The Mitsubishi Navy 7-Shi Experimental Carrier Fighter (1MF10) was an unsuccessful design for a fighter to replace the Nakajima A2N, and was the first low wing monoplane fighter to be submitted to the Japanese Navy.
The 1MF10 followed on from the 1MF9, the first carrier aircraft to be designed by a Japanese engineer. That aircraft had lost out to the Nakajima A1N1 Type 3 Carrier Fighter, a development of the Gloster Gambet. This was followed by the Nakajima A2N of 1930, which entered service as the Type 90 Carrier Fighter.
The 1MF10 was designed in response to a Japanese Navy specification issued in April 1932 for a new fighter to replace the Type 90. Nakajima responded with a modified version of their own Army Type 91 fighter, a parasol wing aircraft. Mitsubishi produced a low-wing monoplane, the first to be submitted to the Japanese Navy. The new aircraft was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, who would later work on the Zero. He had spent time in Europe and the United States studying fighter design, and in particular the work of Curtis in the United States.
The 1MF10 was a low wing monoplane with stubby wings, fixed undercarriage in streamlined spats and a radial engine. The first prototype was completed in February 1933 and tested by Mitsubishi in March. The first prototype was lost in July when the vertical fin failed, although the test pilot, Yoshitaka Kajima, escaped safely. The second prototype was ready by the summer of 1934, but this aircraft was lost in June 1934 after entering a flat spin. Motoharu Okamura, the test pilot, escaped from the aircraft but lost four fingers.
Unsurprisingly the 1MF10 was rejected by the Navy. It was judged to be difficult to control and the large radial engine meant forward visibility was poor. Some features developed for the 1MF10 were used in later Mitsubishi aircraft, in particular the wing spar, which was used in the A5M1.
Engine: Mitsubishi A4 fourteen cylinder double-row air-cooled radial
Span: 32ft 9.5in
Length: 22ft 8.5in
Height: 10ft 10.25in
Empty weight: 2,700lb
Loaded weight: 3,478lb
Max speed: 200mph at 9,843ft
Endurance: 3 hours
Armament: Two forward firing fixed 7.7mm machine guns