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A7M Reppu "Sam"

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Zipang01 #1 Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:53 AM

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   The A7M Reppu (or Hurricane) was a IJN plane designed to replace the already aging A6M Zero, Mitsubishi (The same company tasked with making the Zero) was tasked by the IJN to make a suitable replacement for the zero, the specifications for the plane were for better maneuverability,and faster speeds. The plane would be simple to train for the Japanese pilots since it would share the same characteristics as the Zero and Oscar (Ki-43) of fast speed and near untouchable turning rate and maneuverability. The contract was ordered in late 1940 with the project halted in early 1941 due to development of the A6M3 and 14Shi interceptor (better known as the J2M Raiden) after the previous two projects were completed in April of 1942, the project was rebooted with these specifications "it had to fly faster than 345 kn (639 km/h; 397 mph) above 6,000 m (20,000 ft), climb to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) in less than 6 minutes, be armed with two 20 mm cannon and two 13 mm (0.51 in) machine guns, and retain the maneuverability of the A6M3."

  To meet the speed specifications the engine would need to produce at least 1,491 kW (1,999 hp), which narrowed choices down to Nakajima's NK9 under development (later becoming Homare), or Mitsubishi's MK9 (Ha-43), which was also still being developed. Both engines were based on 14-cylinder (Nakajima Sakae and Mitsubishi Kinsei, respectively) engines converted to 18-cylinder powerplants. The early NK9 had less output but was already approved by the Navy for use on the Yokosuka P1Y Ginga, while the larger MK9 promised more horsepower.With the larger, more powerful engine, wing loading became an issue. The Navy requested at most 150 kg/m², but wanted 130 kg/m² which complicated design considerations further. With the NK9 it could achieve 150 kg/m², but with the less power it wouldn't meet the specifications for maximum speed. With the MK9 the engineers concluded it could fulfill the requirements; however, production of the MK9 was delayed compared to the NK9, and the Japanese Navy instructed Mitsubishi to use the NK9.

  The factories making the engines at the time prioritized A6M and Mitsubishi G4M production as well as further work on A6M variants and addressing Raiden issues. As a result it wasn't until May 6th 1944 did the A7M take flight, as engineers feared the engine gave out almost similar performance the previous A6M5 had given out. As a result the IJN attempted to cancel, but Mitsubishi was able to get the HA-43 engine which improved performance immensely for the now A7M2, The navy then gave the Okay to have production start in 1944, however, Mother nature and the Allied bombing campaign had different Idea's. Due to the engine plant being nearly destroyed by an earthquake and Allied bombing raids only a few engines were made only 8 aircraft were made but never used.


ENGINE 1 x Mitsubishi MK9A, 1650kW
    Take-off weight 4720 kg | 10406 lb
    Wingspan 14 m | 46 ft 11 in
    Length 11 m | 36 ft 1 in
    Height 4.28 m | 14 ft 1 in
    Wing area 30.86 m2 | 332.17 sq ft
    Max. speed 620 km/h | 385 mph
    Cruise speed 410 km/h | 255 mph
    Ceiling 10900 m | 35750 ft
ARMAMENT 4 x 20mm cannons, 2 x 250-kg bombs

A7M1 : Initial model powered by 1,491 kW (1,999 hp) Nakajima Homare 22 engine. Three built.
A7M2 : Revised version with 1,641 kW (2,201 hp) Mitsubishi Ha-43 engine. Five prototypes.
A7M3 : Proposed land-based fighter version with supercharged Ha-43 engine. Not built.
A7M3-J : Proposed land-based fighter version. Not built.

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