The Mitsubishi Navy Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft (2MR1-2MR4, 2MRT1-2MRT3A) was a successful reconnaissance aircraft designed by Herbert Smith that had a second career as in intermediate trainer.
Normally the Japanese Navy issued specifications for new aircraft to a number of manufacturers, but Mitsubishi were the only company asked to design a Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft. Their design was based on Herbert Smith's Type 10 Fighter (1MF1 to 1MF5). The new aircraft was expanded so that it could carry a crew of two. The wingspan was increased by 12ft and length by 3ft. The loaded weight didn't increase by much, and despite having the same engine as the single-seat fighter top speed only fell by 5mph, from 132mph on the fighter to 127mph on the carrier reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft was built with a wooden frame and fabric covering. Early versions used a car-type radiator mounted in front of the engine, but all service aircraft used Lamblin radiators mounted either under the fuselage or under the lower wings.
The first prototype made its maiden flight on 12 January 1922 at Nagoya. After early tests the navy accepted it as the Navy Type 10 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft, and the first of 159 aircraft was produced in 1922. Production continued until 1930, and the aircraft remained in front line service until the same year.
The aircraft was also converted into an intermediate trainer. This involved fitting dual controls to existing aircraft, and the trainer was produced in a larger number of variants than the original reconnaissance version, ranging from the 2MRT1 to the 2MRT3A.
The 2MRT version of the aircraft served as the only intermediate trainer in use in the Japanese Navy until the introduction of the Kusho K5Y Type 93 Intermediate Trainer.
The 2MR1 was the earliest version of the aircraft, and had a car-type honeycomb radiator mounted in front of the engine.
The 2MR2 saw the honeycomb radiator replaced with a Lamblin radiator mounted below the fuselage. This was both more streamlined and less vulnerable to damage than the car-type radiator of the 2MR1. The pilot's seat was moved forward and the tail surfaces were redesigned.
On the 2MR3 the tail surfaces were made larger.
The 2MR4 was the main production version of the aircraft. It retailed the Lamblin radiator, had more rounded wing tips and the pilot's seat moved back to its original position.
The Karigane-type was developed in 1928 as a private by Mitsubishi. Its radiators were moved to a new position under the wings, the vertical tail was made taller and the performance improved. This version of the aircraft didn't enter production.
The 2MRT1 was an intermediate trainer produced by fitting dual controls to the 2MR1.
The 2MRT1A was similar to the 2MRT1, but with the redesigned tail of the 2RM2.
The 2MRT2 was the first trainer to feature the Lamblin radiator, carried under the fuselage.
The 2MRT2A was the training version of the 2MRT3, but with the radiator mounted below the lower wing instead of below the fuselage, and the pilot's cockpit moved back and un-staggered wings.
The 2MRT3 was similar to the 2MRT3 but with the radiator mounted below the wing.
The 2MRT3A carried flotation bags mounted inside the rear fuselage to make it easier to make emergency lands on water.
Engine: Mitsubishi Type Hi eight-cylinder vee water cooled engine
Span: 39ft 6in
Height: 9ft 6in
Empty weight: 2,160lb
Loaded weight: 2,910lb
Max speed: 127mph
Climb Rate: 17min to 9,843ft
Endurance: 3.5 hours
Armament: Two fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns, two dorsal flexibly mounted 7.7mm machine guns
Bomb load: Three 66lb bombs