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Aichi

Aichi Tokei Denki Kabushiki Kaisha


The Aichi Watch and Electric Machinery Co, Nagoya, Japan.


Aichi Tokei Denki Kabushiki Kaisha was established in 1899 as a manufacturer of electrical equipment and watches, but first built airplanes in 1920 and aero engines in 1927.


From 1920s essentially a supplier to the Japanese Navy, but built civil types also, including a mail plane for the Japan Air Transport Company. Aichi established a working relationship with Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in Germany. Wishing to contend in early 1931 for an Imperial Japanese navy requirement for a two-seat carrier-based dive-bomber, Aichi requested Heinkel to design and build an aircraft to meet the navy's specification. Required for operation with float or wheel landing gear, the resulting Heinkel He 50 prototype flew in the summer of 1931 with twin floats. A second version, with wheel landing gear, was duly supplied to Aichi under the export designation He 66.


The aircraft DIAtype of 1934 sank US gunboat Panay in 1937. Later D3A monoplane was perhaps the most famous of the company's types, duplicating German interest in dive-bombers. Code-named "Val" by the Allies, this type attacked Pearl Harbor December 7,1941, and was also successful against British warships in the Indian Ocean. H9A1 twin-engined flying-boat was built in numbers; also notably E16A reconnaissance floatplane; B7A attack bomber; and the M6A catapult launched submarine-borne bomber, intended to attack such targets as the lock gates of the Panama Canal.

 


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