D1A “Susie”, Japanese Carrier Dive Bomber

Photograph of D1A "Susie" dive bomber


Aichi D1A2 "Susie"


Dimensions 37'5" by 30'6" by 11'2"
11.40m by 9.30m by 3.40m
Weight 3342-5754 lbs
1516-2610 kg
Speed 192 mph at 10,500 feet
309 km/h at 3200 meters
Cruising speed       138 mph at 3,280 feet
222 km/h at 1000  meters
Climb rate 21 feet per second
6.4 meters per second
Ceiling 22,900 feet
6980 meters
Wing area 373.5 square feet
34.7 square meters
Power plant One 730 hp (544 kW) Nakajima Hikari 1 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine driving a two-bladed propeller
Armament Two cowling 7.7mm Type 92 machine guns
One rear flexible 7.7mm Type 92 machine gun
External stores One 551 lb (250kg) bomb plus two 66 lb (30kg) bombs
Range 576 miles
927 km
Production 162 D1A1 and 428 D1A2 through 1940 by Aichi Tokei Denki K.K. at Nagoya.
Variants The D1A1 used a less powerful Nakajima Kotobuki 3 engine and was therefore slightly slower.

The D1A was the Japanese Navy’s last biplane dive bomber. It was largely relegated to training duty by the start of the Pacific War, with just 68 D1A2s serving in second-line units. Aircraft of this type were responsible for sinking the U.S. gunboat Panay in 1937, and the Allied navies probably expected the Japanese carriers to still be using aircraft of this type when war broke out.

The design dated to 1933 and emphasized structural strength and maneuverability. Performance was required to exceed that of earlier designs. The designers based some features on the German He 66 biplane dive bomber, but with a strengthened undercarriage for carrier landings and a second seat. Production commenced in 1934.


Francillon (1979)

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