Japanese Dive-bombers - the D3A and D4Y
|The Aichi D3A - Allied reporting-name
was the standard Japanese carrier-based dive-bomber during the opening
stages of the Pacific War, operating with great effect in the Pearl Harbor
attack and in the great carrier battles of 1942, but also suffering heavy
losses in those battles.
Despite its importance in these engagements the D3A was produced in only relatively small numbers - 478 of the D3A1 and 816 of the more streamlined D3A2.
The Yokosuka D4Y Suisei ('Comet') - Allied reporting-name 'Judy' - was the D3A's replacement, and by late 1944 relatively few Vals were left in service.
The D4Y had been designed to a demanding specification of 1937, which called for a two-seat dive-bomber as fast as the A6M Zero-Sen fighter. It was one of the few Japanese aircraft to go into production with a liquid-cooled engine.
The supposedly lower drag of the in-line motor was one means of meeting the demand for high speed, but the Daimler-Benz 601 had an unsuccessful history in Japanese service. In 1943 the main problems with the Judy were eliminated by replacing the 601 with the reliable and smooth-running Kinsei 62 radial. After the Battle for Leyte Gulf battle the D4Y was extensively employed as a kamikaze aircraft carrying 800 kg (1,764 lb) of explosives.
Total production of the Judy was 2,038.
Aichi D3A - the 'Val'
Origin: Aichi Tokei Denki KK
Type: Two-seat shipborne dive-bomber
Dimensions: Span (D3A1) 47' 2" (D3A2) 47' 8" - Length 33' 6" to 33' 7" - Height 11' 0."
Weight: (D3A1) 5,309 lb empty, 8,047 lb loaded - (D3A2) 5,772 lb empty, 8,378 lb loaded
Engine: (D3A1) One 1,075 hp Mitsubishi Kinsei 44 14-cylinder radial (D3A2) One 1,200 hp Kinsei 54
Maximum speed (D3A1): 242 mph
- (D3A2) 281 mph
Service ceiling (D3A1): 31,170 feet - (D3A2) 35,700 feet
Range Loaded (D3A1): 1,131 miles - (D3A2) 969 miles
Armament: Two fixed forward-firing
7.7 mm machine-guns in wings
One 7.7 mm manually-aimed machine-gun in rear cockpit
One 250 kg bomb under fuselage plus (D3A1) two 30 kg bombs
or (D3A2) two 60 kg bombs under wings
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei - the 'Judy'
Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho, Yokosuka;
Production aircraft built by Aichi Kokuki KK and Dai-Juichi Kaigun Kokusho
Two-seat carrier dive-bomber
(D4Y1-c and D4Y2-c reconnaisance / D4Y2-s night-fighter / D4Y4 single-seat kamikaze aircraft)
Span 37' 9" - Length 33' 6" - Height (D4Y1, D4Y2) 12' 1" (D4Y3, D4Y4) 12' 3"
(D4Y1) 5,650 lb empty - 9,615 lb loaded