Mitsubishi A5M
Purpose: Single seat carrier-borne and land-based fighter.
Background: The chief fighter of the Imperial Japanese Navy throughout the Sino-Japanese war. It was the Navy’s first monoplane fighter, and one of the first all-metal stressed-skin aircraft built in Japan. It demonstrated excellent speed and maneuverability. Over Nanking in December 1937, A5M pilots destroyed ten Chinese I-16B fighters for no Japanese loss. It was produced in four models, A5M1 to A5M4. A total of 1,094 A5M’s and derivatives were built during the period 1937-43.
Units Allocated
Carriers: Akagi, Hosho, Kaga, Ryujo and Zuiho.
12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, Oita, Ominato, Omura, Sasebo and Yokosuka Kokutais.
Specifications (A5M4):
  1. Maximum speed: 273 mph (440 km/h)
  2. Climbing speed: 2,790 ft (850 m)/min
  3. Service Ceiling: 32,800 ft (10,000 m)
  4. Fuel Capacity: liters (Imperial Gallons, US Gallons)
  5. Range: 746 mi (1,200 km) with auxiliary tank
  6. Armament: 2 X 7.7 mm Type 89 MG, fuselage mounted, forward of cockpit. Racks for 2 X 66 lb (30 kg) bombs under outer wing surfaces
  7. Powerplant: One Nakajima Kotobuki 41 (Jupiter) 3-Kai nine-cylinder radial, 710 hp
  8. Dimensions:
9. Landing Gear: Main: fixed, spatted wheels, units attached to underwing surfaces. Tail Wheel: fixed.
Chant, C, Aircraft of World War Two, Bristol, Dempsey-Parr, 1999.
Gunston, William, Japanese and Italian Aircraft, New York, Chartwell Books, 1985.
Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Putnam, 1979 (numerous   revised reprints available from several publishers).
Parshall, Jon, An excellent website for              information on the Imperial Japanese Navy.