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Mitsubishi Army Type Ko 1 Trainer
The Mitsubishi Army Type Ko 1 Trainer was a licence-built version of the Nieuport 81-E2, one of the standard training aircraft in the early expansion of Japanese Army aviation.
The Nieuport 81-E2 was two-seat sesquiplane, with a smaller lower wing. It was powered by a Le Rhône radial engine, and was fairly typical for its period, built around a wooden framework with a fabric cover and small patches of plywood and metal in key positions. Forty 81-E2s were imported from France from January 1919. As the original aircraft were damaged or destroyed, and the need for training aircraft began to increase, the Japanese Army decided to manufacture the 81-E2 and 83-E2 itself, but this arrange only lasted for a short period. The army then gave Mitsubishi a contract to produce the 81-E2. The first Mitsubishi-produced 81-E2 was completed in May 1922.
During the planning process the Mitsubishi-produced aircraft were known as the 81-E2, but in 1921 the Japanese Army introduced a new designation system for aircraft of foreign origin. Each manufacturer was given a symbol, Ko in the case of Nieuport, and each new aircraft type was given a number. These numbers were linked to the foreign manufacturer and not the Japanese company. The 81-E2 became the Ko 1. The Ko 2 was the 83-E2 trainer, which was produced in Japan by Nakajima. The designation system didn’t take into account the role of aircraft, so the Nakajima Ko 3 was a licence built version of the Nieuport 24.C 1 fighter.
A total of 57 Ko 1s were built. They were used at the Tokorozawa Army Flying School, which was opened in 1922, and in small numbers at other institutions. They remained in use with the Army until 1926, and many of the surviving aircraft were then transferred to civilian flying schools. The Ko 1 was replaced as a trainer by the Mitsubishi Ki 1 Trainer, a licence-built version of the Hanriot HD-14, which remained in use with the army until 1935.
Engine: Le Rhône nine-cylinder air cooled rotary engine
Span: 30ft 2.25in
Length: 23ft 7.5in
Height: 8ft 6.25in
Empty weight: 1,080lb
Loaded weight: 1,675lb
Max speed: 81mph
Service ceiling: 13,123ft
Mitsubishi Army Type Ko 1 Trainer - History
The Imperial Japanese Navys A6M2-K Zero Trainer or Rei-Sen Ren-Sen
For years, publications have shown photos of the A6M2-K Zero Trainer, which has always been said to be an A6M2 that was modified by adding a rear seat and cockpit. A story once put forth mentioned the A6M2-K was constructed using obsolete and / or reconditioned parts. Close inspection reveals the A6M2-K was not likely based on an A6M2 at all, and few photographs show evidence of reconditioned or obsolete parts. In the photo collections, it is apparent upon close inspection that the A6M2-K was very likely an aircraft that was built using A6M3 model 22 or A6M5 model 52 (later airframes) parts with various modifications to adapt the Sakae12 engine. This document bears the ever-mounting evidence for this case.
Shortly before WWII, the Imperial Japanese navy was phasing out the veteran Type 96 Carrier Fighter (Kyu Roku Kan Sen, or "Claude"). This aircraft was the world's first all-metal monoplane carrier fighter and was designated the A5M. Many of these were being converted for the training role at Hitachi [and Sasebo?]. New Japanese naval fighter pilots were honing their dogfighting skills in the modified two-seat aircraft. The Japanese navy fighter pilots were "cutting their teeth" in a then-great aircraft to become part of an elite group of fighter pilots who would fly the A6M Type Zero Carrier Fighter (Rei Sen, or "Zeke").
When World War II broke out, Zero pilots were truly in a league of their own, quite a few of them having become seasoned veterans in China. However, as the war raged on, losses of both man and machine became dearer. The Japanese navy needed to train pilots to fly the newer Zeros. In January of 1943, the Japanese navy's 21 st Naval Air Depot (or Sasebo Naval Arsenal), whose production was augmented by Hitachi beginning in May of 1944, built the Type 0 Trainer Fighter. Using Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22 airframes, a seat and controls were added under a full canopy behind the original cockpit, which now was rendered permanently open. Fins were added to the fuselage sides, in front of and just above the stabilizers, to aid with spin recovery. Sakae 12 engines and A6M2 cowls were mounted to longer engine mounts and covered with lengthened access panels between the cowl and firewall. The design was a success. Some A6M5 airframes were later modified and used as well quite possibly most, or all 279, of Hitachi's production was based on A6M5 airframes.
Zero Fighter airframes existed in several evolutionary iterations, with variations in firewall location, wingspan, and so on. The latest research shows the Zero Trainer airframes existed in a few iterations as well, though photos indicate later style fuselages (with further-aft firewall) normally associated with Sakae 21 powered aircraft. Wings seem to vary, with earlier airframes having the longer wingspan of the A6M2, and later airframes with the shorter span and round tips of the A6M5. Many other parts such as spinners and rudders seem to vary. No photos have been published detailing the interior of the rear cockpit.
Research indicates the likelihood the planes were made from parts stocks from what was being built on the Fighter assembly lines as they were assembled. Here's the breakout as seen in the photos:
|Component||Early airframe, 1/43 - late '43 (Sasebo?)||Late airframe, late '43 - 7/45 (Hitachi?)|
|Wings||12 meter Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 22.||11 meter A6M5 Model 52.|
|Fuselage||A6M3 Model 22.||A6M5 Model 52.|
|Cowl||A6M2 Model 21.||A6M2 Model 21.|
|Spinner/prop||Longer type as seen on A6M3-A6M5.||Longer type as seen on A6M3-A6M5 or extra-large as on A6M5b-A6M5c.|
|Acc. panel behind cowl||Lengthened A6M2?||Lengthened A6M2?|
|Rudder||Early, with external trim tab.||Early, with external trim tab.|
Theory: Zero Trainers were assembled from all-new components and sub-assemblies, with the 21 st Naval Air Depot at Sasebo using the A6M3 Model 22 followed by A6M5 Model 52, and Hitachi using A6M5 Model 52.
Mitsubishi had been building the A6M3 Fighter for more than six months prior to Sasebo's A6M2-K Trainer production, which ran during the last year of Nakajimas A6M2 production. No photos show the further forward firewall of the A6M2 on a Zero Trainer, thus the Model 21 airframe was likely never used. Since the firewall seems to always be in the further aft location of the Model 22 and later airframes, and the planes feature the shorter cowl of the A6M2 model 21, the early Zero Trainers were probably A6M3 model 22 airframes with Sakae 12 engines and cowls.
Production schedules shown in Appendices F, G, and H of Zero: Japan's Legendary Fighter by Robert C. Mikesh shows A6M2-K production and parts availability never happened during Mitsubishi's A6M2 production, though it did happen during Nakajima's A6M2 production. However, since no A6M2-K is shown to have an A6M2 airframe, it appears the first year of A6M2-K production may have involved Mitsubishi airframes exclusively.
Several A6M5 airframes outfitted as A6M2-K aircraft are seen in photographs, thus indicating there were more than just the seven Hitachi prototypes. See page 68 of Zero: Japan's Legendary Fighter by Robert C. Mikesh and the bottom two pictures on page 68 of Aero Detail #7, Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter by Shigeru Nohara. Note the aircraft at the bottom of the page has the features that identify it as a late production A6M2-K (extra large spinner, large diameter propeller, A6M5 airframe, Sakae 12 engine and cowl), likely built after June of 1944, hence probably built by Hitachi. Note the Nakajima-style camouflage demarcation as well these indications seem to point toward a Hitachi / Nakajima production partnership. Another A6M5 based A6M2-K, aircraft GeN-19, can be seen in the top photo on page 221 of Model Art #510. The caption seems to say adjacent aircraft, GeN-37, is an A6M5 as well. The drawing below the photo of GeN-37 shows how Shigeru Nohara has mistakenly shifted the cockpit and windscreen forward, close to the firewall this is not correct. In many of Noharas newer A6M2-K drawings, the airframe is drawn this way.
Another view of an A6M5 airframe aircraft can be seen at the bottom of page 81 of Famous Airplanes of the World #5. The aircraft's aileron inner edge (oriented to the navigation light and wing top access panel) is clearly in the further outboard location of the A6M5 aircraft. For comparison to an A6M3 Model 22 or A6M2 Model 21 style aircraft, see the photo at the bottom of page 78 of the same publication.
Some questions seem to remain unanswered:
First, did the A6M2-K airframe shift from A6M3 Model 22 style to A6M5 Model 52 style by date of manufacture, or was it the difference between Sasebo and Hitachi production? There is a lack of evidence either way, though more photos may some day surface and clarify the situation.
Second, was it indeed the A6M3 Model 22 airframe or an A6M2 model 21 with a further aft firewall? We would need to see if the wings were equipped with the outer fuel tanks.
What's that door on the left side of the fuselage? Some drawings (pages 80 and 117 in Maru Mechanic #08308-12) show a door on the aft part of the fuselage. No photos seem to show this door, though it could be where the target-tug winch was accessed or it may be just another fallacy. If anyone knows, please share!
Interior details may be based on information found in Green Arrows publication, Illustrated Zero Fighter, and other photo resources. Since some model kits and conversions have been offered which essentially duplicate the front cockpit (right down to the machine guns) for the instructor's (rear) cockpit, scratch-built interior details seem the only way to go. For 1/48 modelers, Squadron has made available some vac canopies from Falcon of Australia and Create 301 of Japan made a conversion kit, though thats very rare. A good choice would involve either an A6M3 model 22 or an A6M5 model 52 and a cowl and engine from an A6M2 model 21. 1/72 modelers have had available kits from Gartex and AML. The AML kit is relatively easy to find, though it would be better as a source of parts to modify an A6M3 Model 22 for the serious modeler.
Color should be Toh-Oh-Shoku, a Pale Yellow Orange (H4), Munsell 10YR 7/7, FS 23434 with a black cowl.
This is the left profile of Tsu-403. Note the added metal strip behind the access panel, between the cowl and the firewall. When the original panel was shifted forward to fill in behind the smaller Sakae 12 cowl (with the leading edge in the same location as the original), there was a gap by the firewall that needed to be filled. A strip of sheet metal (seen in red circle) was riveted to the trailing edge of the access panel to accomplish this.
Note aircraft "Ke-428" aileron and shadow of the wing (circled in yellow) shows it is a "Mk 5" airframe. The firewall is also further aft as well, though the cowl has the A6M2 cowl and chin carburetor scoop (circled in blue). Note the circled "4" on the rudder, the Nakajima scheme with white Hinomaru surrounds and angled upper and lower demarcation line (which has the externally adjusted trim tab of the early A6M2, circled in green). Notice the spinner is the larger type, circled in brown. See that the pilots retractable boarding step of aircraft number "Ke-453" has been added for the rear cockpit, on the right side (circled in purple). While it is not obvious in these two pictures, the access panels aft of the cowl were likely modified panels, lengthened with strips of sheet aluminum to the trailing edge of the standard A6M5 panels. This is obvious in some pictures of these planes.
With these two pictures, we can see a "Mk 5" airframe and a "Mk 3" airframe, "Mk2" cowls, engines, and rudders, very late style propellers and spinners, and other telltale signs of seemingly random and variegated hardware. Color schemes seem almost every bit as random, as well. This random mix may indicate use of reconditioned components and sub-assemblies.
Interior details for the modeler:
While there are no definite pictures or diagrams to date, some details may be gleaned through study of the aircraft's design. Study has shown the left side of the aircraft's cockpit probably looked quite different in the back than in the front.
Note the left console is virtually not necessary. Note the throttle, rudder pedals, and pitch control quadrant and the control stick are both present, though reconfigured to accomodate linkage forward, to the front cockpit. The seats and rear control panel have been omitted from this drawing to allow better viewing of the various features. The control panel was likely the same as the front panel, the seat was also likely similar, though it is doubtful the bulkhead behind the rear seat resembled that of the front cockpit, and there was almost certainly no need for the rear seat to raise and lower, so it probably was fastened to the subfloor. More information is being gathered for the right side of the cockpit, as that is primarily radio gear, but details are less sketchy than previously shown.
The A6M2-K has not appeared in any photograph as an A6M2, but the fact remains the A6M2-K short designation was somewhat of a misnomer for an aircraft that actually was based on A6M3s and A6M5s. It's too hard to nail down the specifics about A6M2-K production and parts sources, and the relationships between Nakajima / Mitsubishi (Zero Fighters) and Hitachi / Sasebo Naval Arsenal (Zero Trainers). This remains a tantalizing and open case.
Mitsubishi A6M1/2/-2N Zero-Sen, Richard M. Bueschel, Schiffer, 1995, ISBN 0-88740-754-4, page 27
Zero: Japan's Legendary Fighter by Robert C. Mikesh, Motorbook International, 1994, ISBN 0-87938-915-X, pages 68 and 94 and pages 124-126
Illustrated Zero Fighter by Shigeru Nohara, Green Arrow Publishing, ISBN 4-7663-3178-8, pages 20 and 235
Aero Detail #7, Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter, Shigeru Nohara, 1993, ISBN 4-499-22608-2, pages 68 and 75
Squadron / Signal #59 - A6M Zero in Action, Shigeru Nohara, 1983, ISBN 0-89747-141-5, page 45
Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Rene J. Francillon, 1970, ISBN 0-87021-313-X, page 397
Model Art #510 Japanese Naval Fighter Camo and Markings Special, Various authors, 1998, ISBN T1108734032706?, pages 220 and 221
Famous Airplanes of the World - A6M models 11-21, #5, 1987, pages 78 and 81.
Acknowledgements go to all the researchers and historians who have brought this information to be published, including (but not limited at all to) the late Richard Bueschel, Robert Mikesh, Shigeru Nohara, Jim Lansdale, Jim Long, Jim Broshot, and many others. A special thanks goes to Greg Springer.
In 1935, the Imperial Japanese Army held a competition between Nakajima, Mitsubishi, and Kawasaki to design a low-wing monoplane to replace the Kawasaki Ki-10 (Army Type 95 Fighter) biplane. The new fighter was to have also a better performance than the experimental Mitsubishi Ki-18. Β]
The results were the Nakajima Ki-27, the Kawasaki Ki-28, and the Mitsubishi Ki-33 (a modification of the Mitsubishi A5M carrier-based fighter). Γ] Δ] The Nakajima design was based on its earlier Ki-11 monoplane fighter which lost to the Ki-10 in the Type 95 Fighter competition. When the follow-up Nakajima Ki-12 proposal with a liquid-cooled engine and retractable landing gear was deemed too complex by the Japanese officials, the Ki-27 was designed by Koyama Yasushi to have an air-cooled radial engine and fixed landing gear. The aircraft had the Nakajima trademark wing with a straight leading edge and tapered trailing edge which would reappear again on the Ki-43, Ki-44, and Ki-84.
The Ki-27 made its first flight on 15 October 1936. Ε] Ζ] Although it had a slower top speed and worse climb performance than its competitors, Η] the Army chose the Nakajima design for its outstanding turning ability granted by its remarkably low wing loading. The Army ordered 10 pre-production samples (Ki-27a) for further testing, which featured an enclosed cockpit with sliding canopy and larger wings.
The type was officially accepted into service in 1937 as the Army Type 97 Fighter. In addition to Nakajima, the Ki-27 was also manufactured by Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd and Manshukoku Hikoki Seizo KK, with a total of 3,368 built before production ended in 1942.
Mitsubishi A6M2b Type 0 Model 21 'Tsu-134' trainer
Mitsubishi A6M2b of Tsukuba Naval Air Group, 11th Training Combined Air Group, Imperial Japanese Navy, based out of Tsukuba Air Base, Tsukuba, Japan in the summer of 1944.
The Mitsubishi A6M, commonly known as "Rei-Sen" or "Zero-Sen" for its "Type 0" designation (Type 0, meaning it entered service in Imperial Year 2600 - 1940 in the Gregorian Calendar), was a naval fighter type introduced to replace the earlier Mitsubishi A5M. As such, it became an emblematic fighter aircraft - as synonymous for the Japanese war effort as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 for the German, P-51 Mustang for the American, and Supermarine Spitfire for the British ones. The "Zero" represented both the best and worst traits of Japanese fighter design.
Coming at a time when fighter aircraft around the world were making the transition from biplanes to monoplane fighters, the "Zero" was the result of a demanding set of specifications laid out in a fighter design by the Imperial Japanese Navy for a replacement of the A5M - it was to be a naval fighter aircraft, with a wing span smaller than 12 meters, capable of a speed of 600 kmh, with an endurance of 2 hours at normal power and 6 hours at economical power, armed with two guns, and equiped with a full radio and radio direction finder set. This set of specifications was laid out in front of Nakajima and Mitsubishi Nakajima soon pulled out of the contest, saying it could not be done, however, Mitsubishi said it could, but only if.
The main problem facing Mitsubishi was the lack of a powerful engine: the engine available to the designers was the Mitsubishi Zuisei 13, which turned out 780 hp - falling short of the 1000 and more hp commonly attained by British, American and German engines at the time. This meant that in order to get the kind of performance of Western types, the designers at Mitsubishi had to resort to. desperate measures. This began with the amuminium alloys with which the A6M was made: the Extra Super Duralumin alloy was lighter than more commonly used aviation alloys, but also more brittle and susceptible to corrosion. In order to lighten the aircraft even further, features common in contemporary fighter designs were omitted - the "Zero" carried little armour and was not fitted with self-sealing fuel tanks. This meant that the resulting design was light and manoeuverable, but also lacked in crash resistance, and easily caught fire or disintegrated when hit by enemy fire.
First flying on April 1st, 1939, the Mitsubishi A6M prototypes proved to be promising, however after the engine was changed from the 780 hp Mitsubishi Zuisei on the A6M1 to the 940 hp Nakajima Sakae on the A6M2, it surpassed most of the specifications demanded of it. It proved such a promising design, that 15 aircraft were ordered into service on July 1st 1940, before the type's operational trials had even been completed. The type drew first blood against the Chinese in August of 1940: during an encounter with Chinese-flown Polikarpov I-153s and I-16s, a force of 13 Zero's managed to shoot down 27 Chinese fighters in a matter of minutes. Reports of this and other encounters filtered through to the US military, where they were dismissed as "pure fantasy" - in their (racially motivated) views, the Japanese were simply "not capable" of producing a high-performance fighter type.
All of this meant, that the Zero's brutal reveal at Pearl Harbor, and its rout of Allied air forces throughout the Pacific and South-East Asia came as a bit of a shock to the Allies. Dispatching with ease with such advanced fighter types such as the Curtiss P-36 and P-40, the Seversky P-35, the Brewster F2A Buffalo, the Hawker Hurricane, and the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the fast and nimble "Zero" at times seemed invulnerable and untouchable. It was only when the wrecks of a number of aircraft were recovered - most prominantly an intact A6M2 which had force-landed on Akutan Island, that the Zero revealed its secrets. New tactics were devised, greatly levelling the playing field.
The loss of four aircraft carriers and most of their experienced pilots in the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway was a severe blow to the Imperial Japanese Navy - while aircraft could be replaced, the same could not be said for the experience which was lost with the hundreds of pilots lost in both battles, as the Japanese military aviation's training program lagged compared to those of its Allied counterparts. Despite upgrades to the Zero - first in the form of the A6M3 Model 32 with a supercharged engine, followed by the A6M3 Model 22 with increased fuel tankage, and ultimately resulting in the A6M5 Model 52 with increased armour, armament and other improvements - the Zero slowly lost its edge as new and better Allied types were introduced in the form of the P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair and F6F Hellcat. Much like its German counterpart, the Bf 109, the Zero could still deliver a bite in the hands of an experienced veteran, but was otherwise outclassed in the hands of a novice. Despite this, and mostly due to the problems with its intended successor, the Mitsubishi A7M Reppu, the A6M remained in production until the end of the War.
The model previously produced by Airfix as kit A01005 is incorrectly identified as an aircraft of the 201st Kokutai at Tobera Airfield, Keravat, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea in 1944. Instead, it is an aircraft used by the Tsukuba Naval Air Group, 11th Training Combined Air Group, Imperial Japanese Navy, based out of Tsukuba Air Base, Tsukuba, Japan in the summer of 1944. This was a naval fighter trainer unit, which had converted to a Zero trainer unit in March of 1944, and used obsolete A6M2 fighter airframes as well as A6M2-K two-seat trainers.
This model represents the same aircraft as the one I did last year, but this time sporting the correct trainer livery, with the distictive orange undersides of wartime Japanese trainer aircraft.
This kit has since been superceded by Airfix A01005A, which includes decals and livery for an aircraft of the 3rd Air Group, 202nd Kokutai of the Imperial Japanese Navy, based at Rabaul air base, East New Britain, Papua-New-Guinea in September of 1942.
1/72 Airfix A01005
Inventory number 1133 - purchased March 9th 2017
First model completed in 2017
561 aircraft still on 'to do' list.
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Our WWII WARBIRD collection continues to grow.
Come out and see what fought in the first world war!
The Messerschmitt Me-262 &ldquoSchwalbe&rdquo (Swallow) was the world&rsquos first operational combat jet. As such, it immediately outclassed all piston fighters and would have been a serious threat if it had been available in significant numbers. The design predated WWII, but engine difficulties delayed operational status until mid-1944.
No original Me-262s are still airworthy. The museum&rsquos aircraft was reconstructed and first flown in 2011. It is painted as &ldquoWhite 3&rdquo, flown by Ens. Hans Guido Mutke of JG 7, the most successful Me-262 squadron during the war. Guido Mutke visited our museum several years ago, before he passed away.
The Curtiss P-40, first flown in 1938, saw service in most WWII theaters. As one of few fighters available at the beginning of the war, they were sent under lend-lease to Britain and the Soviet Union as well as serving famously with the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers. Our aircraft carries the livery of AVG legend &ldquoTex&rdquo Hill.
In the U.S. all P-40&rsquos were &ldquoWarhawks&rdquo, but later variants were called &ldquoKittyhawks&rdquo by other nations. The P-40 was almost obsolete at the beginning of the war, but with the right tactics, it was still capable of great impact.
The MAM&rsquos P-40 was built in 1941 and was sent to Great Britain, then on to the Soviet Union to a squadron near Murmansk where it was lost in action and restored 50 years later. It returned to the skies after extensive reconstruction in 2003.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Chip Garcia and Rich Garcia
One of the most powerful and unique fighter aircraft of the war is undoubtedly the instantly recognizable &ldquogull-wing&rdquo Corsair. Designed by the Vought Aircraft Company, demand was such that production was also licensed to Goodyear and Brewster.
Known to pilots as &ldquohose-nose&rdquo and to the Japanese as &ldquoWhistling Death&rdquo, the Corsair had birthing difficulties as a carrier-based aircraft but saw immediate success as a ground-based fighter as popularized by Maj. Greg Boyington and the &ldquoBlack Sheep&rdquo Squadron of television fame.
MAM&rsquos Corsair was delivered in May of 1945 and spent much of its military career in storage, being one of the lowest time Corsairs known. The &ldquoSkull and Bones&rdquo livery is that of Norfolk-born Ray Beacham, who flew with the famous VF-17 in the Pacific.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Colonel Edward Leiland, Robert E. &ldquoBeer Mug&rdquo Holmes, Jay Jessup, Jerry Jones, Kevin Pittman and Gregory Covello
Designed in 1940 with the flying prototype built in under 120 days to British specs, the Mustang proved to be capable but somewhat underpowered, particularly at altitude.
The RAF and AAC tested replacing the Allison engine with Merlin engines, and a legend was born. First operational with U.S. forces in June 1944 in its new configuration, the Mustang now had the speed, range, and firepower to master the skies over Europe, allowing the survival of daylight bombing.
MAM&rsquos P-51D was built in 1945 and was immediately sent to England to the 8th Air Force. Markings belong to the Deputy Commander of the 353rd Fighter Group. In post-war years it served in the air forces of Sweden and Nicaragua.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Lawrence Berlin, Steve Futato, Joseph O&rsquoBrien, Alexander J. Campbell and Jeanie Jacobs
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a German World War II fighter aircraft that was the backbone of the Luftwaffe&rsquos fighter force.
The Bf 109 first saw operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II in 1945.
It was one of the most advanced fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine. From the end of 1941, the Bf 109 was steadily being supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Robin Reinhardt
The Hawker Hurricane was originally designed in 1934 as an updated monoplane version of the Hawker Fury (also in the MAM collection). It first flew the next year.
It could be argued that Britain would have lost the war in 1940 without this plane. During the Battle of Britain, when that country fought alone against expected invasion, the Hurricane was flying in greater numbers than the more popular Spitfire and accounted for 80% of enemy planes destroyed.
The MAM Hurricane was built in 1943 as one of the 1,451 planes built in Canada, and it is almost completely in its original condition. The livery is that of Pilot Officer John Kenneth Haviland, the only U.S.-born RAF pilot who flew in the Battle of Britain that survived the war. Haviland returned to the U.S. and retired as Professor Emeritus at the University of Va.
This aircraft has been adopted by: John Dorroll and Robin Latchford
Designed for high altitude combat, the Mig-3 was usually forced into roles which resulted in inferior performance. An excellent aircraft above 12,000 feet, its performance was seriously diminished at lower altitudes. According to one pilot, the Mig-3 flew like &ldquoa cow&rdquo below that altitude. It was a demanding plane to fly in any configuration, and it was relegated to defensive units fairly early in the war.
The museum&rsquos Mig-3 is the only flying Mig-3 anywhere in the world.
The North American P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s.
The Spitfire, along with the Mustang, are the best WWII examples of the old adage, &ldquoIf it looks good, it will fly good&rdquo. First flown in 1936, the Spitfire went through an astonishing number of variants and was used by more than 36 countries for several decades past war&rsquos end.
Shipped to Casablanca in 1944, the MAM&rsquos Spitfire served in North Africa, Italy, Corsica, Greece, and Yugoslavia during the war and Italy and Israel after the war. Its final service prior to restoration was as a dilapidated playground attraction in an Israeli kibbutz.
The unique markings of &ldquoThe CO&rsquos Query&rdquo are those of the Squadron Commander George Silvester (DFC) of RAF 32 Squadron assigned to Kolomaki, Greece.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Grey Libbey and Jim Given
The Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter built by Grumman that entered service in 1940 with the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the &ldquoMartlet&rdquo). In the Pacific, it was the only fighter available in the early war, and it was only with superior tactics that it achieved a 6:1 kill ratio in the first year of the war.
Lessons learned from the Wildcat led to the Grumman Hellcat, but the Wildcat continued to serve throughout the war on &ldquojeep&rdquo carriers that were too small to take on larger aircraft. Wildcats built under license by GM were designated FM-2 as distinct from the Grumman F4F.
No less authority than British test pilot Eric Brown said &ldquoI would still assess the Wildcat as the outstanding naval fighter of the early years of WWII &hellipthis Grumman fighter was one of the finest shipboard aeroplanes ever created.&rdquo
Introduced in 1944, the Yak-2 was a Soviet fighter aircraft. It was lighter and smaller than most fighters, and it was regarded by some as superior to the Spitfire and Mustang for pure dogfighting ability due to its&rsquo high power-to-weight ratio.
Several combat engagements between numerically superior German planes and Yaks led to a Luftwaffe command to &ldquoavoid combat with Yak fighters &hellip&rdquo because as many as 15 Germans were shot down for each Yak lost.
The museum&rsquos Yak-3 is a rare case among warbirds. In 1991 Yakovlev used original parts and dies to build, new, a number of Yak-3 replicas which were given the suffix &ldquoM&rdquo to distinguish them from original production models. The &ldquoM&rdquo model is largely different from original models in its use of the Allison engine.
The Boeing P-26 &ldquoPeashooter&rdquo was the first all-metal production fighter aircraft and was also the first &ldquopursuit&rdquo monoplane used by the U.S. Army Air Corps. To add to the list of &ldquofirsts&rdquo, it was also the debut of flaps to reduce landing speeds. Sadly, it was the last fighter built by Boeing.
The prototype first flew in 1932, and the type was still in use in the Philippines as late as 1941. The unusual high-back canopy, which was armored, was added due to the planes unfortunate tendency to flip over after a bad landing due to the short nose.
Despite the small production, the type actually served until 1956 with the Guatemalan Air Force. MAM&rsquos replica P-26 was built completed in 2006 and is painted to represent the 1st Pursuit Group, 94th Pursuit Squadron circa 1935-36.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 &ldquoWürger&rdquo (Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe&rsquos Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force). The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.
The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in October 1943, finding much success in fighter wings and specialized ground attack units. The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots, and some of the Luftwaffe&rsquos most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.
The Museum&rsquos Fw 190A-8 was built by a private enthusiast from a Flugwerk kit and first flew in 2010 before being acquired by the museum in 2015. This aircraft is unusual in that it is fitted with a four-bladed propeller and hub (rather than the original three-blade propeller), and has a modified cowling to fit a more modern Tupelov Tu-2 engine.
Fw 190A-8, Blue 4 served with 12 /JG 5. Displayed as the a/c flown by Ltn Rudi Linz in 12./JG 5, a German ace with 70 victories. He was shot down by RAF Mustang and crashed near Herdla, Norway, during the &lsquoBlack Friday&rsquo raid on February 9, 1945, after being involved in combat while defending German destroyer Z33.
Restored at the Texas Air Museum in Rio Hondo, Texas. Now it is displayed in the Cottbus Hangar of the Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach.
The D-9 &ldquoDora&rdquo or &ldquolong-nose&rdquo version of the Fw-190 was intended to improve the higher altitude performance of the aircraft. Many Fw-190 D&rsquos were constructed at a final assembly plant in the hangars of Cottbus.
Originally the Dora was used by the German Luftwaffe to combat high-altitude bombers. As the air war evolved, the &ldquoDora&rdquo was more typically involved in fighter-to-fighter operations.
The museum&rsquos &ldquoDora&rdquo is a reconstruction painted in the &ldquoBlack 12&rdquo livery of Lt. Theo Nibel of JG 54. During Operation Bodenplatte, Germany&rsquos last major aerial offensive of WWII, Nibel made a successful forced landing after a bird strike crippled his aircraft.
An improved second-generation (&ldquobis&rdquo) version of the I-15 corrected the visibility and stability concerns of the original. It was the most-produced Soviet fighter plane of the pre-war era, and Soviet Air Force pilots held the plane in high regard due to its stability and combat handling.
By 1941, the aircraft was mostly used for observation, patrol, anti-submarine defense, and night attacks. They were in use all the way up to 1945, and for some years in Mongolia after that.
MAM&rsquos &ldquobis&rdquo is believed to be the only example remaining. It was found wrecked in Northern Russia and was fully restored in time to fly in the 2001 Moscow Air Show.
In 1933, Polikarpov broke away from his biplane designs and worked on the world&rsquos first cantilever-wing monoplane design with fully retractable landing gear. The &ldquorat&rdquo was considered more difficult to fly than earlier models, so a two-cockpit design was rushed into production for dual instruction.
The &ldquorat&rdquo was underestimated by many opposing pilots due to its ungainly appearance, but its speed and firepower were more impressive than it looks.
The I-16 was definitely a front-line fighter at the outbreak of WWII, but as early as 1941 it was beginning to be outclassed by most opposing fighter aircraft. This particular plane was built in 1939 according to the data plate found at the crash site near the Finnish border.
The I-153 was the third version of the venerable 1930&rsquos biplane fighter, the I-15.
It saw limited use but did fly against the Japanese in Mongolia. This version returned to the original gull-wing design for the top wing, and was given the nickname &ldquoChaika&rdquo, or &ldquoseagull&rdquo. It also had a larger engine and fully retractable landing gear.
The Fighter Factory&rsquos 1938 Polikarpov I-153 was found in a swamp outside of Murmansk. This aircraft, serial number 6316, once flew with the 2nd Aviation Fighter Squadron of the Northern Navy. After being restored in Russia in 1998, this plane performed at air shows in New Zealand.
The La-9 &ldquoFritz&rdquo was developed by the Soviets as an early post-WWII improvement on the earlier La-126 prototype.
First flown and accepted in 1946, the new fighter was all metal compared to partially wood, and it had a new laminar flow wing, much like the U.S. developed for the P-51.
The La-9 had greater fuel capacity and better armament than its predecessor, but it was inferior to the Yakovlev Yak-3, and production was ended less than two full years later in 1948.
Variants included adding a pulse-jet engine under each wing, but the resulting small airspeed increase came at the cost of poor handling, vibration, and noise.
Based on the P-39 Aircobra, the P-63 was delivered in 1943. Several unique features characterize the plane, including tricycle gear, cannon firing through the propeller hub, automotive-style cockpit door, and mid-fuselage engine installation.
The P-63 proved to be a solid ground attack platform and was used by the Soviets for killing German tanks and general low-level work. The vast majority of P-63&rsquos were sent to Russia via Alaska and Iran, although some were used by the Free French Air Force. None are known to have seen combat with U.S. Forces.
The MAM P-63 is one of a group that was engaged against Japanese forces at the extreme eastern Russian territory at the end of WWII. Several P-63&rsquos were found after 60 years of open storage.
First flown in 1930, the tri-motor &ldquoIron Annie&rdquo saw service in military and civilian airline roles. In her military role, she was used as a troop transport, cargo, bomber, and paratroop platform. The unusual duralumin skin and wing spars and the corrugation provided extra strength and stiffening of the structure.
The aircrafts light armament and low speed made it vulnerable to fighter attack, and losses grew dramatically as the war progressed. MAM&rsquos Ju 52 was built by Spain in 1950. It carries the markings of the early war campaign in Crete. The crests on the nose are the coats of arms of the cities of Brandenburg and Hapsburg.
Only seven Ju 52&rsquos remain flyable, and the MAM&rsquos example is the only one flying in North America.
The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was launched into history in the opening months of WWII. As the entire air bombardment concept owed itself to Gen. &ldquoBilly&rdquo Mitchell, the B-25 is the only U.S. aircraft to be named after a person.
Just four short months after Pearl Harbor, Gen. James Doolittle led a one-way raid from the decks of the carrier Hornet against the Japanese Empire with B-25&rsquos. The emotional impact of the raid on both nations was far greater than the actual damage inflicted.
B-25&rsquos served in all theaters of the war, and many survived the war as transports and cargo carriers. The MAM&rsquos Mitchell was sold no less than ten times after the war for as little as $500.
This aircraft has been adopted by: In Honor of David Kays, Mark L. Wilson &ndash Flower Mound, TX and Greg Merryman
Introduced into the fleet in 1942, the Avenger torpedo bomber was designed in the late 1930&rsquos as a replacement for the aging Douglas Devastator. The original TBF Avenger built by Grumman was also contracted out to General Motors, whose planes were designated TBM.
Former President George H.W. Bush, then the youngest naval aviator in the service, was shot down while flying an Avenger from the carrier USS San Jacinto while attacking Chi Chi Jima Island and was rescued by a submarine.
MAM&rsquos Avenger was built in 1945, and she accumulated only 1,227 hours in her eleven years of service. She saw brief duty as a fire retardant &ldquobomber&rdquo before being acquired by MAM in 2001.
Her livery is that of Captain &ldquoZeke&rdquo Cormier who flew combat missions from escort carriers in the North Atlantic.
The Catalina was an American flying boat of 1930&rsquos design that was one of the most widely used, multi-role, designs of the war. It served in military branches as an observation, night attack, maritime patrol, bomber, air-sea rescue, and anti-submarine aircraft.
The Catalina&rsquos outstanding range and endurance made her the key element in the destruction of the German battleship Bismarck and the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway, where a Catalina also rescued the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron Eight, Ensign George Gay.
MAM&rsquos &ldquoCat&rdquo was accepted in October of 1943, and had an extensive career that took her to San Diego, Norfolk, French Morocco, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, and the Azores, but her civilian career was far more interesting.
This aircraft has been adopted by: The Southworth Family
Designed as a replacement for the obsolete SBD Dauntless, the new &ldquoDauntless II&rdquo was tested in 1945. From this initial design came the AD Skyraider. At the time, the military phonetic alphabet used &ldquoAble&rdquo and &ldquoDog&rdquo for letters AD, and the nickname &ldquoAble Dog&rdquo stuck.
Astonishingly, more than one thousand variations were built on this airframe, including ground attack, airborne early warning, night attack, and even nuclear bomber.
The MAM&rsquos AD was built in 1949, and saw three tours in Korea with several squadrons. It is in the livery of LCDR &ldquoSwede&rdquo Carlson, commander of what became known as the &ldquoDam Busters&rdquo when his squadron accomplished in Korea what B-29&rsquos could not.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Capt. James B. Anderson
The de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito, constructed almost entirely of wood, is affectionately known as &ldquoThe Wooden Wonder&rdquo. This particular airplane, number KA114, was manufactured in Canada in 1945 but never saw combat action in the Second World War. In tribute to the New Zealanders responsible for the restoration, 487 Squadron RNZAF color scheme was chosen and it was painted as EG-Y.
After being sold surplus to a farmer in Alberta, Canada in 1948, it deteriorated in a farm field until 1978 when it was acquired by a Canadian museum. The Military Aviation Museum purchased the crumbling remains in 2004 and shipped it to AVspecs in New Zealand for restoration. A major obstacle was recreating the forms needed for the new wooden fuselage, wings, and tail sections. Glyn Powell, of Auckland, had spent nearly a decade building the 36 foot long molds for the fuselage alone.
Developed as a high-speed fighter with a two-man crew, this twin-engine aircraft is powered by dual original Rolls Royce Merlin engines and equipped with four replica machine guns and 20mm cannons under the nose. The Mossie was prized for its maneuverability and speed capability of over 350 mph.
Eight years of painstaking restoration work resulted in the long-awaited first flight at Ardmore Airport in September OF 2002. Of approximately 30 projects and museum displays that remain, our Mossie is the only flying Mosquito in the world today.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Kevin Hobbs, Carl E. Kelly, James Pernikoff and Tom Holston
The de Havilland Canada DHC Chipmunk is a two-seat primary trainer fully-aerobatic trainer that was standard for the RAF, RCAF, and several other countries through much of the post-second world war years. First flown in 1946, more than 500 &ldquoChippies&rdquo still fly.
The Chipmunk was in the air service of two dozen countries during her decades of service, and the MAM&rsquos Chipmunk is an excellent example. Built in 1952 at the de Havilland factory Broughton it was immediately assigned to RAF College Cranwell. She flew with the RAF until 1957, when she was transferred to the Army Air Corps, where she served for nearly forty years.
MAM acquired the aircraft in 2004.
At the International Aerobatic Championship in Germany in 1936, the 133A showed &ldquoastonishing agility&rdquo, and by 1938, the C version was the Luftwaffe&rsquos standard advanced trainer.
The Germans were strictly limited in their ability to produce aircraft as a result of the Versailles treaty that ended WWI, and they pushed those restrictions to the limit to prepare the pilots of &ldquosports and aerobatic clubs&rdquo that would become the core of the new Luftwaffe in WWII.
The museum&rsquos example was manufactured under license to Switzerland in 1940 for the Swiss Air Force. Unsurprisingly, Swiss craftsmanship reportedly made the Swiss-built Jungmeisters the best-built planes, and the Swiss Air Force&rsquos were the best maintained.
The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane trainer was built in the 1930&rsquos and 1940&rsquos by the Boeing company. Known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman, Kaydet, and most appropriately &ldquoThe Yellow Peril&rdquo, it served the Army, Navy, and RCAF as a primary or basic trainer throughout WWII.
The Stearman is a remarkably rugged aircraft, having been designed to take the abuse of teaching tens of thousands of pilot recruits to fly.
The unique design of the propeller on the Stearman, the tips of the propeller reach the speed of sound at take-off power settings, making the plane&rsquos signature &ldquogrowl&rdquo instantly recognizable. The plane served as the PT-13, PT-17, PT-18, and PT-27 and the S2N in various services.
The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is a 1930&rsquos biplane designed by Geoffrey de Haviland and was operated by the Royal Air Force and others as a primary trainer. The Tiger Moth first entered service in 1932 at the RAF Central Flying School.
From the outset, the Tiger Moth proved to be an ideal trainer, simple and cheap to own and maintain, although control movements required a positive and sure hand as there was a slowness to control inputs.
Some instructors preferred these flight characteristics because of the effect of &ldquoweeding&rdquo out the inept student pilots. It remained in service with the RAF until 1952.
The Focke Wulf aircraft company in Germany became perhaps the best known during WWII. In 1931, it had just merged with the famous Albatros firm of WWI fame. The Focke Wulf FW-44 (called the &ldquoStieglitz&rdquo, or &ldquoGoldfinch&rdquo) is a 1930&rsquos design for a biplane, two-seat trainer that first flew in 1932.
In the pre-war years, orders from glider and flying clubs, which would be the nucleus of the future Luftwaffe, ordered so many FW-44s that a new factory had to be built just to produce the Stieglitz. It is likely that virtually every German pilot of the period flew this plane at some point.
After many tests and modifications aimed at its durability and aerodynamics, the final FW-44 proved to have excellent airworthiness. The MAM&rsquos example of the FW-44 is the final model of the series (FW-44J).
The Fairchild PT-19 is an American Fairchild Aircraft monoplane primary trainer aircraft that served with the United States Army Air Forces, RAF and RCAF during World War II.
It was a contemporary of the Kaydet biplane trainer and was used by the USAAF during Primary Flying Training as the introductory pre-solo phase trainer for introducing new pilots to flying before passing them on to the more agile Kaydet. As with other USAAF trainers of the period, the PT-19 had multiple designations based on the powerplant installed.
The North American NA-16, designated by the Navy as the SNJ, the Air Corps as the AT-6, and the British as the Harvard, first flew in 1935. This aircraft was the &ldquomiddle step&rdquo in the training of many pilots between their Primary Training and their transition to actual combat aircraft.
This venerable type has flown in many training, liaison, combat, and observation roles in no fewer than 59 countries.
The first model of the AT-6/SNJ going to the Navy resulted in only 16 aircraft, and this model, the second variation with a different engine, only resulted in 61 SNJ-2&rsquos being produced.
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is an American single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force, and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force.
It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built.
The N3N &ldquoCanary&rdquo was built in the mid-1930&rsquos as a trainer. It is quite unusual in that it was both designed and built by a U.S. Government entity (the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, PA). NAF also procured the rights and tooling for the Wright Series 760 radial engine, and mounted those in their own planes.
The N3N was produced in both land and seaplane versions, the latter with a large single float under the fuselage. The N3N has the distinction of being the last biplane in the service of the U.S. Military.
The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun was a German single-engine sport and touring aircraft, developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) in the 1930s. The Bf 108 was of all-metal construction.
Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37&rsquos overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its extremely low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics.
The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the substantially larger, 12.67-litre displacement Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for &ldquotyphoon&rdquo) was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well-known German pilot, and was generally adopted.
The aircraft was developed in France at the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord ( SNCAN ), which has been the Messerschmitt Bf 108 since the occupation of France by Germany. The airframe and the wings are very similar to those of the Bf 108, one can speak in total of a modernized and heavily modified Bf 108.
Many of the machines are preserved and mostly exhibited in museums, the MAM Museum&rsquos ME-208 is the only fly ready 208 in the United States.
The Fiat G.46 was a military trainer developed in Italy shortly after World War II. The G.46 was a conventional, low-wing monoplane with tailwheel undercarriage, the main units of which retracted inwards. The pilot and instructor sat in tandem under a long canopy. The first prototype, powered by a 205 hp (153 kW) Alfa Romeo 115-Ibis engine, made its maiden flight on 25 June 1947.
Its initial testing revealed excellent flying characteristics and suitability for aerobatics, and the type was ordered into production.
Apart from the 150 ordered by the Aeronautica Militare, 70 aircraft were exported, to Austria, Argentina and Syria.
The biplane with the largest production run in aviation history was the Po-2. An astonishing 40,000 plus were produced between 1928 &ndash 1953. The Po-2 was a general purpose biplane that was used in military and civilian roles as a trainer, crop-duster, ground attack, and observation platform.
Originally named the U-2, it was designed by the Soviets to replace the U-1, which was the Avro 504 as used for training. One of its uses was as a psychological warfare weapon as it attacked out of nowhere in the night to deprive German troops of sleep.
This type was also used by the &ldquoNight Witches&rdquo of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment who flew as many as 18 low altitude night raids in a single night, harassing German rear-area positions. The Po-2 was almost impossible to shoot down due to tactics, low stall speed, and a tight turn radius.
This aircraft has been adopted by: Gene Kwiatkowski
The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was developed for the Army from the civilian Stinson Voyager. The L-5 served in observation and support roles as a light and nimble aircraft that would operate out of almost any small field available.
L-5&rsquos were capable of taking off in as little as 50 feet with full flaps, earning the name of the &ldquoFlying Jeep&rdquo. The plane could deliver messages and supplies to frontline areas and evacuate casualties in a &ldquolitter&rdquo behind the pilot when the observer&rsquos seat was not needed.
During the Korean War, Marine L-5&rsquos (USMC designation OY) even operated from a carrier.
The Piper J-3 Cub is an American light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. Due to its performance, it was well suited for a variety of military uses such as reconnaissance, liaison and ground control. It was produced in large numbers during World War II as the L-4 Grasshopper. The L-4 was mechanically identical to the J-3 civilian Cub, but was distinguishable by the use of a Plexiglas greenhouse skylight and rear windows for improved visibility.
During WWII Goodyear Aircraft Corporation developed the &ldquoM&rdquo class blimps. The first one, XM-1, was used to try some hooked on airplane flight operations. The Cub was selected and designed to be dropped from the blimp to take photos and to do other tasks. XM-1 was flown with an NE-1 Piper Cub airplane on radio control and guidance experiments in early 1944. Several flights were made in March and April 1944 with the Piper Cub &ldquoGlimpy&rdquo supported from the forward car section. On 13 March a manned &ldquoGlimpy&rdquo was released for return flight to base at an altitude of approximately 1000 feet. The Museum&rsquos Cub was built in 1939.
Mitsubishi Army Type Ko 1 Trainer - History
Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II
Adapted from Japanese Rifles of World War II , by Duncan O. McCollum, 1996, published by Excalibur Publications, PO Box 36, Latham, NY 12110-0036, USA, ISBN: 1-880677-11-3 and Military Rifles of Japan , by Fred. L. Honeycutt, Jr., and F. Patt Anthony, Fifth Edition, 1996, published by Julin Books, 5282 Ridan Way, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418, ISBN: 0-9623208-7-0. Bayonet information from Bayonets from Janzen's Notebook , by Jerry L. Janzen, published by Cedar Ridge Publications, 73 Cedar Ridge Road, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74011-1142, USA. ISBN: 0-9619789-1-0.
Table of bayonet variations added 09/07/2000.
Production figures added 08/05/2000.
Spelling of Col. Arisaka's name updated 06/25/2000, based on information supplied by his great-granddaughter.
Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II
The Japanese manufactured over 6.4 million rifles and carbines in the 40 years from 1906 to 1945. Most of these rifles were still in use during the Sino-Japanese War of the 1930s and the Pacific War of the 1940s. During the war and subsequent American occupation of Japan, thousands of these rifles found their way to the United States as war souvenirs, making them one of the most common foreign military firearms available in the country.
The Arisaka rifles are named for Colonel
Nariaki Nariakira Arisaka, who headed a commission during the 1890s which was charged with developing a new rifle to replace the earlier models such as the Murata. The Arisaka rifles were designated with the year of the current emperor's reign. Thus, the Type 38 rifle was designed in the 38th year of the reign of Emperor Meiji (1905), and the Type 44 carbine was adopted in the 44th year of his reign (1911). During the reign of Hirohito, rifles were designated by the last one or two digits of the adoption year according to the standard Japanese calendar. Thus, the Type 99 rifle was adopted in Japanese calendar year 2599 (1939), and the Type 2 paratroop rifle was adopted in calendar year 2602 (1942).
A chrysanthemum with 16 petals (the symbol of the Japanese Emperor) was usually stamped on the receiver of rifles manufactured for the Imperial Japanese Army, indicating that the rifle belonged to the Emperor. The chrysanthemum resembles this:
The chrysanthemum was at least partially ground off on rifles which were surrendered after the war, apparently as a face-saving gesture. Rifles captured in the field, however, normally have the chrysanthemum symbol intact. The Type designation was stamped into the top of the receiver using the character shiki for "type" and Japanese numerals. The shiki character and the characters for the Japanese numerals are shown in the following table.
A small number of Type 38 and Type 99 rifles had two concentric circles on the receiver in place of the chrysanthemum. The purpose of these specially-marked rifles is not known, although it is speculated that they were issued to paramilitary forces such as the Kempei Tai (Japanese Secret Police), other military police, and guards at prisons, embassies, and other civil instillations. Some concentric circle rifles were remarked standard issue Type 38 and Type 99 rifles that had the chrysanthemum completely or partially removed and replaced with the concentric circle marking. These rifles were serialized separately from regular production pieces. Other rifles apparently were originally manufactured and marked with concentric circles, which looks something like this:
Each Japanese rifle was marked with the symbol of either the arsenal of manufacture or the arsenal that supervised the manufacturing subcontractor. This mark can be found on the left side of the receiver at the end of the rifle serial number. Rifles manufactured by a commercial subcontractor bear the subcontractor's mark to the right of the supervising arsenal's mark. These marks are shown in the following table.
|Symbol||Arsenal/Subcontractor||Period of Operation|
|Koishikawa Arsenal (Tokyo)||1870-1935|
|Jinsen Arsenal (Korea)||1923-1945|
|Mukden Arsenal (Manchuria)||1931-1945|
|Tokyo Juki Kogyo||1940-1945|
|Tokyo Juki Kogyo||1940-1945|
At various times, rifles were removed from military service and sold to other countries or transferred to Japanese schools as training weapons. Normally, the chrysanthemum on these rifles was overstamped with the Koishikawa (Tokyo) / Kokura Arsenal symbol or a ring of small circles to indicate that the rifle no longer belonged to the Imperial Japanese Army. Rifles given to schools often have an additional character stamped on the top of the receiver between the chrysanthemum and the type designation characters. Most of these "school-marked" rifles also have two or three zeros preceeding the serial number. The "school" mark looks something like this:
All Japanese military rifles had serial numbers except extremely rare prototypes, other pre-production guns, and occasional rifles assembled very late in World War II. The serial number was stamped on the left side of the receiver, followed by the arsenal symbol. Initially, rifles make in Japanese arsenals were numbered consecutively within each Type designation. In 1933 this scheme was replaced by a system in which rifles were numbered in blocks, or series, of 99,999 each [actually 100,000, according to Honeycutt, running from serial numbers 0 through 99,999]. Each series was identified by a small Japanese character (kana) placed within a circle to the left of the serial number. Specific blocks of kana were assigned to each arsenal or manufacturer to use for a specific rifle type. The series markings are illustrated in the following table.
|Series Number||Series Mark||Series Number||Series Mark|
The following table, based on information from McCollum's and Honeycutt's books, provides some information about rifle production at the various arsenals, organized by type of rifle. These figures are only estimates, and are based on recorded serial number information. Blank entries indicate that the information in the entry immediately above applies to the blank entry as well.
Production information for sniper rifles, paratroop rifles (Types 100 and 2), Test Type 1 rifles, and Type I rifles (produced by Italy for the Japanese Navy and not based totally on the Arisaka action) are not included.
- Koishikawa switched from "B" to "S" barrel proof mark in the late 800,000 serial number range.
- Rifles in this series have been observed with (i) mum removed and either an elongated M or the school mark substituted, or (ii) mum overstamped by the Nagoya symbol, an elongated M, or other characters. The elongated M indicates "military reserves".
- Some rifles have been reported stamped with the character signifying "for education" (not to be confused with the school mark).
- Serial numbers in this range are preceded by two hiragana characters for "i" and "ro", the first two characters in the Japanese syllabary. These characters resemble "w" and "3", and these serial numbers have been misidentified as being in the 300,000 range.
- These rifles will normally be found stamped with a symbol similar to the series mark for "4" stamped underneath the receiver or on the barrel, indicating a second class arm.
- Carbines with a shallow "00" or "000" stamped in front of the serial number have been removed from service use.
- Koishikawa switched from the "B" to the "S" barrel proof mark in the late 20,000 serial number range.
- "T" proof mark stamped on barrel at receiver.
The bayonets were normally serial numbered, but the serial numbers were assigned independently from those assigned to the rifles.
Symbols indicating the arsenals at which the bayonets were manufactured, or the arsenal that supervised the subcontractor, are stamped on the right ricasso. These markings are identified in the following table:
|Tokyo Arsenal prior to 1936|
|Kokura Arsenal 1936-45|
|Jinsen Arsenal (Korea)|
|Mukden Arsenal (Manchuria)|
|National Denki (National Electric)|
|Unknown company under Kokura supervision|
|National Denki under Kokura supervision|
|Howa Jyuko under Nagoya supervision|
|Unknown company under Nagoya supervision|
|Toyoda Jidoshoki Seisakusho (Toyoda Automatic Loom Works) under Nagoya supervision|
|Unknown company under Nagoya supervision|
The variations are too numerous to illustrate here, but the following table (lifted from Honeycutt) lists the more commonly found variations. The abbreviations are listed below the table. My references do not list any production information for the many variations.
|Arsenal Mark||Blade Finish||Fullers||Crossguard Shape||Grip Shape||Grip Fasteners||Pommel Shape|
The following abbreviations are used in the above table:
SC - Straight contoured
SR - Straight rectangular
C - Contoured, screw retained
CWA - Contoured, wrap around, rivet retained
SWA - Straight, wrap around, rivet retained
S - Straight, rivet retained
BHC - Birdshead, contoured
BHF - Birdshead, flat sides
R - Rectangular
As usual, I'm not responsible for any factual errors, but please report any transcription errors to me.
.:Hasegawa:. Mitsubishi Ki-46-II Type 100 (Dinah) Command Recon. Plane #reissue
Includes markings for three aircraft from the 81st Flight Regiment (see Shigeo Koike box art), and one from the 18th Company Independence .
Includes markings for three aircraft from the 81st Flight Regiment (see Shigeo Koike box art), and one from the 18th Company Independence Flight (single color fuselage with tiger marking on the fin).
Mitsubishi Army Type Ko 1 Trainer - History
Fairchild PT-19 / PT-23 / PT-26 Cornell
PT-19 N52164, flown by Ken Dorsch and owned by Curt Kinchen (now owned by John Armbrust.) Photo by Neville Dawson, Classic Wings Downunder.
History: Basic flight training in the United States prior to World War II was generally provided in light biplanes, which tended to be slow, stable and tolerant of fledgling pilots. Thus, the majority of U.S. Army Air Corps primary training in 1940 was still being done in biplanes like the Boeing-Stearman PT-13/17 series. However, given the increasingly high-performance nature of the world's combat aircraft, the Army reasoned that the primary training was too easy, giving the beginner a false sense of mastery that could, on the next leg up, slow down his learning, or even cause him to fail, when he was prematurely thrust into more demanding aircraft. Experienced instructors wanted the primary trainer to be a monoplane, with higher wing loading that demanded more careful flying. Such reasoning led the USAAC to evaluate the Fairchild M62 two-seat monoplane in 1939.
With a wing loading factor roughly 43 percent higher than the Boeing-Stearman PT-13, the Fairchild had a higher stalling speed and required a good deal more care at low speed, making it exactly what the Army was looking for, a trainer that would more nearly resemble the fighter aircraft the trainees would eventually fly. Following its evaluation, USAAC ordered 270 of the craft, with two open cockpits, as the PT-19 "Cornell," powered by a Ranger L-440 six-cylinder, inverted, air-cooled inline engine of 175 horsepower.
When the Army placed massive orders for primary trainers, Fairchild increased the plane's power with an upgraded, 200 hp Ranger engine, and the plane became the PT-19A. To meet the increasing demand, the PT-19A was also built by the Aeronca and St. Louis aircraft companies, with a total of more than 3,700 built.
More than 900 of a blind-flying version, the PT-19B, were also built. With its instruments for blind flying, the PT-19B could be fitted with a hood over the front cockpit to simulate blind flying conditions. Fairchild built 774 of the B models, with Aeronca building another 143.
When a shortage of Ranger engines developed, Fairchild installed a Continental R-670 radial engine of 220 hp on the PT-19 airframe, that variant being designated PT-23. While the less-streamlined engine cowling reduced the plane's performance slightly, for the training role the loss was not significant.
The final version of the PT-19 series, an enclosed-cockpit version designated the PT-26, was designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 with a canopy over the two cockpits. 670 of the PT-26s were provided to the RCAF through Lend-Lease and, in a variation on the Lend-Lease theme, the U.S. Army Air Force ordered 1,057 PT-26s from the Canadian manufacturer, Fleet Aircraft, Ltd. All PT-26s were equipped with the 200 hp Ranger engine.
A total of 7,742 Cornells were manufactured for the AAF, 4,889 of them PT-19s, with additional Cornells being furnished to Canada, Norway, Brazil, Ecuador and Chile.
Nicknames: "Cradle of the Air Force"
Engine: One 200-hp Ranger L-440 six-cylinder inverted inline piston engine
Weight: Empty 2,022 lbs., Max Takeoff 2,736 lbs.
Wing Span: 36ft. 0in.
Length: 27ft. 8.5in.
Height: 7ft. 7.5in.
Maximum Speed: 122 mph
Ceiling: 13,200 ft.
Range: 400 miles
Number Built: 7,742
Number Still Airworthy: At least 100 (all variants).
PT-19 Cockpit Photo:
(Click for larger)
PT-26 Cockpit Photo:
(Click for larger)