View Full Version : Manchukuo Imperial Navy aircraft recognition help.

04-04-2012, 08:56 AM
Hi, I am writing a paper abaut Manchukuo Imperial Air Force and I am looking for help with particular issue.
What type of aircraft is visible in this photo.
Thanks for any help.

Source of the photo: Japanese book "Unofficial History of Manchukuo Police" published by San-ichi Shobo.

04-04-2012, 12:22 PM
This is a very tentative suggestion – could these be Aichi D1A (Navy Type 94/96) naval bombers ? This type was actually designed by the German Heinkel company as a carrier/utility bomber for the Aichi company of Japan, working on a brief from the Imperial Japanese Navy. Heinkel’s work on this brief resulted, not only in the Aichi D1A, but also the Heinkel 50 biplane dive bomber/groundstrike aircraft, the Ju-87’s predecessor in Luftwaffe dive-bomber service, which went on the serve in a groundstrike capacity in secondary theatres to the end of the war. The two aircraft – Japanese-built and German-built - are so closely related, they might be described as “brothers” rather than “cousins”.

One point – most ‘photos of the Aichi D1A that I have seen have drag-reducing “spats” fitted to the wheels. Not the case here. However, the earliest D1As – the Aichi D1A1 – did not carry spats, and this feature was, in any case, dispensable.

Unlike their German “brothers”, the Japanese Aichi D1A aircraft appear, largely, to have been decommissioned from front-line service by early 1942. Many of the surviving aircraft are known to have been used as trainers, although others were apparently used in secondary theatres. In the latter context, some may have been allocated to the Manchukuo Imperial Air Force or Navy – although this is mere inference, and I am aware of no definitive source for such an allocation.

As I said, this is a very tentative suggestion. I should be very interested if anybody else In Here can throw more light on the subject. In any event – the best of luck with your researches. Best regards, JR.

04-04-2012, 12:24 PM
I have seen them referenced as

Chu-ke nu Fighter Q8

But have no idea of what they are although it does look like the Aichi D1A2 Type 96 ("Susie")


The Aichi D1A or Navy Type 94/96 Carrier Bomber (Allied code name "Susie") was a Japanese carrier-based dive bomber of the 1930s. A single-engine, two-seat biplane based on the Heinkel He 50, it was produced by Aichi for the Imperial Japanese Navy, remaining in service as trainers at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The D1A was produced in two variants, the D1A1 (Navy Type 94 Carrier Bomber), and the D1A2 (Navy Type 96 Carrier Bomber, sometimes referred to as the D2A.). The D1A was primarily used in the Second Sino-Japanese War and up to the time Japan entered World War II in 1941. At the beginning of the Pacific War, all of the remaining D1A1s were decommissioned and most of the D1A2s were retired from the front lines and served primarily in training units. The exception was 68 of the D1A2 model that operated as a second-line support until being retired in 1942.

Hmm looks like I was beaten to the punch

04-04-2012, 02:06 PM
After comparing the photos it really looks like early Aichi D1A1 Type 94 Navy Dive Bomber, does it.

Photo courtesy by Wings Palette

04-05-2012, 07:39 AM
I think it does, Bolo86 - this is clearly the best candidate. The 'photo could be clearer, which makes identification that much more difficult - but it seems to me that the features visible, along with circumstances, strongly suggest that these are, as you say, early Aichi D1A1s. Best regards, JR.

04-05-2012, 10:57 AM

I´m not convinced that this is a manchukuo aircraft as the national emblem is different:


To me the emblem doesn´t have the upper stripes. It looks like the standard japanese meatball to me

But this would fit. AFAIK did the Manchukuo Airforce tests with 2 D1A1 (marking M407 and M408) along with other japanese army and navy aircraft in 1937 but only some Ki-32 were finally bought. And the last 3 aircraft on the pic are not D1A1.


tom! ;)

04-05-2012, 11:15 AM
Hi, Tom! First, God bless your eyesight ! Second - which image are you referring to in relation to the standard Japanese meatball? The first image - the one subject of the query - I can detect no emblem on at all. Best regards, JR.