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The Aichi E13A or "Jake" as it was codenamed was a floatplane that was used by Japan during World War II. It had a crew of three and a Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 376 km/h.

Even though the E13A was a reconnaissance plane, it still carried an armament that consisted of a single 20mm autocannon in a downward facing ventral gun position, a 7.7mm machine gun mounted in a gunner position, and up to four 60 kg bombs or a single 250 kg bomb.[1]

The "Jake" also sported two large floats and had a total weight of about 2,600 kg unloaded. The total length was 11.3 meters and the E13A's total height was 4.7 meters.[2] The service ceiling of the "Jake" was approximately 8,730 meters while the maximum range was 2,090 kilometers. The wingspan of the "Jake" was 14.5 meters.[3] The Aichi's reliability and durability were very good and maneuverability was also very good.

Variants

The Aichi E13A was a very successful series of planes and as such, it had a number of variants that could operate in different roles. The first of these variants was the E13A1a. (The E13A1 was not an actual variant, just a redesignation to avoid confusion with prototype models.) The E13A1a sported modified floats and better radio equipment.

There was even a sub-variant of the E13A1a which was simply a modified E13A1a that was capable of flying at night. It was designated the E13A1a-S. The E13A1a along with the next variant the E13A1b were both designed/entered service in 1944. The E13A1b was similar to the E13A1a only that it featured an air-to-surface radar system. The final variant of the Aichi E13A series was the E13A1c and it had dual Type 99 20mm autocannons mounted in a ventral position. This variant was meant for an anti-ship role.

History

The Aichi E13A was first developed to satisfy the need for a new flying boat to replace the aging Kawanishi E7K floatplane. The first prototype of the Aichi E13A was finished in 1938 and by 1940, production was scheduled to begin.[4] The first E13As entered service in China in late 1941 and early signs indicated that the E13A was successful in fulfilling its several roles to the fullest. E13As were also used in the reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor prior to the attack. Later in WWII, E13As were used in Kamikaze operations, but were usually shot down with ease by allied pilots.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/japan/aircraft/floatplane/aichi-e13a-jake.asp
  2. http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=443
  3. http://www.daveswarbirds.com/Nippon/aircraft/Jake.htm
  4. http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/photo_albums/timeline/ww2/Aichi%20E13A%20Jake.htm

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