World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2018
Search:
Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi A7M Reppu (hurricane) fighter
Allied Code Name: Sam

Photos

  • Mitsubishi A7M Reppu fighter
  • Mitsubishi A7M2 Reppu fighter

 

Design

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, 17-Shi, for a carrier fighter and be able to maneuver as well as the A6M3:

  • Speed: 397 mph / 400 mph / 345 knots at 19,500' / 19,645' / 6,000 m
  • Climb to 19,500' / 19,645' / 6,000 m: < 6 minutes
  • Endurance at 288 mph / 250 knots: 2 1/2 hours
  • Dive: 518 mph / 450 knots
  • Armament: Two 20 mm and two 13.2 mm

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.

Features

The A7M had self sealing fuel tanks, armor for the pilot, and a bullet proof windshield.

Earthquake and Bombs

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

Prototype

The A7M1 prototype first flew on May 6, 1944, piloted by Eisaku Shibayama. Work was stopped on this prototype as it didn't meet the specifications. The Imperial Japanese Navy suspended trials for the A7M1 on July 30, 1944.

The sixth prototype had the Mitsubishi MK9A engine installed and it became the A7M2 prototype. On October 13, 1944, the A7M2 prototype flew and met the specifications.

Production

  • Prototypes Total: 9
  • Mitsubishi A7M1 prototypes: 2
  • Mitsubishi A7M1: 1
  • Mitsubishi A7M2 prototypes: 7
  • Mitsubishi A7M2: 1
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. at Nagoya

Variants

  • Mitsubishi A7M1: Prototype with Nakajima Nk9K engine.
  • Mitsubishi A7M2, Navy Carrier Fighter Reppu Model 22: Prototype with Mitsubishi MK9A engine.
  • Mitsubishi A7M3, Mitsubishi A7M3-J Model 34, Otsu (B) Type Land Based Interceptor Fighter: Land based model. A prototype was under construction when World War II ended.

Specifications

  A7M1
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK9K Homare 22
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,000
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11 6/16"
14 m
Length 36' 7/8"
10.995 m
Height 14' 0.25"
4.28 m
Wing area 332.173 sq ft
30.86 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,856 lb
3,110 kg
Loaded 9,722 lb
4,410 kg
Performance  
Speed at 20,310' / 6,190 m 357 mph
310 knots
Climb to 19,685' / 6,000 m 9 minutes 54 seconds
Armament  
Wings 2: 13.2 Type 3
2: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 77 gallons
350 liters
  A7M2
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK9A
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,200
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11", 45' 11 5/16"
14 m
Length 36' 1", 36' 1 1/16"
11 m
Height 14', 14' 0.25"
4.28 m
Wing area 332.173 sq ft
30.86 sq m
Weight  
Empty 7,112 lb
3,226 kg
Loaded 10,406 lb
4,720 kg
Performance  
Speed at 21,655' / 6,600 m 390 mph
339 knots
Speed - Cruising at 13,125' / 4,000 m 259 mph
225 knots
Climb to 19,685' / 6,000 m 6 minutes 7 seconds
Service ceiling 35,760'
10,900 m
Endurance - Cruising 2 hours 30 minutes
Endurance - Combat 30 minutes
Range 570 miles
Armament 2: MG
2: 20 mm
Wings 2: 13.2 Type 3
2: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2
Bombs 1,100 lb
2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 77 gallons
350 liters
  A7M3
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK9C
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,250
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11 5/16"
14 m
Length 36' 1 1/16"
11 m
Height 14' 0.25"
4.28 m
Wing area 332.173 sq ft
30.86 sq m
Weight  
Empty 7,478 lb
3,392 kg
Loaded 11,111 lb
5,040 kg
Performance  
Speed at 28,545' / 8,700 m 399 mph
347 knots
Climb to 32,810' / 10,000 m 13 minutes 6 seconds
Service ceiling 37,075'
11,300 m
Armament  
Wings 6: 20 mm Type 99 Model 2
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 77 gallons
350 liters
  A7M3-J
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Ha-43 11 Ru
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,200
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 45' 11 5/16"
14 m
Length 39' 1/16"
11.964 m
Height 14' 0.5"
4.28 m
Wing area 336.909 sq ft
31.3 sq m
Weight  
Empty 8,719 lb
3,955 kg
Loaded 12,637 lb
5,732 kg
Performance  
Speed at 32,810' / 10,000 m 403 mph
350 knots
Climb to 32,810' / 10,000 m 15 minutes
Service ceiling 37,730'
11,500 m
Armament  
Nose 2: 30 mm Type 5 mounted obliquely
Wings 4: 30 mm Type 5
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 77 gallons
350 liters

Sources:

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