Mitsubishi Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft Shinshitei
The Mitsubishi Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft was one of them most outstanding aircraft of the war. It had beautiful contours and until the very end of the Pacific War it could out perform nearly every Allied aircraft.
The Shinshitei was announced to the public in September 1943 at the same time as the Type 100 Heavy Bomber (Ki-49 Helen) and Type 2 Fighter (Ki-44) were unveiled. Photos appeared in Japanese newspapers at that time. That makes me suspect that this photo and story were probably not earlier than that date. All these a/c had then been in service for many months.
Hard to make a judgment on what the nose of an aircraft looks like from a rear perspective photo. Early mark III versions of the Type 100 HQ Recon a/c were in service at least by December 1943. One was shot down over India in that month. That was probably the earliest date of ops for that type.
Between 1939-1940, 21 were assembled. During January 1941 to August 1945 a total of 1,756 were built. A total of 1,777 were built. Initial production was at Oe-machi, then production switched to Dotoku during April 1943.
Production figures of the Mitsubishi Ki.46 by Jim Long
Crew Two (pilot, observer)
Engine Two fourteen cylinder radials driving three bladed medal propellers
Maximum Speed 375 mph
Range 1,537 miles
Armament (rear) 7.7mm machine gun