Betty Bomber

Mitsubishi G4M - Overview

As a long-range land-based bomber, there were two main criteria for the Mitsibushi G4M:
  • Carry an 850kg aerial torpedo.
  • Travel over 4,500 km.

With only two engines, as opposed to four, the only way to achieve the range was to sacrifice armour plating and fire protection to reduce mass.

This resulted in the Bomber exploding or catching fire so frequently from anti-aircraft fire, that it was nicknamed the ‘one shot lighter’ or the ‘flying cigar’. The cigar reference is also due to the shape of the fuselage.

Dive Details

Truk Lagoon


Pretty intact wreck - engines located ~50m from the main wreck and there are components from the interior scattered around.

Photos & Renders

Overall View
Photogram + Wireframe Recon
Inside Photo
Looking towards Bow
Inside Photo
Looking towards Bow -
Close Up
Seat - Photo
Seat amongst the
debris outside the wreck
Seat - 3D Model
Model of the Seat
Side View
Wing, Engine and Nose in Wireframe
Inside Photo
Looking towards Stern
Broken Cockpit Area
Wireframe showing Original Nose Position

Capturing the Betty Bomber in 3D

The Betty Bomber, being a quite shallow and small wreck (compared to the ships in Truk Lagoon), is usually dived as an extra dive on the way back from some of the larger wrecks. For this project, we arranged to do a morning dive before the other boats went out - this ensured we had plenty of time and also had the bonus of the visibility being at it's best.

The wreck, inside and outside, as well as the 2 engines were picked up on one dive with just over 600 photos, using an old DSLR. The alignment of the images worked well on the first pass for the exterior - some finesse was needed for the interior.


Virtual Reconstruction

The Betty Bomber is quite dramatic in terms of the crash impact - the nose area being folded across the port wing is a key visual feature. This can be illustrated with different approaches with CAD/3D geometry. It is possible to go for the full photo-realistic textured renders to show exactly how the area would have looked originally, but for this version, we chose to show wireframe outlines to highlight the concept without distracting from the current wreck.

Part 2 of this animation series will feature detailed perspectives of the cockpit interior, which will involve textured renderings.



28 December 2022