Mitsubishi B5M MABEL
|TORPEDO-BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Japan / Mitsubishi|
Bearing the company designation Mitsubishi Ka-16, this cantilever low-wing monoplane, carrier-based torpedo-bomber flew in prototype form as the Navy 10-Shi Experimental Attacker in 1936. A three-seater, it had a long glazed crew canopy and was distinguished easily from its Nakajima B5N rival by having fixed cantilever landing gear with spat-type wheel fairings. The wings outboard of the landing gear could be folded upwards for carrier stowage. As a precaution against problems with the B5N, this Mitsubishi B5M1 design was placed in production and went into service as the Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber Model 2, gaining initially the Allied codename 'Mabel', later changed to 'Kate 61'. At least 125 had been delivered when the obvious success of its rival brought production to a halt. The B5M1 saw some action from land bases in the South Pacific before being relegated to training and liaison duties.
Powered by a 746kW Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 radial, the B5M1 had a maximum speed of 380km/h. Armament comprised one 7.7mm trainable machine-gun, plus an 800kg torpedo or an equivalent weight of bombs.