World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Aichi B7A Ryusei (shooting star, falling star) dive bomber
Allied Code Name: Grace

Design

The Aichi B7A was developed for a specification for a high performance aircraft to replace the Nakajima B6N torpedo bomber and Yokosuka D4Y dive bomber.1,2

The B7A could fly almost as fast as the Mitsubishi A6M fighter and had good manoeuverability.1

Engine

The Homare engine caused delays to the development of the B7A.1

Prototype

The B7A1 prototype first flew in May 1942.1,2

Production

  • Aichi B7A1 (prototype): 91,2
  • Aichi B7A2: 1141 (Aichi: 105, Omura Naval Air Arsenal: 25)1
  • Total: 1142
    • Manufacturer: Aichi Kokuki K.K.2

Due to an earthquake in May 1945, the Aichi Funakata plant was destroyed.1

Variants

  • Aichi B7A1: Development and test version.1
  • Aichi B7A2:
  • Aichi B7A3: Was designed to have a Nakajima Homare 23 engine (2,000 HP).1 Was never produced.1

Usage

By the time the B7A2 was reaching front line units in 1944 the war situation was going against Japan.1 There were no aircraft carriers for the B7A to fight from.1,2

Only two land based Kokutais were equipped with the B7A2s.1

Specifications

  Aichi B7A1
Type Dive-bomber1
Torpedo bomber1
Crew 21
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 47' 3"1
14.4 m1
Length 37' 8.5"1
11.49 m1
Height 13' 4.5"1
4.08 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 8,400 lb1
3,810 kg1
Normal load 12,568 lb1
5,700 kg1
Maximum load 14,300 lb1
6,500 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm1
Rear cockpit 1: 7.92 mm or 13 mm MG1
Torpedo or bombs 1,764 lb1
800 kg1
  Aichi B7A11
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK9B Homare 111
Cylinders Radial 181
Cooling  
Net HP 1,8001
Propeller blades 41
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Aichi B7A21,2
Type Bomber2
Crew 22
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK9C Homare 121,2
Cylinders Radial 182
Cooling Air2
Net HP 1,8251,2
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 47' 3"2
Length 37' 8"2
Height 13' 4"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load 12,401 lb2
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed @ 21,490' /
6,550 m
352 mph1,2
566 kph1
Climb to 13,120' /
4,000 m
6.9 minutes1
Service ceiling 29,365'1
8,950 m1
Range 1,888 miles1,2
3,038 km1
Range with full load 1,150 miles1
1,850 km1
Armament 1: MG2
2: 20 mm2
Bombs 1,764 lb2

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site