The Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 marked the first appearance of Kamikazes during WWII. By 1945, they were a terrifying threat. The MXY-7 Ohka was designed to be the ultimate Kamikaze weapon.
Imperial Navy Ensign Mitsuo Ohta conceived one of the war's most simple and barbaric weapons. A combination glider and rocket plane, the Ohka had an aluminum fuselage and wooden wings. The Ohka was capable of carrying 3,000 pounds of high explosives in its nose. Intended to be carried by and launched from a bomber on its one-way mission, the Ohka had no landing gear. With speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour it was believed that no Allied fighter could catch the Ohka.
Sixteen Ohkas, carried by specially modified G4M Betty bombers, made their first attack on the U.S. fleet in March of 1945. This attack was unsuccessful as Navy fighters were able to shoot down most of the Kamikazes because they were launched at an extreme distance from their intended targets. However, in April of 1945 a successful attack resulted in the sinking of the destroyer USS Mannert L. Abele. By the end of the war over 800 Ohkas had been assembled by Japan. Many of these, including the aircraft on display at Planes of Fame Air Museum, were transported to the U.S. after WW II.
Planes of Fame Air Museum's MXY-7 Ohka was captured on Okinawa in April of 1945.
Status: Static Display
Manufacturer: Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal
Model: MXY-7 Ohka Model 11
Max T/O Weight: 4,718 lb.
Span: 16 ft. 10 in.
Length: 19 ft. 11 in.
Height: 3 ft. 10 in.
Maximum Speed: 403 mph; 575 mph (diving)
Cruise Speed: N/A
Rate of Climb: Unknown
Power Plant: 3 × Type 4 Mark 1 Model 20 solid-propellant rocket motors, 588 lb thrust per motor