The Yokosuka D4Y was a carrier borne Dive Bomber made for the Imperial Japanese Navy in WW2. It was made to replace the earlier Aichi D3Y 'Val' for use on Japanese aircraft carriers. The original D4Y1 was fitted a licenced copy of the German DB601 inverted V-12 engine (as fitted to the Bf109E/F). It proved to be very fast but was lightly built, so if caught by fighters, it was easy to shoot down. The first verision proved to be not suitable for dive bombing so it was used as a fast reconnaissance aircraft, 2 of which were carried on the aircraft carrier Soryu at the battle of Midway.
From the D4Y3 model, the engine was changed to a radial because of reliability issues with the inverted V-12, requiring a new nose. This improved climb rate and ceiling but reduced range and forward visibility. It equipped land based squadrons more and more as the war went on as the larger aircraft carriers were being sunk. As with many aircraft, towards the end of the war it was used in kamikaze missions but was also used as a night fighter with an upward firing cannon. The D4Y's is probably most notable achievement was crippling the carrier USS Franklin, when a low flying D4Y surprised the carrier, dropping bombs on the flight deck, destroying the armed and fuelled aircraft on deck, the flight deck was pentrated destroying aircraft in the hangar deck. Further damage was caused by exploding ordnance in the hangar as well as setting off fuel fires. As a result the ship was gutted above the waterline and 700+ sailors were killed and many more injured. The ship survived and was repaired but never saw active service again.
This is AZ Model's excellent new tool D4Y. The kit is highly detailed with engraved panel lines and comes with markings for 3 different IJN aircraft.