2MB1 file photo [13814]


ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Primary RoleLight Bomber


ww2dbaseIn 1925 the Imperial Japanese Army rejected Mitsubishi's experimental 2MB2 Washi two-seat light bomber designed by Alexander Baumann, in favour of Herbert Smith's more conventional 2MB1 design. The 2MB1, which entered service in 1927 under the designation Army Type 87 Light Bomber, was a large two-seat biplane with a wide-track divided landing gear.

ww2dbaseForty-eight aircraft were built for the IJA, each powered by a 450-hp Hispano-Suiza engine which gave a maximum speed of 115 mph. Defensive Armament consisted of a single fixed forward-firing 7.7mm machine gun, plus twin guns of a similar calibre on a ring mounting in the rear fuselage for the observer. In addition provision was made for a fourth gun firing through a ventral trap-door.

ww2dbaseThe 2MB1 biplanes participated in ground support roles in northeastern China in the region known as Manchuria from late 1931 until early 1932, but by the mid-1930s, they were considered obsolete for further front-line service and relegated to a training duties for the remainder of their service life.

World Aircraft Information Files 901/29

Last Major Revision: Dec 2011


MachineryOne Hispano-Suiza engine rated at 450hp
Armament1x7.7mm forward machine gun, 1x7.7mm ventral machine gun, 2x7.7mm rear ring-mounted machine guns, 500kg of bombs
Span14.80 m
Length10.00 m
Height3.63 m
Wing Area60.00 m
Weight, Empty1,800 kg
Weight, Maximum3,300 kg
Speed, Maximum185 km/h


Japanese 2MB1 aircraft in flight, late 1920sJapanese 2MB1 aircraft at rest, circa 1930

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Jan 2014 06:54:55 PM

The 2MB1 was a modified version of the Imperial Navy Type 13 Carrier Attack Bomber. This design was accepted by the Imperial Army as the Type 89 light bomber crewed by pilot and observer/gunner. The type 89 was a large two-seat single-engine biplane with wide track undercarriage built from wood and fabric covered the type 89 had good flying and control characteristics. Assigned to army bombing units and saw service in China flying support for army ground troops. During service in China, it was becoming obsolete and side-lined to training units. Total production 48 aircraft built between 1928 to 1929 surviving aircraft were used as hacks or training ground crews. By 1941 the 2MB1 was withdrawn from service as obsolete and saw no action during the Pacific war. The 2MB1 was armed with 2 x fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns, 1 x flexible rear mounted 7.7mm machine gun for the gunner, 1 x 7.7mm in a ventral position. Bomb load 500kg / 1,102lb of bombs. File photo taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941 by Robert C. Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

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Japanese 2MB1 aircraft in flight, late 1920s
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