Mitsubishi MU-2B

One of the most successful aircrafts from Japan, the MU-2B is a utility transport aircraft that is a high-wing, twin-engine turboprop, with a pressurized cabin. It was produced from 1963-1986 and its first flight was on September 14, 1963. On its 50th anniversary, it embarked on an around the world journey, commemoratively stopping in its place of manufacturing, Nagoya, Japan.

The MU-2 lineup can be divided up into two basic types, the standard fuselage and stretched fuselage models. While the Solitaire features the short fuselage, the others, including the Marquise, have the stretched fuselage. The aircraft was improved and upgraded throughout its production life. Notable changes include improved and more powerful TPE331 engines, and four blade propellers in the N and P models.

The Mitsubishi MU-2B was designed with corporate America in mind. Mitsubishi, originally a shipbuilder and manufacturer, had done research that indicated that in the United States, demand would grow for a low cost, fast airplane that requires less runway length than many others on the market.

Mitsubishi MU-2B

Incidents with the Mitsubishi MU-2B

  • Number built: 704
  • Incidents recorded: 183
  • Fatalities: 330

There have been 330 fatalities from MU-2 crashes, alerting the FAA to begin safety evaluations. The aircraft has been concluded to be safe only when operated by properly trained pilots and when the aircraft is also adequately maintained. When training became required outside of the U.S., the MU-2 accident record was vastly improved. A wave of accidents with the aircraft occurred in Australia between 1988 and 1994, all caused by icing on the airframe, which caused the airspeed to decrease to the point where the aircraft stalled and entered a spin.

Role of the Mitsubishi MU-2B Utility transport aircraft
Manufacturer of the Mitsubishi MU-2B Mitsubishi
First flight of the Mitsubishi MU-2B September 14, 1963
Introduction of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 1963
Status of the Mitsubishi MU-2B In service
Mitsubishi MU-2B Production 1963-1986
Number of Mitsubishi MU-2Bs built 704
Unit cost of the Mitsubishi MU-2B $300K-$500K
Variants of the Mitsubishi MU-2B MU-2B, XMU-2, MU-2A, MU-2B,  MU-2C (MU-2B-10),  MU-2D (MU-2B-10),  MU-2DP (MU-2B-15),  MU-2E,  MU-2F (MU-2B-10),  MU-2K (MU-2B-25),  MU-2M (MU-2B-26),  MU-2P (MU-2B-26A),  Solitaire (MU-2B-40),  MU-2G (MU-2B-30),  MU-2J (MU-2B-35),  MU-2L (MU-2B-36),  MU-2N (MU-2B-36A),  Marquise (MU-2B-60),  LR-1,  MU-2S
Crew of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 1-2 pilots
Capacity of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 4—12 passengers
Length of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 12.01 m (39 ft 5 in)
Wingspan of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 11.94 m (39 ft 2 in)
Height of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 4.17 m (13 ft 8 in)
Wing Area of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 16.55 m² (178 ft²)
Empty Weight of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 3,433 kg (7,570 lb)
Max Takeoff Weight of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 5,250 kg (11,575 lb)
Powerplant of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 2 × Garrett TPE331-6-251M turboprops, 579 kW (776 shp) each
Maximum Speed of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 547 km/h (295 knots, 340 mph) at 4,575 m (15,000 ft) (max cruise)
Cruise Speed of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 483 km/h (261 knots, 300 mph) at 7,620 m (28,000 ft) (econ cruise)
Range of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 2,334 km (1,259 nmi, 1,450 mi)
Service Ceiling of the Mitsubishi MU-2B 9,020 m (29,600 ft)

Photo Credit:

IDuke at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Notable Cases

Fargo Citation Crash

On November 30, 2018, a Cessna 550 was landing at Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota, when it crashed on the right side of the runway. Nine passengers on board were injured. During the landing procedure, the plane began to take on ice, then the airplane stalled and crashed. Mike Slack has been practicing…

Case Details

Reno Air Race Disaster

On September 16, 2011, a highly modified P-51D Mustang crashed near the spectator area at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, killing the pilot and ten spectators and injuring at least 70 other spectators. It is the third deadliest airshow disaster in United States history. The racecourse was eight and a half miles…

Case Details

Engine Failure Results in Commercial Airplane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: York v. Tropic Air On September 7, 2008, a Cessna 208B Caravan operated by Tropic Air lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport. The flight was headed to Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport with four U.S. citizens and one pilot on board. Almost immediately after takeoff, the engine…

Case Details

Improper De-Icing Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Mills v. Cessna Aircraft Company A Cessna 208 Caravan with registration number N9530F crashed shortly after take off from the Dillingham Airport in Alaska. The pilot and nine passengers were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. The plane crashed less than a mile from the end of the runway during daylight hours and…

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Lack of Proper Engine Inspection Results in Private and Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: McKenna v. Pratt & Whitney On October 18, 2005, at approximately 11:15 PM, a single-engine Cessna 208 turbo-prop airplane with registration number N978FE was forced to land after it lost power near Round Rock, Texas. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The cross-country flight originated at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and was destined for Perot…

Case Details

Crash Due To Improper Borescope Inspections Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Fuddy v. Makani Kai Air Shortly after taking off from Kalaupapa Airport bound for Honolulu, a Cessna 208B Caravan with registration number N687MA operated by Makani Kai Air experienced an engine failure and crashed into the ocean off Moloka’i. The flight was an air taxi commuter flight between two Hawaiian islands with eight…

Case Details

Ice Accumulation Issues Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Fry et al. vs. Cessna Aircraft Company On November 8, 2002, a Cessna 208B Caravan turboprop left Las Vegas, Nevada, bound for Midland, Texas, with three passengers and a pilot. At approximately 10:20 PM, the plane impacted terrain approximately three miles south of Parks, Arizona. At the time, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. A…

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Pilot’s Spatial Disorientation Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Nicholson/Riola Estates v. Rico Aviation On April 28, 2017, a Pilatus Aircraft Ltd PC12 with registration number N933DC crashed near the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport shortly after take off. The plane was operated as an air ambulance flight and was en route to Clovis, New Mexico, to transport a patient back to…

Case Details

Improper Planning and Processes Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Taquan Air On July 10, 2018, a De Havilland DHC3T Otter airplane, N3952B, crashed into mountainous terrain near Ketchikan, Alaska. The plane held eleven occupants: a pilot and ten passengers. All of the passengers were injured, six seriously. The plane was registered to Blue Aircraft, LLC, and was operated by Taquan Air as…

Case Details

Lack of Weight and Balance Consideration Results in Private and Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Barnes et al v. PB One Aviation LLC, et al On September 12, 2013, a Pilatus Aircraft Ltd PC-12 with registration number N617BG aborted takeoff at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) when the plane began to settle back onto the runway during liftoff. The pilot and nine passengers were on board. Visual meteorological conditions…

Case Details