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This is an opportunity to acquire a WW-II aerial combatant so rare that for many years, and indeed in most quarters even to this day, it is thought of as an extinct species, but for a couple of underwater 'corn-flakes' wrecks. In fact if you go to find it among lists of surviving Japanese WW-II aircraft, you will not find any reference to any surviving examples at all.

The package we are offering here, on the other hand, has been very carefully retrieved and housed in secure, dry, surroundings for the last decade or two. In addition, its dedicated owner has added instruments, compass, gun-sight and correct radio equipment etc to properly populate the instrument panels of one of the examples shown here.

I don't have to labor the point here, as to how seldom we see rare Japanese WW-II aircraft become available. This impressive package comprises the opportunity to restore up to FOUR Mitsubishi F.1M 'Pete' seaplanes!  Take a minute to digest that.


The F1M was originally built as a catapult-launched reconnaissance float plane, specialising in gunnery spotting. The 'Pete' took on a number of other roles including convoy escort, bomber, anti-submarine patrol, rescue, transport, and anti-shipping strike.

The type was also used as an area-defense fighter and engaged in aerial combat in the Aleutians, the Solomons and several other theaters. In the New Guinea front, it was often used in aerial combat with the Allied bombers and Allied fighters. In one case in which a 'Pete' engaged in air to air combat with allied aircraft a 'Pete' shot down a Grumman F4F 'Wildcat' in an intense aerial battle. The speed and agility of the biplane proved a match for the chunky Wildcat with dramatic results.

A total of 944 'Petes' were completed with manufacture by Mitsubishi (342); Sasebo Arsenal and 21st Arsenal (598 between them) in addition to four prototypes (in case you're doing your sums!).

Until the opportunity described here arose, it was broadly assumed from the complete lack of any evidence of any surviving examples, that the 'Pete' had become extinct in the latter stages of WW-II.  Hopefully, this package will ultimately furnish a restored flying example, plus a selection of refurbished static displays, for the museums of Japan and the rest of the world!

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  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 4 m (13 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 29.5 m2 (318 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,928 kg (4,251 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,550 kg (5,622 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,856 kg (6,296 lb) [7]
  • Engine: Mitsubishi MK2C Zuisei 13 14-cyl. air-cooled radial 652 kW (875 hp) for take-off
  • Propellers: 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller


  • Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn) at 3,440 m (11,290 ft)
  • Range: 740 km (460 mi, 400 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 9,440 m (30,970 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 5,000 m (16,000 ft) in 9 min 36 sec
  • Wing loading: 86.3 kg/m2 (17.7 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.156 hp/lb (0.256 kW/kg)