Float Reconnaissance Seaplane
E13A "Reisu" (Jake). Float reconnaissance seaplane. The prototype E13A1 went for testing in April 1938, almost simultaneously with two two-seater E12A1. During factory tests, the E13A1 showed significant superiority over the E12A1 in speed and maneuverability, not to mention flight range. Around the same time, Kaigun Koku Hombu finally decided on what he wanted from a ship reconnaissance, having dropped the requirements for a two-seater car, rightly believing that the Mitsubishi F1M2 seaplane would also cope with all its tasks. Thus, further work focused on the three-seater long-range E13A1.
At the end of October, the E13A1 was handed over for comparative tests with the Kavanishi E13K1 by naval pilots.
In trials, Kawanishi's rival E13K1 surpassed Aichi's seaplane in most characteristics other than top speed, with a less powerful engine but proved to be more difficult to operate and maintain. However, in the summer of 1939, the first prototype of the E13K1 crashed in one of the flights. Soon, the second and final prototype of Kavanishi's seaplane went missing during a test flight over the sea. Thus, the product of Yoshishiro Matsuo reached the final for lack of other rivals.
In December 1940, the long-range reconnaissance aircraft Aichi E13A1 was adopted by the fleet under the designation "Reishiki minakamitei satsuki" - "Type 0 Model 11 Marine Reconnaissance Aircraft" or E13A1. During operation, the long name of the aircraft was shortened to the abbreviation "Reimisu" or even "Reisu".
Initially, mass production was launched at the Aichi plant in the city of Funakata, where, however, only 133 copies of the E13A1 were produced. Since 1942, the plant was reoriented to the production of D3A dive bombers and the production of Reisu reconnaissance aircraft was transferred to the Watanabe company, later renamed into Kyushu Hikoki KK. From 1942 to 1945, 1237 Reisu units were produced here. Another 48 pieces were produced at the 11th Naval Aviation Arsenal in Hiro in 1940-1942.
During mass production, the E13A1 reconnaissance aircraft was practically not modified. It was only in November 1944 that the E13A1a version began to be mass-produced, in which the float mounting scheme was changed. Rigid struts to the struts connecting the float to the wing were replaced with cable guides.
The E13A1b variant was equipped with a Type 3 Ku Model 6 (H6) search radar with antennas installed along the aft fuselage along the sides and on the leading edge of the wing.
The E13A1c version had enhanced armament. The 7.7-mm Type 92 machine gun in the gunner's cockpit was replaced by a 20-mm Type 99-1 cannon on a mobile mount. The cannon E13A1c was intended mainly not so much for hunting anyone as it was a weak attempt to increase the defenses of a vehicle operating deep behind enemy lines. This version appeared in the second half of 1944, when the "Jake" suffered severe losses during the battle of the Mariana Islands, and the issue of increasing the security of the vehicle became especially acute.
Several aircraft that did not receive a special designation were equipped with magnetometers to detect submarines, but this tool turned out to be ineffective - it could only work when the aircraft was flying at an altitude of no more than 10 m above the water. There are also mentions of night versions of the aircraft, equipped with flame arresters on the engine manifolds.
A total of 1418 aircraft were produced.
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Armament. One 7.7 mm type 92 machine gun on a movable mount back; bomb load: 1×250 kg bomb or 4×60 kg depth charges.
- E Aranov. Aichi B7A Ryusei/Grace
- "Japan Aircraft of World War II." /Oleg Doroshkevich/
- "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/