A6M Zero


Mitsubishi A6M ZeroMitsubishi A6M Zero

Mitsubishi A6M Zero

The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" is a long-range carrier-based fighter aircraft formerly manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. 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. The A6M was usually referred to by its pilots as the Reisen (零戦, zero fighter), "0" being the last digit of the imperial year 2600 (1940) when it entered service with the Imperial Navy. The official Allied reporting name was "Zeke", although the name "Zero" (from Type 0) was used colloquially as well.

The Zero is considered to have been the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world when it was introduced early in World War II, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range.[1] The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) also frequently used it as a land-based fighter.

In early combat operations, the Zero gained a reputation as a dogfighter,[2] achieving an outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1,[3] but by mid-1942 a combination of new tactics and the introduction of better equipment enabled Allied pilots to engage the Zero on generally equal terms.[4] By 1943, the Zero was less effective against newer Allied fighters due to design limitations. It lacked hydraulic boosting for its ailerons and rudder, rendering it extremely difficult to maneuver at high speeds. By 1944, with Allied fighters approaching the A6M levels of maneuverability and consistently exceeding its firepower, armor, and speed, the A6M had largely become outdated as a fighter aircraft. However, as design delays and production difficulties hampered the introduction of newer Japanese aircraft models, the Zero continued to serve in a front-line role until the end of the war in the Pacific. During the final phases, it was also adapted for use in kamikaze operations.[5] Japan produced more Zeros than any other model of combat aircraft during the war.[6]


Crew: 1
Length: 9.06 m (29 ft 9 in)
Wingspan: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Height: 3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
Wing area: 22.44 m2 (241.5 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 6.4
Airfoil: root: MAC118 or NACA 2315; tip: MAC118 or NACA 3309[153]
Empty weight: 1,680 kg (3,704 lb)
Gross weight: 2,796 kg (6,164 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 2,796 kg (6,164 lb)
Fuel capacity: 518 l (137 US gal; 114 imp gal) internal + 1x 330 l (87 US gal; 73 imp gal) drop tank
Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima NK1C Sakae-12 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 700 kW (940 hp) for take-off
710 kW (950 hp) at 4,200 m (13,800 ft)
Propellers: 3-bladed Sumitomo-Hamilton constant-speed propeller

Maximum speed: 533 km/h (331 mph, 288 kn) at 4,550 m (14,930 ft)
Cruise speed: 333 km/h (207 mph, 180 kn)
Never exceed speed: 600 km/h (370 mph, 320 kn)
Range: 1,870 km (1,160 mi, 1,010 nmi)
Ferry range: 3,102 km (1,927 mi, 1,675 nmi)
Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 15.7 m/s (3,090 ft/min)
Time to altitude: 6,000 m (20,000 ft) in 7 minutes 27 seconds
Wing loading: 107.4 kg/m2 (22.0 lb/sq ft)
Power/mass: 0.294 kW/kg (0.179 hp/lb)

The Zero is considered to have been the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world


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