Shipborne Torpedo Bomber
B7A Ryusei. Codename for the allies "Grace". The first flight was made in the spring of 1942, the beginning of combat operation - in the spring of 1944. The deck dive bomber and torpedo bomber of the Japanese Imperial Navy was constructively an all-metal cantilever monoplane with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear.
A two-row air-cooled radial engine "Homare" developed by KB "Nakajima" was chosen as the power plant. Due to the large diameter of the pitch propeller and the external suspension of the torpedo, the aircraft is structurally designed as a midwing plane with a “reverse gull” wing. To reduce the height of the landing gear, the torpedo suspension was shifted slightly to the left of the axis of symmetry. The wing had large area ailerons and hydraulically folding consoles. For dive braking, air brakes were installed in front of the flaps along the entire length of the wing from the fuselage to the ailerons.
Small arms consisted of two wing cannons Type 99 Model 2 and a defensive 7.92 mm machine gun type 1 in the rear cockpit, the last serial B7A2 received a 13 mm defensive machine gun "type 2".
The first prototype aircraft was ready in May 1942. An experimental engine "Homare 11" with a capacity of 1820 hp was installed on the plane, flight tests were accompanied by numerous engine failures. But with a working engine, the aircraft demonstrated high flight characteristics and excellent controllability. In total, nine experimental V7A1s were built for the Homare-11 engine, which differed somewhat in the design of the airframe, the design of the airframe and the composition of the equipment. In April 1944, an improved version of the 1825 hp Nakajima NK9C "Homare 12" engine appeared. With him the plane went into production under the designation "Ryusei B7A2".
By the time the aircraft were produced, the aircraft carriers Taiho and Shinano, on which the torpedo bombers were to be based, had already been sunk, and the aircraft arrived at the coastal airfields.
The combat use of the V7A "Ryusei" torpedo bomber was rather limited and fell on the final battles of World War II. The most advanced strike aircraft in Japan by that time could not change anything. The combat missions of Japanese strike aircraft were no longer different from the desperate suicide attacks by kamikaze. In March-July 1945, the Japanese lost their last aviation reserves, including the few Ryusei.
A total of 114 B7A aircraft were produced.
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|1 × PE Nakajima NK9C
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