a Provisional name Ginga Model 16A 

Converted from P1Y1a.

Mounted Mitsubishi MK4T-A Kasei 25 Kō engines.

P1Y2b Provisional name Ginga Model 16B 

Converted from P1Y1b.

Mounted Mitsubishi MK4T-A Kasei 25 Kō engines.

P1Y2c Provisional name Ginga Model 16C 

Converted from P1Y1c.

Mounted Mitsubishi MK4T-A Kasei 25 Kō engines.

P1Y2 Ginga Model 16 Night-fighter variant 

Converted from P1Y2.

Armed with 2 × 20 mm Type 99 machine guns or 1 × 30 mm Type 5 cannon.

Equipped 302nd Kōkūtai only.

This was not Naval regulation equipment.

P1Y3 Provisional name Ginga Model 13 

Converted from P1Y1.

Mounted Homare 21 engines.

P1Y4 Provisional name Ginga Model 12 

Converted from P1Y1.

Mounted Homare 23 engines.

P1Y5 Provisional name Ginga Model 14 

Converted from P1Y1.

Mounted Mitsubishi Ha-43 engines.

P1Y6 Provisional name Ginga Model 17

Converted from P1Y2.

Mounted Mitsubishi MK4T-C Kasei 25 Hei engines.

Provisional name Ginga Model 33, Kashō Ginga 33-gata 

Long-range bomber variant.

Crew 4 bombs up to 3,000 kg, project only.

Test production Tenga, Shisei Tenga

Proposed jet-powered bomber variant, mounted Ishikawajima Ne-30.

Discontinued in 1945.

MXY10 Yokosuka Navy Bomber Ginga

Ground decoy non-flying replica of Yokosuka P1Y1.





15 m (49 ft 3 in)


20 m (65 ft 7 in)


4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)

Wing area

55 m2 (590 sq ft)

Empty weight

7,265 kg (16,017 lb)

Gross weight

10,500 kg (23,149 lb)

Max take-off weight

13,500 kg (29,762 lb)


2 × Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines,

1,361 kW (1,825 hp) each for take-off


Maximum speed

547 km/h (340 mph, 295 kn) at 5,900 m (19,357 ft)

Cruise speed

370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft)


5,370 km (3,340 mi, 2,900 nmi)

Service ceiling

9,400 m (30,800 ft)

Wing loading

191 kg/m2 (39 lb/sq ft)


0.20 kW/kg (0.12 hp/lb)



1× flexible, nose-mounted 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannon

1× flexible rear-firing 13 mm (0.512 in) Type 2 machine gun


Up to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) of bombs or 1× 800 kg (1,764 lb) torpedo.


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