Mitsubishi G4M ("Betty")

Mitsubishi G4M (19 kb)
A G4M from 14th Sentaļ, over the Solomon Islands

The Mitsubishi G4M, nicknamed "Betty" by the Allied Intelligence Service, was the first heavy bomber in use in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

It was first used in south-east China in Spring 1941. Over Guadalcanal in 1942, the G4M earned the nickname "Hamaki" (flying cigar), because it often started burning as soon as it was hit by enemy fire. Later versions had more protection, but the Betty always stayed vulnerable to American fighters, even with 20 mm defensive guns.

On April 18, 1943, Admiral Yamamoto was on an inspection tour of Japanese Navy bases when he was shot down and killed in a G4M1 Model 12 by a flight of P-38s Lightning.

One of the last missions of the G4M was the most historically important: a G4M was used as a transport for the Japanese delegation in charge of signing the peace agreements, that marked the end of World War II.

Mitsubishi G4M (23 kb)
After the capitulation, this white G4M bears red crosses.

Development

Mitsubishi G4M2 ("Betty") Mitsubishi G4M2 ("Betty")
Engine (2x) Mitsubishi Kasei 22 radial (2x) 1,850 hp
Weight empty: 7,994 kg (17,624 lb) - max overload: 15,000 kg (33,069 lb)
Armament Three 7.7 mm guns (nose and sides), a 20 mm cannon in the tail and another in the top turret
Ordnance One 800 kg (1,764 kg), or four 250 kg (550 lb) bombs, or one torpedo
Performance Max speed: 437 km/h (272 mph) Ceiling: 9,144 m (30,000 ft)

Mitsubishi G4M (26 kb)
A flight of G4Ms from the 705th Kokutaļ over the Solomon Islands, 1943


Stof's notes about this plane in iMOL's WarBirds

The opinions expressed below are only my own, and nothing more...
The Betty is in my humble opinion one the most underrated plane available in WarBirds©.

Strong points:

Weak points:


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(Plane photo from "Le Fana de l'Aviation" HS3)