WW2 Japanese Aircraft (1939-1945) Aviation / Aerospace. Japanese Zero aircraft were the primary suicide attackers. For the Japanese Zero, the first production aircraft rolled off the assembly line in 1940. The A6M was designated as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 carrier fighter (零式艦上戦闘機, rei-shiki-kanjō-sentōki), or the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/technology/Zero-Japanese-aircraft, The Aviation History On-line Museum - Mitsubishi A6M Reisen. Wingspan is 93 in. Le Mitsubishi A6M est un chasseur-bombardier japonais léger embarqué utilisé par la Marine impériale japonaise de 1940 à 1945. The Japanese Navy used the Nakajima A6M2-N seaplane, an adaptation of the Mitsubishi Zero-fighter plane, throughout the war. In all, nearly 10,430 of them were built. Your email address will not be published. Restored Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter. Production models of Japanese Naval aircraft were assigned type numbers based on the last number of the Japanese calendar year when its production began. The A6M Zero is still a marvel of aircraft engineering, this plane could outpace just about anything in a dogfight. The A6M was usually referred to by its pilots as the Reisen (零戦, zero fighter), "0" being the last digit of the imperial year2600 (1940) when it entered service with th… Jan 28, 2016 - Mitsubishi Type 0, Model 32 (A6M3), flown by Rikugun Shoi (Lt.) Inano Kikuíchi, 4th chutai, Tainan Kokutai, Buna/New Guinea, August 1942. Mitsubishi Zero 52. Recommended engines are from 60 CC to 80 CC or the electric equivalent. No opposition aircraft could match the performance of the Zero. Every plane has a weak point, but almost the entire airframe on the Zero was a weak point! As a result of … Tora! The Japanese aircraft were able to turn the balance of air power in their favor. This movie is a dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and A slightly larger, heavier, more powerful radial engine replaced the Zuisei. Its first flight was on April 1, 1939 and it was accepted by the Japanese Navy on September 14, 1939. It was the primary fighter used by Japan during the war. The Grumman F6F Hellcat achieved fame as a Zero-killer after it was introduced in 1943. "wonder weapon," the Japanese A6M2 Zero, the main fighter plane of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in 1941. It flew rings around the American fighters of the time - Brewster Buffalo's, Bell P-39's, and (to a lesser extent) Grumman F4F Wildcats. This Zero, N7757 is probably best described as a Movie Star. COMMENTS NOT REGARDING PAGE SUBJECTS AUTOMATICALLY DELETED. The overwhelming successes of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero during the first six months of the war stunned Western observers, who now catapulted the Zero to the ranks of a super-plane, flown by super-pilots. The RC Japanese Zero from ESM has a wingspan of 88 in. Only one Japanese Zero with its original engine is still flying. There are a total of [ 99 ] WW2 Japanese Aircraft (1939-1945) entries in … Mitsubishi aircraft undertook the project of developing the new navy fighter aircraft under the leadership of Jiro Horikoshi. That was the year 2600 on the Japanese calendar. It performs in air shows and displays at the Planes … That is Ty Brown Jr. with the model built by his dad. Tora! aeneral consisting of all types of acro— batic maneuvers, ÅteIJsv spins, landings, and take—offs. They wanted a plane to replace the A5M carrier fighter, also produced by Mitsubishi. In a rare sight over Japan -- more than 70 years after WW II -- a restored Japanese Zero fighter plane made a test flight Wednesday. A Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter (tail code A1-108) takes off from the aircraft carrier Akagi, on its way to attack Pearl Harbor during the morning of December 7, 1941.The aircraft was flown by PO2c Sakae Mori, 1st koku kantai, 1st koku sentai, and flew with the second wave. It performs in air shows and displays at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA, U.S.A. You have a choice of a 108 in. When it first appeared, the Zero could outmaneuver every airplane it encountered. Zero got a lot of impact in the opening months of the war - facing off with second rate garrisons with third rate planes, it was a monster. The year is 1991, and researchers have discovered the wreck of a Mitsubishi Zero A6M deep within the Indonesian jungle. BY DECADE. The Zero was all about speed and agility for enhancing its combat performance against planes over the Pacific. The Zero was designed to meet a tough set of specifications set down by the Japanese Navy in 1937. The Mitsubishi A6M Zero, often called just the A6M Zero or simply the Zero was a long range carrier ship-based fighter aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Thank you for your comment, Ervin. The Japanese A6M Mitsubishi Zero was crewed by a single pilot. As aviation historian William Green wrote, the Zero“created a myth—the myth of Japanese invincibility in the air….Its successive appearance over every major battle area in the opening days of the war seemed to indicate that the Japanese possessed unlimited supplies of this remarkable fighter, and its almost mystical powers of maneuver and ability to traverse vast stretches of water fostered the … The new plane had to have a top speed in excess of 310mph (about 499kmph) and reach an altitude of 9840 feet (almost 3,000 meters) in three and a half minutes. Japanese Zero Crash Site Photos Japanese Zero Crash Site Photos ... On June 4, 1942, Petty Officer Tadayashi Koga was shot down during a raid on Dutch Harbor, dying on impact. The Akutan Zero, also known as Koga's Zero and the Aleutian Zero, was a type 0 model 21 Mitsubishi A6M Zero Japanese fighter aircraft that crash-landed on Akutan Island, Alaska Territory, during World War II. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT TWICE — IT WILL APPEAR SHORTLY. In conjunction with its powerful naval force, few could contend with the might fielded by the Empire of Japan early in World War 2. It was the first carrier borne fighter aircraft capable of besting land based enemy aircraft. More Zeros were built than any other type of Japanese aircraft, a total of 10,449 being built at Mitsubishi and Nakajima factories. In a carrier raid against Ceylon, Japanese Zero aircraft easily defeated opposing British aircraft. The Allies did not field fighters that could defeat it in aerial combat until 1943. Never substantially updated or replaced, the Zero remained the Imperial Japanese Navy's primary fighter throughout the war. BY CONFLICT. Faced with superior opposition and a … It was in mid-1942 that the Allies acquired a virtually intact Japanese Zero. Many Zeros were converted to kamikaze craft in the closing months of the war. Artwork of Claes Sundin. It crashed on Akutan Island, Alaska Territory, during June 1942. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Fast and powerful, it was known as a nearly invincible fighter plane with a 12:1 kill ratio in dogfights with the Chinese as early as 1940. Because the winner wrote the history. It also had to have better maneuverability and range than any existing fighter, as well as carry two machine guns and two … Zero Hour. A prototype rolled off of the assembly line on March 16, 1939. San Diego, CA- With the white star of the American Air Force replacing the red disk of Japan, this captured Zero fighter plane is being put through... Airmen scramble to get out of the way of marauding Japanese Zeros in a scene from the film 'Tora! It was designed to specifications written in 1937, was first tested in 1939, and was placed in production and in operation in China in 1940. Therefore the A6M series was known as the Zero (Type 00 fighter). The Zero pilots were superb; their More Japanese Zero aircraft were produced than any other Japanese aircraft during World War II. AVIATION / AEROSPACE. The plane wes powered by a Japanese Sake Model 12 Engine or a 118 in. You also have a choice of plans, short kit or full kit from them. Mitsubishi produced 2,879 of the aircraft, and Nakajima produced 6,215 of the aircraft. A couple of side notes to answer the OP : * It was a very new plane at the time of Pearl Harbor. Tora!”, which portrays events leading to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. The appearance of the Japanese Zero in the attack on Pearl Harbor came as a complete surprise to the Americans. Nevertheless, the Zero was responsible for destroying at least 1,550 American aircraft between 1941 and 1945. All up weight is about 28 lbs. The Tora signal was sent back to the fleet, indicating that the attack aircraft had achieved … The aircraft began life with a 1937 request by the Japanese Navy for a new fighter that had a level flight speed of over 310 MPH. Throughout 1941 and 1942 the 400 Japanese Zero aircraft of the Japanese Navy overwhelmed opposing aircraft. Mitsubishi produced 2,879 of the aircraft, and Nakajima produced 6,215 of the aircraft. The Japanese answered by installing a 1,560 h.p engine in the A6M8. When Japan introduced the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, it gained a remarkable plane that racked up an impressive combat record through 1941. Although Allied forces code-named the aircraft “Zeke,” it was generally known as the Zero, a term derived from one of its Japanese names—Reisen Kanjikisen (Type Zero Carrier-based Fighter Airplane), abbreviated Reisen. A Mitsubishi Zero shot down at Pearl Harbor revealed surprisingly few facts about the mysterious fighter, but did yield a map that provided tantalizing clues about the location of the Japanese fleet. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. However, despite its incredible performance for the time, the Zero couldn’t hold up. It partially closed the performance gap that Japanese Zero aircraft had with newer Allied fighters, but it was introduced in too small numbers, and too late in the war to help. The plane was purchased by a Japanese citizen for $3.5 million and arrived in Japan in 2014. BY TYPE . By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It was found intact by the Americans in July 1942 and became the first flyable Zero acquired by the United States during the war. MANUFACTURERS. Shortly before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Japanese aerial forces swarmed across Oahu toward their targets. The year its production began, 1940, was the 2,600th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of Japan’s legendary first emperor, Jimmu, hence the “zero” designation. This type of airplane was the Imperial Japanese Navy 's most common fighter plane during World War 2. With the arrival of new Allied fighters, such as the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair, the Zero was quickly eclipsed. You will need from 30 CC to 50 CC engines for power. It was shipped to the USA where extensive testing revealed the major shortcomings of the aircraft. Only one Japanese Zero with its original engine is still flying. COMPARE. It's armament would consist of two 20mm cannons and two 7.7mm machine guns. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Eventually Japanese Zero aircraft were used in Kamikaze attacks against enemy warships. Its official navy designation was Mitsubishi A6M1 Carrier Fighter. With the more powerful engine, the aircraft easily bested all the navy's performance requirements. She owes her existence to the 20th Century Fox movie company who in 1968 needed Japanese airplanes for the filming of their epic film, “Tora! The wings, the cockpit, the engine, the stabilizers … If just 2-3 bullets, a lucky shot, really, hitting any of those areas stand a good chance of killing your ride, it’s not an effective combat weapon. returned from an active zone.wag flown approximately ten hours Including 900 21 les" of cross country flying and 5 hourg o? The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was the most produced Japanese aircraft of World War II. Later it used a 1,130-horsepower engine to turn its three-blade constant-speed propeller. Japanese World War II Plane. There’s several impostors flying, such as the last of 25 U.S. AT-6 Texan “Zeros” crafted in convincing-enough detail to fly in a blockbuster or two, though bloated when compared to the svelte original Zero. MODERN AIR FORCES. Thereafter the Zero took part in virtually every Pacific battle. I just can't get enough of this aircraft, the only operational, original WWII Japanese aircraft in the world today ! It had no armor except for the chair of the pilot, it also lacked self-sealing fuel tanks or anything else that would increase its weight. (Note: With 11,000 built, only the “Zero” among Japanese fighters was made in numbers greater than 6,000.) Omissions? It was repaired and flown by American test pilots. A total of 844 Japanese Zero aircraft were also produced as trainers and float planes by Sasebo, Hitachi, and Nakajima. Designed by Horikoshi Jiro, it was the first carrier-based fighter capable of besting its land-based opponents. The next most-often encountered Japanese fighter plane was also Japan’s best, the Nakajima Ki-84 “Frank.” Capable of reaching a speed of 426 mph, it also featured self-sealing fuel tanks, ample armor and armored glass, making it a match for the Allied fighters it faced. Japanese Zero aircraft were the primary suicide attackers. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Japanese Zero is Japan's most famous World War II aircraft. The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" was a long-range fighter aircraft formerly manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. It would be a replacement for outdated carrier fighter aircraft. Whereas Hughes once mentioned that the Japanese Zero was a copy of his H-1 racer, closer examination shows that the design incorporated features from a number of aircraft at that time. ATTENTION – COMMENT MODERATION IS IN USE. Corrections? … Moreover, its 156-gallon (591-litre) internal fuel tank was augmented with a 94-gallon external tank that could be dropped when empty, thus enabling the Zero to fly far beyond its expected range. The Zero was made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and was first powered by a Nakajima Sakae radial air-cooled engine of 14 cylinders (two staggered rows of seven) that developed 1,020 horsepower. wingspan RC Japanese Zero from Meister-Scale. It was designed to specifications written in 1937, was first tested in 1939, and was placed in production and in operation in China in 1940. It’s been 50 years since this aircraft – a legendary Japanese dogfighter – was gunned down over New Guinea, and soon the plane will be shipped to the United States before making its way to veteran Steve Barber. More Japanese Zero aircraft were produced than any other Japanese aircraft during World War II. Substantially updated or replaced, the Zero couldn ’ t hold up used! 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