IXO Models IXJ008003 Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' Medium Bomber - Takao Kaigun Kokutai, Takao, Formosa, 1942 (1:144 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
The Mitsubishi G4M (Allied identification name of Betty) was a twin-engined, land-based bomber aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The bomber was nicknamed "Betty" by the allies, who usually dubbed Japanese fighters and float-planes with male code names, while typically giving female names to Japanese bombers and reconnaissance planes.
The "Betty" had a long range and high-speed at the time of its introduction. However, it was most known for its poorly-protected aviation gasoline tanks - that earned her the derisive monikers "one-shot lighter" and "flying Zippo" from Allied fighter pilots. Similarly, pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy called Betty "Type One Lighter". This was due to the fact that on many occasions, it was used for low-altitude torpedo attacks that diminished its performance advantages. The "Betty"'s relatively-large size made it a large target to shoot at, and the simplified approach path on a torpedo run to attack a ship, meant for a generally easy interception.
When used for medium to high altitude bombing against stationary targets like a supply depots, seaports, or airfields, "ease of interception" was another matter entirely. Using its long range and high speed, the "Bettys" could appear from any direction, and then be gone before many fighters could intercept them. The twin 20mm canons in the tail turet was much heavier armament than commonly installed in bombers, making dead astern attacks very dangerous. Sometimes, assuming they didn't catch fire in the first place, G4M's also proved to be able to remain airborne despite being badly shot up. For example, after 751 Kokutai's attack during the Battle of Rennell Island, three out of four survivors (of eleven aircraft that went to attack) returned flying on one engine only. Near the end of the war the "Betty" was used as a common kamikaze-carrying & launching platform, and was the usual aircraft for carrying the Ohka kamikaze rocket- aircraft.
Pictured here is a 1:144 scale replica of an Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi G4M1 'Betty' medium bomber that was attached to the Takao Kaigun Kokutai, then deployed to Takao, Formosa, during 1942 Sold Out!
Wingspan: 6.75 inches
Length: 5.25 inches
Release Date: April 2009
Historical Account: "Death Spiral" - The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka ["cherry blossom") was a purpose-built, rocket powered kamikaze aircraft employed by Japan towards the end of World War II. The United States gave the aircraft the name Baka (Japanese for "idiot").
It was a manned cruise missile that was carried underneath a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty", Yokosuka P1Y Ginga "Frances" (guided Type 22) or planned Heavy Nakajima G8N Renzan "Rita" (transport type 43A/B) bomber to within range of its target; on release, the pilot would first glide toward the target and when close enough he would fire the
Ohka's rocket engine and guide the missile towards the ship that he intended to destroy. The final approach was almost unstoppable (especially for Type 11) because the aircraft gained tremendous speed.
Later versions were designed to be launched from coastal air bases and caves, and even from submarines equipped with aircraft catapults, although none were actually used this way. It appears that the operational record of Ohkas used in action includes three ships sunk or damaged beyond repair and three other ships with significant damage.
Conceived by Ensign Mitsuo Ohta of the 405th Kokutai, and aided by students of the Aeronautical Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, Ohta submitted his plans to the Yokosuka research facility. The Imperial Japanese Navy decided the idea had merit and Yokosuka engineers of the First Naval Air Technical Bureau (Kugisho) created formal blueprints for what was to be the MXY7. The only variant which saw service was the Model 11, and was powered by three Type 4 Mark 1 Model 20 rockets. 150 were built at Yokosuka, and another 600 were built at the Kasumigaura Naval Air Arsenal.