Stukas delivered to Japan

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Peter H
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Stukas delivered to Japan

Post by Peter H » 06 Feb 2009 23:55

Interesting discussion on j-aircraft
Two Junkers Ju.87A-1 dive-bombers were purchased by Japan as a result of being exhibited at the International Aeronautical Exhibition in Berlin. They were shipped out as export models Ju87K-1 in 1937. The aircraft codes were 71+E11 and 71+E12 and had standard German 'splinter' camouflage but with the Japanese national markings replacing the black cross of the Luftwaffe. They were fitted with the Jumo 210D in-line engine but armament, radio and bomb-release gear were all unchanged from the A-1. The Mitsubishi Aircraft Company assembled them in January 1938, the first being assigned to the Army Air Force at Tachikawa and the second to the Hamamatsu for detailed examination. Once these evaluations were completed one of these aircraft was placed in the Tokorozawa Army Aviation Museum, but was destroyed in the incendiary attacks later in the war. It would appear that they had no influence on the design of the Aichi D3A1/2 Val. ... 704270000/ ... 704260000/ ... 704250000/

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Sewer King
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Re: Stukas delivered to Japan

Post by Sewer King » 07 Feb 2009 05:54

Presumably the evaluation included some helldiving with practice bombs, or else it does not seem worth the effort of acquiring them.

This would also seem to have been why the Ju 87 got the Allied reporting name IRENE. Other leading German warplanes were also mistakenly thought to be in some Japanese service and also received names, but some of them had even less reason to do so than the Ju 87 since no examples of them went east. I often supposed that the German planes were named "just in case" they were reported in the Pacific, whether on reconnaissance photos or in the air, and whether or not confirmed.

Interestingly, the most advanced German designs such as the Me 262 jet and Me 163 rocket fighters did go east after a fashion, but were much too few and too late to receive reporting names for their Japanese equivalents. Had they been seen, I wonder if they would have jarred any Allied air intelligence officers.

It is well known that the D3Y VAL's elliptical wings were inspired by those of the Heinkel He 70, but air author Rene Francillon compared its dive brakes to those of the Ju 87. These suffered harsh vibration at first and had to be enlarged and strengthened, particularly for higher diving speeds. The D3Y prototype first flew in about January 1938, the same time that the Ju 87 had been assembled by Mitsubishi.
Although the German dive bomber's design was thought no influence on that of the Japanese, how likely was any foreign technical information to be shared between manufacturers who worked on different designs for the Army and Navy? Did any of the rivalry between those services reach down among their contractors even in peacetime?

-- Alan

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