The Aichi B7A was developed for a 16-Shi specification for a high performance aircraft to replace the Nakajima B6N torpedo bomber and Yokosuka D4Y dive bomber.
The requirements were:
- Bombs/Torpedo: two 551 lb / 250 kg bombs or six 132 lb/ 60 kg bombs or one 1,764 lb / 800 kg torpedo
- Armament: two forward firing 20 mm and one 13 mm in cockpit rear
- Speed: 354 mph / 300 knots
- Range 1,151 statute miles / 1,000 nautical miles
- Be as maneuverable as a Mitsubishi A6M
- Length: Could be longer than 36' 1 1/16" / 11 m as the B7A was going to be used in carriers with larger elevators
The B7A was designed by Chief Engineer Norio Ozaki, Morishige Mori, and Yasushirio Ozawa.
The B7A could fly almost as fast as the Mitsubishi A6M fighter and had good maneuverability.
The Nakajima Homare engine caused delays to the development of the B7A.
A four blade propeller was to be used in the B7A.
The wings of the B7A had to be of an inverted gull to allow for the large propeller.
For storage the wings outbound of the flaps could be folded upwards by hydraulic power.