The A7M was to succeed the A6M Reisen. Design work started in 1940, but due to other production receiving the priority a prototype was not finished until 1944. Jiro Horikoshi designed the A7M.
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.
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.
In December 1944 an earthquake and air raids at the factory delayed production. Many of the prototypes were also destroyed.
The A7M1 prototype first flew on May 6, 1944. Work was stopped on this prototype as it didn't meet the specifications. Work on the other prototypes continued.
On October 13, 1944, the A7M2 prototype flew and met the specifications.
|Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu|
|Engine (Type)||Mitsubishi MK9A|
|Speed @ 21,655'||390 mph|
2: 20 mm