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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka (cherry blossom) suicide attack plane
Allied code name: Baka

Photos

  • Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka suicide attack

 

Design

In the summer of 1944 Ensign Mitsuo Ohta (transport pilot with 405th Kokutai) came up with the idea of a rocket powered suicide aircraft. With help of the Aeronautical Research Institute of the University of Tokyo plans were developed and then submitted to the Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka. Masao Yamana, Tadanao Mitsugi, and Rokuro Hattori led a team that developed the final plans.

The Ohka was to be attached to a large aircraft, usually a G4M2e, which would then carry the Ohka near it's target and then release it.

Materials

Wood was the primary construction material of the Ohka.

Pilots

The Ohka was designed to be flown by inexperienced pilots so the most rudimentary instruments were installed.

Rockets

There were three solid propellant rockets in the tail. The pilot could fire them all at once or individually.

Prototype

The first unpowered flight was in October 1944. In November 1944 powered flights were conducted.

Production

  • Prototypes: 10
    • Production: September 1944
  • Yokosuka Model 11: 755
    • Manufacturer: Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka (155), Dai-Ichi Kaigun Kokusho at Kasumigaura (600)
    • Production: September 1944 - March 1945
  • Yokosuka Model 22: 50
    • Manufacturer: Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka
  • Yokosuka Model K-1: 45
    • Manufacturer: Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka
  • Yokosuka Model 43 K-1 KAI: 2
    • Manufacturer: Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka
  • Total: 852
    • Manufacturer: Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho at Yokosuka (252), Dai-Ichi Kaigun Kokusho at Kasumigaura (600)

Variants

  • Yokosuka Model 11, Navy Suicide Attacker Ohka Model 11:
  • Yokosuka Model 22: Turbojet powered.
  • Yokosuka Model K-1: Trainer. Had water ballast in the nose.
  • Yokosuka Model 43 K-1 KAI Wakazakura (young cherry): Two seat trainers.

Usage

On March 21, 1945, the first Ohka mission was flown by the 721st Kokutai. Mitsubishi G4M bombers carried 16 Ohkas and were intercepted by United States Navy Hellcats. All the G4Ms were shot down and all the Ohkas crashed into the sea.

On April 1, 1945, the USS West Virginia and three transports were damaged by Ohkas. The destroyer USS Mannert L Abele was sunk on April 12, 1945, off of Okinawa, which became the first Allied ship sunk.

Specifications

  MXY-7
Type Suicide attack
Crew 1
  MXY-7 Model 11
Type Suicide plane
Crew  
Engine (Type) 3: Type 4 Mk 1 Mod. 20 rockets
3: Type 4 Mark 1 Model 21 solid fuel
Thrust 1,750 lb, 1,764 lb
800 kg
Dimensions  
Span 16' 9", 16' 9.5", 16' 9 9/16"
5.12 m
Length 19' 10.75", 19' 10 13/16", 19' 11"
6.06 m, 6,066 m
Height 3' 9", 3' 9 21/32", 3' 10"
1.14 m, 1.16 m
Wing area 64.583 sq ft
6 sq m
Weight  
Empty 970 lb
440 kg
Loaded 4,718 lb
2,140 kg
Performance  
Speed 403 mph
648 kph
Speed at 11,485' / 3,500 m 403 mph
350 knots
Dive speed 576 mph
927 kph
500 knots
Range 23 miles
23 statute miles
37 km
20 nautical miles
Armament  
Warhead 2,646 lb
1,200 kg
  MXY-7 Model 12
Performance  
Speed 276 mph
445 kph
Range 80 miles
128 km
  MXY-7 Model 22
Type Suicide attack
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: Tsu-11 turbojet
Thrust 550 lb, 551 lb
200 kg
Dimensions  
Span 13' 6.25", 13' 6 7/32"
4.12 m
Length 22' 6 7/8", 22' 7"
6.88 m
Height 3' 9.25", 3' 9 9/32"
1.15 m
Wing area 43.055 sq ft
4 sq m
Weight  
Empty 1,202 lb
545 kg
Loaded 3,197 lb
1,450 kg
Performance  
Speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 276 mph
240 knots
Range 81 statute miles
70 nautical miles
Armament  
Warhead 1,323 lb
600 kg
  MXY-7 Model 33
Type Suicide attack
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: Ne-20 turbojet
Thrust 1,047 lb
475 kg
Armament  
Warhead 1,764 lb, 1,984 lb
800 kg, 900 kg
  MXY-7 Model 43
Type Suicide attack
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 1: Ne-20 turbojet
Thrust 1,047 lb
475 kg
Dimensions  
Span 29' 6 11/32"
9 m
Length 26' 9.25"
8.16 m
Height 3' 9 9/32"
1.15 m
Wing area 139.93 sq ft
13 m
Weight  
Empty 2,535 lb
1,150 kg
Loaded 5,004 lb
2,270 kg
Performance  
Speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 345 mph
300 knots
Range 173 statute miles
150 nautical miles
Armament  
Warhead 1,764 lb
800 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site