YOUTUBE – Val Dive Bomber
3 – 7.7 mm
33 ft. 5 in.
47 ft. 2 in.
Val Dive Bomber
The Val dive bomber, produced by Aichi and eventually designated D3A, originated in 1936 as the Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber. Its wing design was influenced by German aircraft of the time. The Val was produced with a strong all metal airframe to withstand the high g-forces from dive bombing. Its had fixed landing gear to keep maintenance low.
When the Val dive bomber first took flight in 1937 it was powered by a Nakajima 710 hp radial engine. It soon became apparent that the aircraft was under powered. A Mitsubishi 840 hp engine greatly improved flight performance. Other changes made during its development were a longer wingspan and better dive brakes. Eventually production Val dive bomber aircraft were equipped with a 1,000 hp Kinsel radial engine and a dorsal fillet that was fitted to increase aircraft stability. The result was a dive bombing aircraft with the maneuverability of a front line fighter.
Val dive bomber aircraft first saw action in China and Indo-China during 1940. It was the primary dive bomber used by Japan in its attack on the U.S. Fleet in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In other actions, Val dive bombers were credited with the sinking of the British cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire, and the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. The Val dive bomber eventually participated in every major battle of the Pacific War including the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Midway, Santa Cruz, and the Solomon Islands.
Starting in late 1942 Val dive bomber aircraft were produced with a Kinsei 1,300 hp engine, increasing their top speed by some 30 mph. The aircraft continued in production with the engine through the end of the war.
A number of the Val dive bombers were eventually used as Kamikaze aircraft. A total of 1,486 Aichi D3A Val aircraft were produced.
Val Dive Bomber
That’s OrionRider of Watt Flyer with his scratch built Val Dive Bomber. It has a 70 in. wingspan and is powered by a Twister 800 Wt. motor. Weight is around 8 1/2 lbs.
The Val Dive Bomber built from a kit by Skyshark has a wingspan of 66 in. and is 44 in. long. Construction is all wood. Power can come from .45 to .61 two cycle or .56 to .72 four cycle engines. Weight is around 6 lbs.
The Val Dive Bomber built from Wheldon Plans is available through the AMA Plans Service. It has a wingspan of 39″. Plan no. is 24992.
The Val Dive Bomber from ESM has a 81 in. wingspan and a length of 60 1/2 in. You can power it with a 1.08 two stroke or 1.20 four stroke engine. Weight is around 15 lbs.