Despite its importance in these engagements the D3A was produced in only relatively small numbers - 478 of the D3A1 and 816 of the more streamlined D3A2.
The Yokosuka D4Y Suisei ('Comet') - Allied reporting-name 'Judy' - was the D3A's replacement, and by late 1944 relatively few Vals were left in service.
The D4Y had been designed to a demanding specification of 1937, which called for a two-seat dive-bomber as fast as the A6M Zero-Sen fighter. It was one of the few Japanese aircraft to go into production with a liquid-cooled engine.
The supposedly lower drag of the in-line motor was one means of meeting the demand for high speed, but the Daimler-Benz 601 had an unsuccessful history in Japanese service. In 1943 the main problems with the Judy were eliminated by replacing the 601 with the reliable and smooth-running Kinsei 62 radial. After the Battle for Leyte Gulf battle the D4Y was extensively employed as a kamikaze aircraft carrying 800 kg (1,764 lb) of explosives.
Total production of the Judy was 2,038.
Origin: Aichi Tokei Denki KK
Type: Two-seat shipborne dive-bomber
Dimensions: Span (D3A1) 47' 2" (D3A2) 47' 8" - Length 33' 6" to 33' 7" - Height 11' 0."
Weight: (D3A1) 5,309 lb empty, 8,047 lb loaded - (D3A2) 5,772 lb empty, 8,378 lb loaded
Engine: (D3A1) One 1,075 hp Mitsubishi Kinsei 44 14-cylinder radial (D3A2) One 1,200 hp Kinsei 54
Performance: Maximum speed
(D3A1): 242 mph - (D3A2) 281 mph
Service ceiling (D3A1): 31,170 feet - (D3A2) 35,700 feet
Range Loaded (D3A1): 1,131 miles - (D3A2) 969 miles
Armament: Two fixed forward-firing
7.7 mm machine-guns in wings
One 7.7 mm manually-aimed machine-gun in rear cockpit
One 250 kg bomb under fuselage plus (D3A1) two 30 kg bombs
or (D3A2) two 60 kg bombs under wings
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei - the 'Judy'
Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho, Yokosuka;
Production aircraft built by Aichi Kokuki KK and Dai-Juichi Kaigun Kokusho
Two-seat carrier dive-bomber
(D4Y1-c and D4Y2-c reconnaisance / D4Y2-s night-fighter / D4Y4 single-seat kamikaze aircraft)
Span 37' 9" - Length 33' 6" - Height (D4Y1, D4Y2) 12' 1" (D4Y3, D4Y4) 12' 3"
(D4Y1) 5,650 lb empty - 9,615 lb loaded
(D4Y1) One 1,200 hp Aichi Atsuta-21 in-line inverted-V12 , liquid-cooled (Daimler-Benz 601)
(D4Y2) One 1,400 hp Atsuta-32 in-line
(D4Y3, D4Y4) One 1,560 hp Mitsubishi Kinsei 62 14-cylinder two-row radial
(D4Y1) 339 mph - (D4Y2) 360 mph - (D4Y3) 356 mph.
D4Y1) 1,970 feet per minute (Other Versions) 2,700 feet per minute.
Service Ceiling (typical) 34,500 feet
(D4Y2) 749 miles(D4Y3) 945 miles.
2 x 7.7 mm fixed forward-firing machine-guns above engine
1 x 7.7 mm manually-aimed 7.7 mm machine-gun in rear cockpit
1 x 250 kg (551 lb) bomb in internal fuselage bay
2 x 30 kg bombs - one under each wing
Dive Bombers in Action - Peter C. Smith
Aichi D3A Val - Peter C. Smith