Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

Yes, we know, Mitsubishi's lineup was awesome 20 years ago. Cars that had all four of their wheels contribute to steering and legitimate FWD budget rockets were awesome. The awesomeness wasn't even limited to the road. At one time Mitsubishi manufactured a whole bunch of awesome stuff - it was pretty much a household name in the 80s, something that's pretty much forgotten now aside from the burgeoning automotive subprime market. I mean, you could literally fill your home with Mitsubishi products! But let's look at some other modes of transportation first (and for the most part we'll skip the WWII and other war stuff, for the kids you know).

above image credit Northern Jet Sales

The Kounotori

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

What the heck is the Kounotori you say? Why, it's a freakin' space ship! Yes, that's right, it goes IN SPACE! Specifically it resupplies the Kibo, the Japanese contribution to the International Space Station. Don't expect to be able to pony up a quarter million for space rides, though - like its European counterpart, it's completely unmanned. At least you can buy a ride on the Russian Soyuz and...oh, wait, that's right.

Mu-2 Solitare/Marquise

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

Image credit Pedro Aragaro via Wikipedia

I already wrote about this one a while back. Long story short, it's a plane, it's really fast, and it has a tendency to make kamikaze attacks against empty ground because people don't know how to fly it right.

Mu-300 Diamond


Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

Mitsubishi didn't stop there, however. They naturally went from the progression of turboprops to full jets, because jets are better than turboprops, because jets. And they continued with the gem-themed naming, naturally going with Diamond to indicate their new top-line jet product, because diamonds. And instead of just calling it the Mu-3, they went for Mu-3oo, because, I don't know, triple-digits baby! (Also, probably because they foretold the opportunity for THIS! IS! SPARTAAA! jokes 30 years before that kind of thing would be played out). The Mu-300 was broadly competitive with other light bizjets like the Cessna Citation (no, not like that Citation) and the ubiquitous LearJet, probably the ur-image of this class of aircraft. Eventually the design was bought by Raytheon who produced it under their Beechcraft line as the BeechJet, then BeechJet 400 and finally Hawker 400. Raytheon also produced a version for the USAF called the T-1 Jayhawk (not to be confused with the Coast Guard's version of the H-60 Black Hawk) used to train crews for large aircraft like the B-52cargo aircraft like the C-5 and KC-135 (thanks to Dirtymax for the tip) (like the example above, used by the Tuskegee Airmen commemorative/education squadron).

MH2000

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

image credit Helico Passion

The MH2000 was to be a very advanced light/medium utility helicopter utilizing then-cutting edge construction such as carbon fiber components and the latest in aluminum metallurgy. It ended up being a very poor seller - and it's not hard to see why. I mean, look at it, it kind of looks like a combination of a tadpole and a Camry. More practical matters persisted - the prototype was first flown in 1996 and the first production ready frame wasn't delivered until four years later. Even in the world of light helicopters, that's pretty slow. All that "cutting edge construction" didn't alleviate a weight issue, and there was a minor flaw that might've effected sales regarding the rear tail rotor called suddenly separating itself from the rest of the aircraft causing it to crash. Supposedly, that's been fixed. So, yeah. Good news for the dozen or so proud owners out there.

Mitsubishi Regional Jet

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

image credit "ILA Boy" via Wikipedia

This one's still a work in progress so...yeah. I'll get back to you on that one as soon as it flies. Hopefully Kinja will still be around then and not mutated into some abominable semi-sentient mash-up of posting system and deranged obsessed stalker bent on taking Reddit down.

Shinkai 6500

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

The Japanese counterpart to the deep-diving submersible Alvin, the Shinkai 6500 is likewise a research apparatus.

MEISTeR

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

image from The Wall Street Journal

Oooh, look at you Honda, with your fancy little Asimo robot and its cute little iPod-inspired spacesuit! Sure, Mitsubishi's effort might be more frightening than Honda's first, ED-209-inspired effort, but at least it has a clear practical purpose - to explore the wreckage of the tsunami-ravaged Fukoshima nuclear powerplant.

Diamond-Vision

Mitsubishi used to make a LOT of cool things

image from the official Diamond-Vision website

Perhaps - literally - the most visible consumer product Mitsubishi has made (and continues to manufacture) is the Diamond-Vision "jumbotron" screen for large-scale public events.

Mitsubishi TVs

Yeah, I know this is SHARP and not Mitsubishi but it's got George Takei!

I remember Mitsubishi TVs being a big deal back in the 80s and 90s when SD "fatback" TVs were the only game in town and just having color was good enough. But just like with planes and cars better competition squeezed them out in the HD age.

Room Air Conditioners

Just listen to that soothing, monotone vaguely British voice. Doesn't it make you want to go out and buy a Mitsubishi air conditioner, unless you happen to have central air?