Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Aichi Aircraft

Aichi Tokei Denki K.K. (Aichi Clock and Electric Company Ltd.), the fourth largest aircraft manufacturer in Japan during World War II. Aichi entered into the industry in 1920 when it began making airframes and expanded in 1927 when Aichi began building engines.

Aichi had four primary aircraft that it produced. The D3A, which carried the Allied code name “Val,” was a fixed-gear dive-bomber that sank more Allied fighting ships than any other Axis aircraft. The Val was most famous for its devastating role at Pearl Harbor. Although the plane’s technology was outdated by war’s end, it was still in service with many units and as a kamikaze weapon.

The D4Y Suisei (Allied code name “Judy”) was designed by Yokosuka Aircraft but was mass-produced by Aichi. Its original role was to replace the Val in its dive-bombing duties, but it evolved into the role of reconnaissance and night interception. The Judy first saw combat in February 1944 at Truk Island. Late in the war the Judy was also used as a kamikaze weapon.

Aichi’s E16A Zuiun floatplane (Allied code name “Paul”) was originally designed as a reconnaissance aircraft but evolved into a dive-bomber.

 The B7A Ryusei (Allied code name “Grace”) was Aichi’s torpedo-bomber. The aircraft was unique for the Japanese Imperial Navy, for it sported a gull-wing design. Production of the Grace was devastated in May 1945 when an earthquake hit the Tokai district in Japan.At war’s end only about 100 B7As had been produced.

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