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Japan's Mitsubishi A7M Reppu (hurricane) fighter

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Design

The A7M was to succeed the A6M Reisen.1 Design work started in 1940, but due to other production receiving the priority a prototype was not finished until 1944.1 Jiro Horikoshi designed the A7M.1

On July 6, 1942, the Navy issued another set of specifications for a carrier fighter to be able to go 400 mph at 19,500', climb to 19,500' in six minutes, have two 20 mm cannons, and be able to maneuver as well as the A6M3.1

Jiro Horikoshi wanted the Mitsubishi MK9A (2,200 HP) engine to be used by the Navy wanted the Nakajima NK9K (2,000 HP) to be used.1

Earthquake and Bombs

In December 1944 an earthquake and air raids at the factory delayed production.1 Many of the prototypes were also destroyed.1

Prototype

The A7M1 prototype first flew on May 6, 1944.1 Work was stopped on this prototype as it didn't meet the specifications.1 Work on the other prototypes continued.1

On October 13, 1944, the A7M2 prototype flew and met the specifications.1

Production

  • Prototype: 91
  • Mitsubishi A7M1: 11
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.1

Variants

  • Mitsubishi A7M1: Prototype with Nakajima Nk9K engine.1
  • Mitsubishi A7M2: Prototype with Mitsubishi MK9A engine.1
  • Mitsubishi A7M3: Land based model.1 None built.1

Specifications

  Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu1
Type Fighter1
Crew 11
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK9A1
Cylinders Radial 181
Cooling Air1
Net HP 2,2001
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11"1
Length 36' 1"1
Height 14'1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 10,406 lb1
Performance  
Speed @ 21,655' 390 mph1
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 35,760'1
Range 570 miles1
Armament 2: MG1
2: 20 mm1
Bombs 1,100 lb1

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site