Mitsubishi G3M 'Nell'
As far back as 1935, in response to Japanese naval requirement for a landbased twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft, Mitsubishi flew the first Ka-15 prototype, an aircraft which possessed a design potential that allowed development as a long-range medium bomber, Accordingly, following successful flight trials, the aircraft entered production in June 1936 as the Navy Type 96 Attack Bomber Model 11 (Mitsubishi G3M1). The initial version, of which 34 were produced, was powered by 910-hp (678.6-kW) Kinsei 3 radials and possessed a maximum speed of 360 km/h (224 mph) at 1975 m (6,480ft). As the improved Kinsei 41 and 42 engine became available in 1937 a new version, the G3M2, started production and, with a total of 581 built by mid-1941, was the principal variant. With a top speed now increased to 374 km/h (232 mph), a bombload of up to 800kg (1,764 lb) carried externally and a defensive armament of three 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-guns, the G3M2 possessed a maximum range of 4380 km (2,722 miles). A yet further improved version, of which production was undertaken by Nakajima during 1941-3, was the G3M3 with 1,300-hp (969.4-kW) Kinsei 51 radiais and a top speed of 415 km/h (258 mph) at 6000 m (19,685ft).
Mitsubishi G3M2s were first flown in action by the Japanese navy's Kanoya Kokutai in August 1937 in raids on Hangchow and Kwangteh in China. By 1940 four kokutais in China were equipped with a total of about 130 G3M2s, a number that grew to 204 by the date of Pearl Harbor with the deployment of forces against Wake Island, the Philippines and the Marianas. And it was a force of 60 G3M2s of the Genzan and Mihoro Kokutais (with 26 Mitsubishi G4Mls of the Kanoya Kokutai) which, flying from bases in Indo-China, found and sank the British warships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse as they steamed without fighter protection off the Malayan coast on 10 December 1941.
Specification Mitsubishi G3M2 Model 22
Type: five/seven-seat medium/torpedo bomber
Powerplant: two 1,075-hp (801.6-kW) Mitsubishi Kinsei 45 14-cylinder aircooled radial piston engines
Performance: maximum speed 374 km/h (232 mph) at 4200 m (13780 ft); climb to 3000 m (9,843 ft) in 8.34 minutes;
service ceiling 9130 m (29,954 ft); maximum range 4380 km (2,722 miles)
Weights: empty 4965 kg (10,946 lb); maximum take-off 8010 kg (17,659 lb)
Dimensions: span 25.00 m (82 ft .25 in); length 16.45 m (53 ft 11.66 in); height 3.685 m (12 ft 1.1 in); wing area 75.0ma(807.32sqft)
Armament: three 7.7-mm (0.303-in) type 92 machine-guns in a retractable dorsal turret and two lateral blisters,
and one 20-mm Type 99 cannon in a second dorsal turret, plus one 800-kg ( 1,764-lb) torpedo or equivalent bomb load carried externally