Mitsubishi G3M1 ‘Nell’

G3M1 Model 11

The G3M1 Model 11 was the first production version of the Navy Type 96 Attack Bomber. It was powered by the same Mitsubishi Kinsei 3 engines as the fourth and eleventh prototypes, which gave it a top speed of 216mph. The production aircraft had a larger cockpit than the prototypes, and could be identified visually by the redesigned canopy needed to cover it. Production of the G3M1 began in 1936.

Mitsubishi G3M1 from above
Mitsubishi G3M1
from above

The G3M1 was lightly armed, carrying three 7.7mm machine guns, carried in three retractable turrets – two dorsal and one ventral. The turrets would be retracted in normal flight to reduce drag and thus increase range. The G3M1 could operate as either a torpedo bomber or as a high level bomber, carrying the same payload in each case. The bombs were carried on external racks under the fuselage, as was the torpedo. Only 34 G3M1s were produced before production switched to the more powerful G3M2.

The twenty one prototypes fell into three main categories, each of which was given an unofficial designation. The Hiro engined prototypes were known as the G3M1a Type 96 Model IA. The solid nosed Kinsei powered prototypes became the G3M1b Type 96 Model IB and the glass nosed bomber prototypes became the G3M1c Type 96 Model 1C

A number of G3M1s were converted into transport aircraft, and were then known as the L3Y1 or the G3M1d.

G3M1 Model 11
Engines: Two Mitsubishi Kensei 3 fourteen cylinder air cooled radial engines
Power: 910 at take off, 790hp at 6,560ft
Crew: 5
Span: 83ft 1/4in
Length: 53ft 11 5/8in
Height: 12ft 1/16in
Empty Weight: 10,516lb
Loaded Weight: 16,858lb
Maximum Speed: 216mph at 6,560ft
Cruising Speed:
Climb to 9,845ft: 9min 47sec
Service Ceiling: 24,540ft
Fuel capacity: 839 Imperial gallons
Armaments: Three 7.7mm Type 92 machine guns – two in retractable dorsal turrets, one in retractable ventral turret
Bomb load: One 1,764lb torpedo or the same weight in bombs carried under the fuselage

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 December 2008), Mitsubishi G3M1 ‘Nell’,

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