Junkers Ju 90 transport

On 25 July 1938, Mitsubishi entered into nego­tiations with Junkers on behalf of the IJA to work with the German company to produce a bomber version of the Ju90 transport. Ten were to be completed and flown to Japan. The IJA even allocated the designation Ki-90 for the bomber. However, Junkers eventually declined Mitsubishi’s proposal citing its involvement in filling domestic orders for air­craft.

Junkers Ju 160 transport

The Ju 160 was an improved Junkers Ju60, the latter having lost to the Heinkel He 70 in the fast, small airliner market. Lufthansa pur­chased 11 Ju 160A-0 and 10 Ju 160D-0 6-pas – senger aircraft, putting them into service in 1935-36. Two would end up in Manchuria, registered as civilian aircraft. The UN pressed them into service as the LXJ.


The D. IX provided the inspiration for the Seishiki-1 which used an imported Mercedes Daimler lOOhp engine, later licence-built in Japan. The Seishiki-1 was completed in 1916 but the biplane’s poor performance resulted in further development being cancelled.

Rohrbach R flying boat

The Navy was very interested in the metal air­craft construction techniques used by the German company Rohrbach. Mitsubishi was asked to study the techniques and the two companies would form Mitsubishi-Rohrbach GmbH in Berlin in June 1925. A total of three Rohrbach flying boats were to be imported, the R-l, R-2 and R-3, known collectively as the Mitsubishi Experimental Type-R flying boats. Although these aircraft would prove to have poor take-off and alighting that denied them military service, they did provide invaluable experience to Mitsubishi when it came to metal stressed skin construction.