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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Aichi D1A dive bomber
Allied Code Name: Susie

Photos

  • Aichi D1A2 dive bomber

Design

In 1933 the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered Aichi, Nakajima, and Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho to come up with designs for a two seat carrier based dive bomber.

Aichi imported a He 66 dive bomber from Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke A.G. It was powered by a Siemens SAM-22B (715 HP) engine. Tokuhishiro Goake led a team to modify the He 66 to meet the specifications for the Japanese Navy's dive bomber. The under carriage was strengthened to withstand landing on carriers and a seat for a second crewman was added. The engine was replaced by a Nakajima Kotobuki 2 Kai 1 (560 HP) engine. It was designated the Aichi Special Bomber.

In 1935 Tokuhishiro Goake designed the D1A2.

Construction

The D1As were made of a metal structure with fabric and metal coverings.

Prototype

The Aichi Special Bomber was put up against the Nakajima and Yokosuka designs and in 1934 Aichi was awarded the contract for production.

The D1A2 prototype was test flown in late 1936.

Production

  • He 66 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Heinkel, modified by Aichi
  • Aichi D1A1, Navy Type 94 Carrier Bomber: 162
    • Manufacturer: Aichi Tokei Denki K.K. at Nagoya
    • Production: 1934 - 1937
  • Aichi D1A2, Navy Type 96 Carrier Bomber: 428
    • Manufacturer: Aichi Tokei Denki K.K. at Nagoya
    • Production: 1936 - 1940

Variants

  • Aichi D1A1, Navy Type 94 Carrier Bomber: Had a Townend ring around the engine cylinders. The wings were swept back an additional 5° from the prototype.
  • Aichi D1A2, Navy Type 96 Carrier Bomber:

Usage

Units

USS Panay

D1A2 were responsible for the sinking of the USS Panay in 1937.

Trainers

By the time of the start of World War II the D1A1s were only being used as trainers. There were still 68 D1A2s in service but were retired soon after the start of the war.

Specifications

  Aichi D1A1
Type Dive Bomber
Crew Pilot, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) - First 118 Nakajima Kotobuki 2 Kai 1
Engine (Type) - Last 44 Nakajima Kotobuki 3
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP - 2 580
Net HP - 3 640
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 37' 3 5/8"
11.37 m
Length 30' 10 1/16"
9.4 m
Height 11' 2 13/16"
3.45 m
Wing area 366.51 sq ft
34.05 sq m
Weight  
Empty 3,086 lb
1,400 kg
Loaded 5,291 lb
2,400 kg
Performance  
Speed at 6,725' / 2,050 m 174 mph
151.5 knots
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 9 minutes 30 seconds
Service ceiling 22,965'
7,000 m
Range 656 statute miles
570 nautical miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 92
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs - Under Fuselage 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
Bombs - Under Wings 2: 66 lb
2: 30 kg
  Aichi D1A2
Type Dive Bomber
Crew Pilot, Radio Operator / Gunner
Engine (Type) Nakajima Hikari 1
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 730
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 37' 4 15/16"
11.4 m
Length 30' 6 1/8"
9.3 m
Height 11' 2.25"
3.41 m
Wing area 373.506 sq ft
34.7 sq m
Weight  
Empty 3,342 lb
1,516 kg
Load - Normal 5,512 lb
2,500 kg
Load - Maximum 5,754 lb
2,610 kg
Performance  
Speed at 10,500' / 3,200 m 192 mph
167 knots
Speed - Cruising at 3,280' / 1,000 m 138 mph
120 knots
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 7 minutes 51 seconds
Service ceiling 22,900' / 6,980 m
Range 576 statute miles
500 nautical miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 92
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.7 mm Type 92
Bombs - Under Fuselage 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
Bombs - Under Wings 2: 66 lb
2: 30 kg

Sources:

  1. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site