Mitsubishi Type92 Reconnaissance Aircraft (2MR8)

2mr8-8

Note the flexible mounted twin machine guns for the observer/tailgunner

The Mitsubishi Army Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft (2MR8) was a parasol wing aircraft that became the first Japanese military aircraft to use an engine entirely designed and built in Japan. It was one of two short-range reconnaissance aircraft designed by Mitsubishi in 1929-30. The aircraft had a metal structure, fabric covered in most areas, but with a metal cover over the forward part of the fuselage. The aircraft had a fixed undercarriage, and open cockpits.

The Mitsubishi 2MR8 was designed  to meet a Japanese Army requirement for a short-range reconnaissance aircraft to supplement the larger, long-range Kawasaki Type 88. After improving upon a few prototypes the fourth prototype was equipped with a 400hp Mitsubishi A5 engine and reached 136mph. It was accepted for production as the Army Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft. A total of 230 were built, serving between 1933 and 1936.

The Type 92 was normally armed with a fixed forward-firing 7.7mm machine-gun mounted in a somewhat unusual configuration above the wing centre-section, with single or twin guns of the same calibre on a ring mounting over the observer’s cockpit.

The 2MR8 was used successfully by the air battalions of the Kanto Command Air Corps during the fighting in Manchuria in 1933-36. It was used as a short-range reconnaissance aircraft acting in direct support of ground troops, operating close to the front lines.

In Games: The Type 92 should be included in early Japanese campaigns in Manchuria or wherever ground troops are operating in early 1930s scenarios. The aircraft would be considered terribly slow by World War 2 standards, but it might still serve in remote parts of China where it could fly recon missions mostly unchallenged, or on kamikaze missions where obsolete aircraft were converted for such duty late in the war.

Game Scenario: The 2MR8 must enter the thick of battle in China, spot enemy movement above the front lines, then return to base quickly to report that movement. Landing after spotting enemy movement would result in points (the more spotted the better) and temporary increased map visibility for Japanese ground units, for example. It is not defenseless and can fight its way back to base (either with forward facing guns or the tailgunner) in time to gain the cover of friendly AA guns and relay vital intel to Imperial Japanese troops. Radio communications were still in their infancy back when recon planes were heavily relied upon for knowledge of the battlefield during the 1930s, and the importance of human-sourced intel from the pilot and observer in a recon plane can be emphasized to add a unique flavor to a mission. This type of mission could be repeated later in the game with planes like the Ki-51.

air_2mr8_2 (1)

Note the mount provision for a machine gun above the center wing section.

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × fixed forward firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) machine guns, 2 × flexibly mounted machine guns in rear cockpit (shared twin mount)

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