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|Coastal Defense Ship||Destroyer|
|Light Cruiser||Torpedo Cruiser|
|Heavy Cruiser||Aviation Cruiser|
|Standard Carrier||Armored Carrier|
|Seaplane Tender||Submarine Tender|
|Repair Ship||Training Cruiser|
|Amphibious Assault Ship|
The Ryuusei is a versatile attack aircraft, able to dive-bomb almost as effectively as torpedo-bomb.
Though it was plagued by engine troubles and weight issues during development, it somehow managed to succeed as a high-end carrier-based aircraft.
With its distinctly elegant silhouette as a symbol of its superior performance, equipping it on your carriers alongside the Reppuu fighter.
|Akagi Kai Ni E
Kaga Kai Ni E
|Akagi Kai Ni
Kaga Kai Ni/Go
The Aichi AM-23 Ryuusei (Shooting Star, designated B7A, with the Allied reporting codename "Grace") was a late development of torpedo bombers by Aichi for Taihou class carriers.
With its super-distinctive inverted gullwings and sleek fuselage shape, "an illusory avian (that) came from the past or the future" (as described in Reiji Matsumoto's comic "Ryuusei Fly North"), the Aichi AM-23 Ryuusei was the result of an aggressive attempt of Japanese Navy to synthesize carrier-based bombers and carrier-based torpedo-bombers into a single, multi-role attacker. Its designation code B7A has the initial "B" which indicates a torpedo-bomber, while its name Ryuusei followed the naming convention for dive bombers. Developed for use on Taihou-class carriers with their larger aircraft elevators, the Ryuusei was larger than its predecessors as it was finally free of length restrictions.
The development was plagued with delays due to its ambitious target specifications - the maneuverability of a dive bomber with the speed of a fighter while carrying load capacity for both torpedoes and large bombs. Its full-scale deployment was not possible before Spring 1945, when most of the Japanese aircraft carriers were either sunk or moored. The 5th Attack Squadron of 752nd Air Group was the only squadron to be equipped with production Ryuusei aircraft in the Japanese Navy, and the final sortie of the Japanese Navy Air Force carried out was the Kamikaze attack by two of the Ryuuseis from this squadron.
Regardless, the Ryuusei was an impressive aircraft with aerial performance akin to a fighter, superior to the A6M Zero Fighter then in service, achieved through its advanced airframe and 1,825hp Nakajima NK9C Homare 12 engine. However, its payload capacity was no better than its predecessors. Defensive armament included twin 20mm Type 99 Model 2 front facing guns and a single 13mm rear-facing Type 2 heavy machine gun (licensed copy of German MG131). Later developments that never reached mass production were to use more powerful engines and were designated B7A2 (using a 2,000hp Homare 23) and B7A3 (planned to use a 2,200hp Mitsubishi MK9).
Worth noting is that the infamous Douglas A-1 Skyraider ground attack aircraft was initially developed under a similar concept to the Ryuusei, and it in turn served its role as the ultimate prop-driven combat aircraft throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars.