The rugged and reliable MU-2 is now available for pilots to take to the skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The MU-2 was born out of a strict utilitarian design philosophy, bold in form and performance. The late 1950s and early 1960s witnessed the emergence of the turbine engine as a vastly improved means of propulsion for most aviation applications. Engineers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries sought to create a new utility aircraft to optimize the advantages of the turboprop form of the turbine engine, including high speed, high endurance, available power, and excellent short field performance. Their efforts resulted in one of the aviation world’s most enduringly capable aircraft, the MU-2.
The MU-2 is a twin-turboprop, high-wing utility aircraft with a pressurized cabin. The aircraft took its maiden flight on September 14, 1963, and entered full-scale production later that year. 704 airframes were manufactured during a production run from 1963 to 1986.
The distinctive MU-2 evolved from a clean sheet initiative to develop an airframe that could provide efficient, reliable service for a wide range of civil, governmental and military uses. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries engineers first began working on the project in the mid-1950s, laying the basis for an aircraft powered by turboprop engines. At the time, most aircraft manufacturers simply swapped turboprop powerplants into aircraft initially designed for piston power, which caused efficiency, reliability, and sometimes safety problems.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries mated the power capability of turboprop engines available at the time with a meticulously designed wing, fuselage, and empennage combination. The result was an aircraft that could perform exceptionally well at a range of altitudes in terms of speed and efficiency, had great range, and could operate out of all types of facilities, including unimproved short field airstrips. The company named the aircraft the MU-2 as it was the second design iteration of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Utility series aircraft.
The utility of the MU-2 is broad. It has successfully proven itself as a business and VIP aircraft, an air ambulance, search and rescue platform, and as a general cargo carrier. It has also served a wide variety of military roles, including liaison and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) collections. Over the years, several iterations have been released, including those with extended fuselages, enhanced power variants, and extended range versions.
The MU-2 measures 39 feet, 5 inches in length, stands 13 feet, 8 inches high, and has a straight main wing with a span of 39 feet, 2 inches. The wing features wingtip fuel tanks and over-wing spoilers for roll control. It also features full-span, double-slotted flaps. The unique wing design allows for slow take-off and landing speeds and high cruising speeds. The MU-2 has a traditional empennage and retractable tricycle landing gear.
The MU-2 is powered by two wing-mounted TPE331-6-251 turboprop engines that each produce up to 776 horsepower. Each powerplant turns a 3-blade Hartzell fully feathering, reversible, constant-speed propeller. The MU-2 has a range of 1,450 miles, a service ceiling of 29,590 feet above sea level, and climbs at 2,360 feet per minute. It cruises at 300 miles per hour, has a top speed of 340 mph, and stalls at 115 mph (flaps down). The aircraft can take off with 2,170 feet of ground roll and can land using 1,880 feet of runway.
The exceptional performance of the Microsoft Flight Simulator MU-2 and its ability to get into and out of a broad range of landing spaces, including dirt strips, gives aviators endless opportunities for exploration and flying discoveries. From flights between major cities to expeditions into jungle mountain airstrips, the MU-2 delivers.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator Mitsubishi Heavy Industries MU-2 comes with five liveries: White, Executive White, Executive Black, Xbox Aviators Club, and Aviators Club. It is available today for $14.99 in the in-sim marketplace. The sky is calling!
Microsoft Flight Simulator is available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming. For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on X (formerly known as Twitter).[This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire]