Saturday, September 15, 2012
Dave Porter's Mitsubishi F1M (Pete)
The Mitsubishi F1M (Allied reporting name "Pete") was a Japanese reconnaissance floatplane of World War II. It was the last biplane type of the Imperial Japanese Navy, with 1,118 built between 1936 and 1944. The Navy designation was "Type Zero Observation Seaplane" not to be confused with the Type Zero Carrier Fighter or the Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane.
The F1M1 was powered by the Nakajima Hikari MK1 radial engine, delivering 611 kW (820 hp), a maximum speed of 368 km/h (230 mph) and operating range of up to 1,072 km (670 mi) (when overloaded). It provided the Imperial Japanese Navy with a very versatile operations platform.
Optionally armed with a maximum of three 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns (two fixed forward-firing and one flexible rear-firing) and two 60 kg (132 lb) bombs
The F1M was originally built as a catapult-launched reconnaissance float plane, specializing in gunnery spotting. However the "Pete" took on a number of local roles including area-defense fighter, convoy escort, bomber, anti-submarine, maritime patrol, rescue and transport. The type fought dogfights in the Aleutians, the Solomons and several other theaters. See also PT 34 sunk 9 April 1942 by "Petes".