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!