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Aichi B7A

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The Aichi B7A Ryusei ("Shooting Star") was a large and powerful torpedo-dive bomber produced by Aichi Kokuki KK for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Design and development

The B7A was designed in response to a 1941 requirement issued by the Imperial Japanese Navy for a carrier attack bomber that would replace both the Nakajima B6N Tenzan torpedo plane and the Yokosuka D4Y Suisei dive bomber in IJN service.[1] Given the codename "Grace" by the Allies, it first flew as a prototype in May 1942, but problems with the delivery of the engines meant that it was not produced in numbers until 1944[1] when it was too late to affect the outcome of the war. There were no aircraft carriers left for it to fly from, and only 105 aircraft were produced.[1]

The powerplant was a 1,360 kW (1,825 hp) Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 18-cylinder two-row radial engine[1], and the aircraft featured a "bent" wing - an inverted gull wing somewhat reminiscent of the F4U Corsair - to give clearance for the propeller without requiring the use of long undercarriage legs.

Although the B7A had a weight-carrying capacity apparently resulting in a weapons load no greater than its predecessors, in fact the presence of an internal bomb bay with two high-load-capability attachment points allowed the aircraft to carry two 250 kg (550 lb) bombs, something no other single-engine Japanese fighter or attack aircraft could do (other aircraft had only a single heavy-load attachment point, and there was no known example of an external rack to adapt a single attachment point to multiple heavy bombs).Template:Dubious Despite its weight and size, it displayed fighter-like handling and performance, besting the version of the A6M Zero in service at the time. Fast and highly maneuverable, had it been produced earlier and in greater numbers, it would have proved a considerable adversary to the United States Navy's fighters.



Prototypes. Nine built.


Two-seat torpedo, dive-bomber aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

B7A2 Experimental

One aircraft fitted with a 1,491 kW (2,000 hp) Nakajima Homare 23 radial engine.


Proposed version. Not built.


Aichi B7A Ryusei.
File:B7A-Ryusei torpedo.jpg
Aichi B7A carrying torpedo.
File:B7A 2.jpg
Captured Aichi B7A "Grace".

Data from [1][2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 11.49 m (37 ft 8.33 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.40 m (47 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 4.07 m (13 ft 4.5 in)
  • Wing area: 35.40 m² (381 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 3,810 kg (8,400 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 5,625 kg (12,401 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,500 kg (14,330 lb)
  • Powerplant:Nakajima NK9C Homare12 18-cylinder radial engine, 1,360 kW (1,825 hp)



  • Guns: *2 × 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons in wings
  • 1 × 7.92 mm (0.312 in) Type 1 or 13 mm (0.51 in) Type 2 machine gun in the rear cockpit
  • Bombs: *800 kg (1,764 lb) of general ordnance or
  • 1 × 800 kg (1,764 lb) torpedo

See also

Related lists



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named chant-15
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named combinedfleet


  • Chant, Chris. Aircraft of World War II - 300 of the World's Greatest aircraft 1939-45. Amber Books Ltd., 1999. ISBN 0-7607-1261-1.
  • Francillon, René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6.

External links

Template:Aichi Aircraft Template:Japanese Navy Torpedo Bombers

cs:Aiči B7A de:Aichi B7A fr:Aichi B7A gl:Aichi B7A it:Aichi B7A ms:Aichi B7A ja:流星艦上攻撃機 pl:Aichi B7A ru:Aichi B7A Ryusei sv:Aichi B7A Ryusei vi:Aichi B7A

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aichi B7A".