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Mitsubishi A5M "Claude"

The A5M (or Navy Type 96 Carrier Fighter Model 1) represented a milestone in Japanese military aviation in that it was the first design to be produced without copying or consulting another nation's designs or talent. Designed by Jiro Horikoshi, who also designed the famous A6M "Zero" (p. W:112), the A5M when through some initial teething problems, but a redesign of the wing produced an aircraft that exceeded the initial optimistic requirement of 117 mph. The A5M entered service in 1937, and was deployed in the Sino-Japanese conflict. The plane continued to serve throughout WWII (although it was obsolete by 1942), and ultimately served as kamikaze mounts in the final months of the war.

The plane has a crew of one. It can carry a 42-gallon drop tank to extend its range to 870 miles, or alternatively carry two 66-lb. bombs. In all variants, a total of 980 airframes were produced. The A5M burns 26.5 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $19. A full drop tank costs $8.64 (for the tank plus fuel).


Mitsubishi A5M4 "Claude"

Subassemblies: Light Fighter chassis +3; Light Fighter wings +2; 3 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 529-kW aerial HP gasoline engine with 529-kW prop and 90-gallon fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 1 XCS Body

Cargo: 5 Body


Armor F RL B T U

All: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



2xAircraft LMG/7.7mm Type 97 LMG [Body:F] (500 rounds each).*




Body: Medium radio transmitter and receiver, autopilot, navigation instruments, arrestor hook, 42 gallon drop tank, 318-lb. hardpoint.



Size: 25'x36'x11' Payload: 0.54 tons Lwt.: 1.88 tons

Volume: 144 Maint.: 62 hours Cost: $10,330

HT: 8. HPs: 50 Body, 70 each Wing, 5 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 273 aAccel: 8 aDecel: 13 aMR: 3.5 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 60 mph. Take-Off Run 277 yards; 246 yards if catapult launched. Landing Run 360 yards.

gSpeed: 268 gAccel: 13 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 192 sf. A 45-gallon drop tank was purchased; the historical capacity is shown. The fuel capacity is a guess based on historical payload. Design loaded weight was increased 2% to the historical. All performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight.



The A5M1 featured a 436-kW engine.

The A5M2a featured a 455-kW engine; the -b possessed a 477-kW engine.

The A5M3 were 2 experimental prototypes.

The A5M4-K was a two-seat trainer.

The Ka-18 and Ka-33 were prototypes based in the Ka-14 (A5M); both failed to garner a military contract.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic