Aichi B7A

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Aichi B7A "Ryusei"
Aichi B7A
Aichi B7A "Ryusei"
Description
RoleCarrier-based dive bomber and torpedo bomber
Crew2
First Flight1941
Entered Service
ManufacturerAichi Kokuki KK
Dimensions
Length11.49 m37 ft 8½ in
Wingspan14.40 m47 ft 3 in
Height4.07 m13 ft 4¼ in
Wing area35.40 m²381 ft²
Weights
Empty3614 kg7,969 lb
Loaded5700 kg12,568 lb
Maximum takeoffkglb
Powerplant
EngineNakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial
Power1,360 kW1,825 hp
Performance
Maximum speed566 km/h352 mph
Combat range1,850 km1,150 miles
Ferry rangekmmiles
Service ceiling8950 m29,365 ft
Rate of climbm/minft/min
Armament
Guns2 × Type 9 Model 2 20 mm cannon (in wings)
1 × 7.92 mm or 13 mm gun (from rear cockpit)
Bombs800 kg1,764 lb
Other1 × 800 kg (1764 lb) torpedo

The Aichi B7A Ryusei (Japanese: 愛知 B7A 流星, "Shooting Star") was a large and powerful dive bomber and torpedo bomber produced by Aichi Kokuki KK for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Given the codename Grace by the Allies, it first flew in 1941, but problems with the delivery of the engines meant that it was not produced in numbers until too late to affect the outcome of the war. There were no aircraft carriers left for it to fly from, and only 114 aircraft were produced.

Although the B7A carried a weapons load no greater than its predecessors, it displayed fighter-like handling and performance, besting the Mitsubishi Zeroes in service at the time. Had it been produced early and in greater numbers, it would have proved a considerable adversary to the United States Navy's fighters.

The powerplant was a 1,825 horsepower (1,360 kW) Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial engine, and the aircraft featured a 'bent' wing - an inverted gull-wing somewhat reminiscent of the German Junkers Ju 87 - to give clearance for the propeller without requiring the use of long main undercarriage legs.

Related content
Related development
Similar aircraft
Designation series B1M - B2M - B3Y - B4Y - B5N - B5M - B6N - B7A
Related lists List of military aircraft of Japan


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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