Yokosuka P1Y Ginga

The Yokosuka P1Y Ginga (Galaxy) 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 first flight was in August 1943. Nakajima manufactured 1,002 examples, which were operated by five Kokutais (Air Groups), and acted as land-based medium and torpedo bombers from airfields in China, Taiwan, Marianas, Philippines, Ryukyu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū. During the last stages of the war the P1Y was utilized 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 (Aurora), 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 B-29s, many were converted back to Ginga bombers.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 15.00 m (49 ft 2⅜ in)
  • Wingspan: 20.00 m (65 ft 7¼ in)
  • Height: 4.30 m (14 ft 1¼ in)
  • Wing area: 55 m² (592 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,265 kg (16,020 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 10,500 kg (23,149 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 13,500 kg (29,762 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial engines, 1,361 kW (1,825 hp)

  • Maximum speed: 547 km/h (295 knot, 340 mph) at 5,900 m (19,400 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 370 km/h (200 knots, 230 mph) at 4,000 m (13,125 ft)
  • Range: 5,370 km (2,900 nmi, 3,337 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 9,400 m (30,840 ft)
  • Wing loading: 191 kg/m² (39.1 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.20 kW/kg (0.16 hp/lb)

  • 1× flexible, nose-mounted 20 mm Type 99 cannon
  • 1× flexible rear-firing 13 mm Type 2 machine gun
  • 1× 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) of bombs or
  • 1× 800 kg (1,800 lb) torpedo

** Yokosuka P1Y Ginga - Warbird Fare

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