The Aichi B7A Ryusei ("Falling Star") was designed to replace both the Nakajima B6N and the Yokosuka D4Y on aircraft carriers, but it never saw carrier duty. By the time the 114 planes became operative, the Japanese no longer had any operational aircraft carriers. The planes saw limited duty in the last months of the war with two land-based units. The Aichi B7A (known as "Grace" in the Allied code) was an exceptionally large plane for carrier service. Despite the fact that the project was begun in 1942 (with the first prototype taking to the air of May of 1942), the main production model, the B7A2, was finished two years later due to delays in engine procurement. By the time the assembly lines had been set up, it was too late, and only 105 Ryuseis were completed before war's end.
Aichi B7A1 Ryusei
Type: Carrier Attack Operator: Japanese Naval Air Force (JNAF) Crew: 2 (Pilot, gunner) Armament: two wing mounted 20mm cannon one 13mm Type 2 machine gun in rear position one 1764 lb torpedo or equiv. weight in bombs Reference: Francillon: 288 Specifications: Length: 37' 8.25" (11.49 m) Height: 13' 4.5" (4.075 m) Wingspan: 47' 3" (14.40 m) Wing area: 381.05 sq. ft (35.40 sq. m) Empty Weight: 8040 lbs (3810 kg) Max Weight: 12401 lbs (5625 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1825 hp Performance: Range: 1889 miles (3040 km) Max Speed: 351 mph (565 km/hr) at 21,490 ft Ceiling: 36910 ft (11250 m)
Production: approximately 114 B7As
Additional information from the Military Aircraft Database on this aircraft HERE.
For a very nice scale color drawing of this aircraft, see here and here.
Additional color schemes for this aircraft can be found here.
(go to Aichi page)
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