Mitsubishi A5M Claude

The Mitsubishi A5M was Japanese Navy designation "Type 96 carrier-based fighter" was a Japanese carrier-based fighter aircraft and namely "Claude" by allied. It was the world's first monoplane shipboard fighter and the direct ancestor of the famous Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero'.

The aircraft entered service in early 1937, soon seeing action in pitched aerial battles at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, including air-to-air battles with the Chinese Air Force's Boeing P-26C "Peashooters" in what was the world's first-ever aerial dogfighting and kills between monoplane fighters built of mostly metal. Even though only armed with a pair of 7.7 mm machine-guns, the new Mitsubishi fighter proved effective and damage tolerant, with excellent maneuverability and a very robust construction. The most dangerous foe was the Polikarpov I-16, fast and well armed, often manned by Soviet aircrews. A5M's escorted the then-modern but vulnerable Mitsubishi G3M bombers in their raids, almost ending opposition by Nationalist air force.

Some A5Ms were still in service at the beginning of World War II in the Pacific. United States intelligence sources believed the A5M was still the primary Navy fighter, but they had already been replaced by the A6M 'Zero' on first-line aircraft carriers and with the Tainan Air Group. Other Japanese carriers and air groups continued to use the A5M until production of the 'Zero' caught up with demand. The last combat actions with the A5M as a fighter took place at the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942, when two A5Ms and four A6Ms of the Japanese carrier Shoho fought against the US planes that sank their carrier.

General characteristics
  • Crew: One
  • Length: 7.55 m (24 ft 9¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 11.0 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 17.8 m² (191.6 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,216 kg (2,681 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,705 kg (3,759 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,822 kg[19] (4,017 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× Nakajima Kotobuki 41 9-cylinder radial engine, 585 kW (785 hp) at 3,000 m (9,840 ft)

  • Maximum speed: 440 km/h (237 knots, 273 mph) at 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
  • Range: 1,200 km (649 NM, 746 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 9,800 m (32,150 ft)
  • Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 95.87 kg/m² (19.6 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.34 kW/kg (0.21 hp/lb)

  • Guns: 2× 7.7 mm Type 97 fuselage-mounted machine guns

** Mitsubishi A5M Claude - Warbird Fare

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