(modified to appear as Japanese Aichi D-3 Val for 1970 movie "Tora, Tora, Tora"
|Specifications (below is for BT-13A)|
|Length:||28' 10"||8.79 M|
|Height:||9' 1"||2.77 M|
|Wingspan:||42' 2"||12.85 M|
|Wingarea:||238.00 Sq Ft||22.11 Sq M|
|Empty Weight:||3375.00 lbs||1530.00 Kg|
|Gross Weight:||4496.00 lbs||2039.00 Kg|
|Propulsion (below is for BT-13A)|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||Pratt & Whitney R-985-25|
|Performance (below is for BT-13A)|
|Range:||516 miles||830.00 Km|
|Cruise Speed:||140.00 mph||225.00 Km/H||121.62 Kt|
|Max Speed:||166.00 Mph||267.00 Km/H||144.32 Kt|
|Ceiling:||16500.0 Ft||5029.00 M|
The Japanese Navy 99 Aichi D-3A1, known to the Allies by the code-name "Val", was designed as a dive bomber to operate from carriers by a team of Japanese engineers who copied it from a German Heinkel design. It was the first low wing, all metal dive bomber operated by the Japanese. The aircraft had elliptical wings which folded at the tip and nonretractable landing gear. This was the type of aircraft that sank the US gunboat Panay in 1937. These aircraft took heavy losses when they met Allied fighters and those remaining 1944 were relegated to kamikaze aircraft.
The aircraft at the museum is a movie star stunt double. Our aircraft is actually a BT-13A, serial number 41-1306.
It found its way to Hollywood where it was modified and painted to look like a Japanese Aichi D3A "Val" bomber along with eleven other BT-13's for use in the 1970 movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!". On December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor included combat by 126 Japanese Val aircraft. A restoration with a green paint scheme and a red and yellow tail was completed in August 2004 by museum Restoration staff and volunteers. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
- - - - - - -
On June 19, 2010, the following history of this aircraft was provided by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Research Division/MUA:
This aircraft is AAF s/n 41-1306, Mfgr's Construction Number 74-1414, Civil Registration No. N54865.
Manufactured by Vultee Aviation and received by the USAAF on 20 May 1941.
May 1941 To AAF Basic Pilot School (later 2128th AAF Base Unit,
AAF Flying Training Command), Cochran AAF, Macon GA
Jan 1942 Wrecked at Cochran Field, Plane nosed over on apron. Repaired.
Sep 1944 To 2131st AAF Base Unit (EPS, AAFFTC), Gunter AAF AL
Nov 1944 Dropped from inventory as surplus at McKellar Field TN
- - - - - - -
(Note: we had mis-identified this aircraft in the past as s/n 41-1414. Also, in the past, we had stated that this aircraft was received by the USAAF on 28 June 1941, initially assigned at Cochran AAF, that it crashed on 3 May 1943 with 1553 airframe hours and was disposed as surplus. However, the source of this particular information is unknown and conflicts with the official record for aircraft BT-13A, s/n 41-1306).