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Mitsubishi A7M Reppū

The A7M Reppū, a Mitsubishi aircraft, was intended to replace the A6M Zero used by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Development work on the A7M began in 1942 with the goal of surpassing the Zero in terms of speed, climbing ability, diving capability, armament, and manoeuvrability.

By 1945, the aircraft had successfully met all these performance objectives.

Unfortunately, due to constraints on Japanese industry towards the end of World War II, the A7M never went into mass production or saw any active service.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the A7M Reppū was never used in combat.

The limitations faced by Japan’s industrial sector during the final stages of the war meant that the aircraft remained grounded.

As a result, the A7M never had the opportunity to demonstrate its superiority over the A6M Zero in real-world combat situations.

Its potential remained untapped, and it became a footnote in the history of aviation development during the war.

Known by the Allied reporting name “Sam,” the A7M Reppū was a promising aircraft that never had the chance to prove itself in battle.

Its advanced design and performance characteristics were overshadowed by the circumstances of the time, which prevented it from being mass-produced or deployed for active duty.

Despite its potential to outperform its predecessor, the A7M remained a prototype that never saw action, leaving its place in history as a symbol of unfulfilled potential.


A7M1 Reppū

The first prototype was powered by a 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Nakajima Homare 22 engine, achieving a maximum speed of 574 km/h (356 mph).

Its armament included two 13.2 mm (.52 in) Type 3 machine guns and two 20 mm (.80 in) Type 99 cannons in the wings.

Despite its excellent manoeuvrability, the A7M1’s Homare engine left it underpowered, leading to its cancellation.

Only two units were built.

A7M2 Reppū

The A7M2, powered by a 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) Mitsubishi Ha-43 engine, had a maximum speed of 627 km/h (389 mph).

Its armament was the same as the previous model, or it could be equipped with four 20 mm (.80 in) Type 99 cannons.

The A7M2 was intended to be the main production aircraft of the A7M series, with eight units built.

A7M3 Reppū

The proposed land-based fighter was to be powered by a 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) mechanically driven three-speed supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-43 engine, achieving a maximum speed of 642 km/h (398 mph).

Its armament included six 20 mm (.80 in) Type 99 cannons mounted in the wings.

However, the prototype was under construction but remained incomplete before the end of the war.

A7M3-J Reppū-Kai

The proposed land-based interceptor was powered by a 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) turbo-supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-43 engine, including an inter-cooler, with a maximum speed of 648 km/h (402 mph).

The armament consisted of six 30 mm (1.20 in) Type 5 cannons, with four wing-mounted and two oblique fuselage-mounted.

A full-scale mock-up was built, but no prototype was ever produced.





11.04 m (36 ft 3 in)


14 m (45 ft 11 in)


4.28 m (14 ft 1 in)

Wing area

30.86 m2 (332.2 sq ft)



MAC361 mod


MAC361 mod

Empty weight

3,226 kg (7,112 lb)

Gross weight

4,720 kg (10,406 lb)


1 × Mitsubishi MK9C (unified Ha-43)

18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

1,600 kW (2,200 hp) for take-off

800 kW (1,070 hp) at 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

1,300 kW (1,800 hp) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)


4-bladed constant-speed metal propeller


Maximum speed

628 km/h (390 mph, 339 kn) at 6,600 m (21,700 ft)

Cruise speed

417 km/h (259 mph, 225 kn) at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)


2 hours 30 minutes at cruise + 30 minutes combat

Service ceiling

10,900 m (35,800 ft) (12,000 m (39,000 ft) from Samurai)

Time to altitude

6,000 m (20,000 ft) in 6 minutes 7 seconds

Wing loading

152.9 kg/m2 (31.3 lb/sq ft)


0.350 kW/kg (0.213 hp/lb)


2 × 13.2 mm (0.520 in) Type 3 machine guns in the wings (300 rpg)


2 × 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannon in the wings (200 rpg) (A7M1)


4 × 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannon in the wings (200 rpg) (A7M2).


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