Mitsubishi F1M

The Mitsubishi F1M (Allied reporting name "Pete") was a Japanese reconnaissance floatplane of World War II. It was the last biplane type of the Imperial Japanese Navy, with 1,118 built between 1936 and 1944. The Navy designation was "Type Zero Observation Seaplane" (零式水上観測機), not to be confused with the Type Zero Carrier Fighter or the Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane.

Mitsubishi F1M
Class Aircraft
Type Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1936
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1941 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation 1118 View
The F1M1 was powered by the Nakajima Hikari MK1 radial engine, delivering 611 kW (820 hp), a maximum speed of 368 km/h (230 mph) and operating range of up to 1,072 km (670 mi) (when overloaded). It provided the Imperial Japanese Navy with a very versatile operations platform.

The F1M was armed with a maximum of three 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns (two fixed forward-firing and one flexible rear-firing) with provision for two 60 kg (132 lb) bombs


  •     F1M1 : Prototypes. Four built.
  •     F1M2 : Two-seat reconnaissance floatplane for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  •     F1M2-K : Two-seat training version.

The F1M was originally built as a catapult-launched reconnaissance float plane, specializing in gunnery spotting. The "Pete" took on a number of local roles including area-defense fighter, convoy escort, bomber, anti-submarine, maritime patrol, rescue and transport. The type fought dogfights in the Aleutians, the Solomons and several other theaters. In the New Guinea front, often used in aerial combat with the Allied bombers and Allied fighters. See also PT 34 sunk 9 April 1942 by "Petes".

Role Reconnaissance float plane
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
First flight June 1936
Introduction 1941
Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy
Number built 1118

General characteristics

  • Crew: two, pilot and rear gunner
  • Length: 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 4 m (13 ft 1.5 in)
  • Wing area: 29.5 m (317.5 ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,928 kg (4,330 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,550 kg (5,620 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,856 kg (6,296 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Nakajima Hikari MK1, 611 kW (820 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 368 km/h (230 mph)
  • Range: 1,070 km (670 miles)
  • Service ceiling 9,440 m (30,970 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 600 m/min (1,969 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 86.3 kg/m (17.7 lb/ft)
  • Power/mass: 2.9 kW/kg (6.85 hp/lb)


  • 2 x fixed forward 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns
  • 1 x flexible rear 7.7mm Type 89 machine gun
  • 2 x 60 kg (132 lb) bombs

End notes