Mitsubishi Hayabusa-type Fighter (1MF2)

The Mitsubishi Hayabusa-type Fighter (1MF2) was designed in response to a Japanese Army fighter specification of 1927 but suffered an accident during testing and never entered production.

In 1927 the Japanese army wanted a new fighter to replace the Nakajima Type Ko 4. Nakajima, Kawasaki, Ishikawajima and Mitsubishi were all asked to produced designs.

The Mitsubishi design was produced by a team led by Noboshiro Nakata, aided by Professor Baumann, a German engineer involved in a series of unsuccessful Mitsubishi designs. Also on the team was Jiro Horikoshi, who went on to the design the A6M Zero.

The design team produced a low-wing monoplane, but this didn't meet with the approval of the Japanese army. They asked Mitsubishi to produce a parasol wing version of the design, which would give the pilot better downwards visibility.

The resulting aircraft had a rather boxy fuselage, with a fixed undercarriage and a parasol wing. The cockpit was mounted behind the wing. The wing was supported with wing struts but no bracing wires. Attention was also given to ease of construction, after the 2MR1 Tobi reconnaissance aircraft was rejected because of its cost.

The fuselage of the Hayabusa was built around a metal frame. The wings had a wooden structure. Both fuselage and wings were fabric covered.

The first Hayabusa (Falcon) was completed in May 1928. It reached a top speed of 169mph, the fastest of the three aircraft submitted in response to the initial specification, but the aircraft fell apart during diving tests. The test pilot, Sumitoshi Nakao, became the first Japanese pilot to escape from an accident by parachute.

This crash ended any chances of the Hayabusa winning the contest. The second prototype was used for static structural tests and was eventually destroyed. The Nakajima and Kawasaki designs also failed to enter service, but eventually Nakajima produced an improved version of their aircraft which entered service as the Type 91 Fighter.

Engine:  Mitsubishi-Hispano-Suiza 12 cylinder vee water-cooled engine
Power: 450-600hp
Crew: 1
Span: 41ft 5in
Length: 26ft 11in
Height: 11ft
Empty weight: 2,789lb
Loaded weight: 3,968lb
Max speed: 169mph
Climb Rate: 11 min 18 sec to 16,404ft
Service ceiling: 27,887ft
Armament: Two fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 September 2012), Mitsubishi Hayabusa-type Fighter (1MF2) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_mitsubishi_hayabusa_fighter.html

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