Mitsubishi 1MF2 Hayabusa


In March 1927, the Imperial Army ordered Kawasaki, Nak-ajima and Mitsubishi to investigate design of a fighter on a competitive basis to replace the ageing Ko-4 (Nieuport-Delage NiD 29). Designed by Shinshiro Nakata assisted by Jiro Horikoshi and Jiro Tanaka, the Mitsubishi contender in the contest, the 1MF2 Hayabusa (Falcon), was a parasol monoplane without wire bracing, emphasis being placed on ease of assembly and disassembly.

Powered by a 600 hp Mitsubishi Hispano-Suiza water-cooled V-12 engine, the first prototype Hayabusa was completed in May 1928. After manufacturer’s flight testing at Kaga-migahara, both first and second prototypes were transferred to the Tokorozawa Army test centre where the Hayabusa recorded a maximum speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) at 9,840 ft (3 000 m), but during a diving test the Mitsubishi fighter broke up in the air after exceeding 248 mph (400 km/h). The Army suspended evaluation of the contending types, cancelling the programme and testing the prototypes to destruction. The Hayabusa was of mixed construction with wooden wing and metal fuselage, its armament being two 7.7mm guns.

Engine: Mitsubishi Hispano-Suiza water-cooled V-12, 600 hp
Max speed, 168 mph (270 km/h) at 9,840 ft (3 000 in)
Time to 16,405 ft (5 000 m), 11.3 min
Empty weight, 2,789 lb (1 265 kg)
Loaded weight, 3,968 lb (1 800 kg)
Span, 41 ft 4 7/8 in (12,62 m)
Length, 26 ft 10 7/8 in (8,20 m)
Height, 10 ft 11 7/8 in (3,35 m)
Wing area, 247.58 sq ft (23,00 sq.m)
Armament: two 7,7-mm machine guns


Mitsubishi 1MF2 Hayabusa