The first Mitsubishi company was a
shipping firm launched in 1871 although it didn't take the name Mitsubishi
Shokai until 1874.
Among the first Mitsubishi aircraft was the 1MF. Designed by Herbert Smith
of the Sopwith company, the aircraft was produced by the Mitsubishi
Internal Combustion Engine Co. The 1MF entered production in 1921.
Mitsubishi was the first producer of aircraft engines in Japan.
Mitsubishi produced both aircraft and engines for the Imperial Japanese
Army and Navy through World War II. During World War II it ranked first in
production with 38% of the national output of engines.
The allied occupation after the war split the Mitsubishi companies into
smaller enterprises. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries continues to produce
civil and military aircraft and engines.