The single-engine carrier-based Aichi D3A dive bomber, a metal-construction monoplane, was created by order of Japan’s Supreme Command of Naval Aviation to replace the obsolete D1A biplane. The shape of the wing and tail, as well as the presence of special dive brake flaps, came from the German aircraft company Heineken, which was in active partnership with Aichi.
A D3A prototype was ready in late 1937, and mass production of the D3A1 began in 1940. A Kinsey 43 engine producing 1000 horsepower was used, and the aircraft’s armament consisted of two synchronous 7.7 mm machine guns over the engine and one hand-operated machine gun with the radio operator at the rear of the cab. The wings had folding wingtips and duralumin sheeting, and the ailerons and flaps were covered with fabric.
During the first half of the Second World War, the D3A, along with the B5N Kate, were the main strike force of the Japanese fleet. At the time the D3A1 could be considered one of the best dive-bombers in the world. No other dive bomber had characteristics that were even close, until the arrival of the American Dauntless and Helldiver.
All in all, 470 D3A1s were produced.