The ‘Betty’, as the Mitsubishi bomber was called in the Allied code, proved itself an excellent combat aircraft on all fronts. But as Allied fighter strength increased, the BETTY began to reveal its fatal vulnerabilities. They ranged across the length and breadth of the Pacific Theater, attacking targets from the Aleutians to Australia. Evidently, only the pieces that survive today arrived at the storage facility at Park Ridge, Illinois, during the late 1940s. It was the first time that aircraft alone had sunk fully maneuverable capital ships at sea. Physically, the G4M’s salient feature was a fat but graceful fuselage quite unlike the tapering configuration of typical WWII medium bombers. One highly regarded Japanese book about Bettys in combat is titled Wings of Flame. The firm changed the wing to a single-spar configuration and installed self-sealing fuel tanks with a capacity about one-third less than earlier versions. The American system of nicknaming World War II Japanese aircraft gave female names to bombers, male names to fighters. These tanks were much lighter in weight than explosion-proof (also called 'self-sealing') gas tanks. Honjo had studied bomber design at the Junkers works in Germany, and was responsible for the G3M. (6m x 19.5m, 7000kg, 25m), For more information, visit the Smithsonian's, There are restrictions for re-using this media. The IJNAS requirements were a top speed of 247 mph, a maximum range of almost 3,000 statute miles and a loaded range of 2,300 miles. In August 1942, during the Guadalcanal campaign and this time escorted by fighters, 18 out of 23 attacking Bettys were shot down—the single worst G4M loss during the entire campaign. In total, eighteen Betty bombers were shot down and two others crash landed, including this bomber. The tail gun was a 20mm cannon, though a relatively ineffective one. This aircraft, coded '302,' was the last flyable bomber left at Rabaul by the end of WWII. Yamamoto was a smart guy, even though he only got a C+ for his two years of English studies at Harvard from 1919 to 1921. The benefits of laminar flow were probably illusory on Bettys, since IJNAS aircraft of all types had paint jobs that ranged from beater-bad to junkyard special, peeling and flaking in a manner that would have tripped any incipient laminar airflow. Recognize your favorite air or space enthusiast. Betty’s Dream first flew in March of 1999 including it’s new bomb bay doors which were taken off while it was being used as a fire bomber. These photos of this submarine were taken by Dan Collier from his last visit to Guam. The Type 91 was a remarkable torpedo that could be dropped at speeds in excess of 230 mph. Since restoration, she has flown as "Betty's Dream". For the remainder of the war, the BETTY assembly line continued to run. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. Air Force Academy via Jack Fellows, Mitsubishi’s G4M bomber went by many names, but perhaps the most appropriate would have been “flaming coffin.”. This Betty was on display for many years at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. Later, the airplane was dismembered with a cutting torch but when and precisely why are not known. They called the design the “snail,” sometimes translated as “slug.”. This feature originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Aviation History. There are currently no complete examples of the Betty in preservation in the world save for a rather fragile, belly-landed example (G4M1 Model 1 1 m/n 1280) recov ered by Bruce Fenstermaker from Babo Airfield in Indonesia during 1991. Escorted by four RNZAF Vought F4U-1 Corsair fighters, it was flown to Jacquinot Bay on October 14,1945 by … Of 23 Bettys that set out from Rabaul that day, only five returned. The admiral’s own noted punctuality doomed him, for the two G4Ms carrying him and his aides intersected perfectly with 16 P-38 Lightnings sent on a precise mission to intercept him over Bougainville, and Yamamoto died in the very airplane that he had helped create. Aichi D3A2 Type 99 Carrier Bomber (Allied Code Name: “Val”) Developed in the late 1930s, the D3A was a low-mounted monoplane aircraft with fixed landing gear capable of take-offs and landings from an aircraft carrier. Another BETTY variant became mother ship to the Kugisho Ohka kamikaze, or Tokko (special attack) aircraft (see NASM collection). As the war dragged on, improved bombers failed to materialize so Mitsubishi fielded different versions of the G4M to fulfill new missions, and to eliminate the various weaknesses in the basic design. 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