Mitsubishi A6M2 'Zero'

  Base model:A6M
  Basic role:Fighter (Japan)

  Length: 29' 9" 9.0 m
  Height:11' 5" 3.4 m
  Wingspan: 39' 4.5" 12.0 m
  Max Weight: 5,313 lb 2,409 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Nakajima Sakae 12
  Horsepower (each): 925

  Range: 1,165 miles 1,876 km
  Max Speed: 316 mph 508 km/h 274 kt
  Ceiling: 33,790 ft 10,299 m

Examples of this type may be found at
Olympic Flight MuseumOlympiaWashington

A6M2 on display

Olympic Flight Museum


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 , IA

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12/26/2011 @ 09:20 [ref: 51353]
 shanghai, CO
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12/21/2011 @ 18:47 [ref: 51234]
 , NE
07/11/2008 @ 12:36 [ref: 21828]
 Taipei, AL
10/04/2007 @ 21:17 [ref: 18102]
 , SK
The actual aircraft used in Tora! Tora! Tora! are North American Harvard IV, the export variant of the Texan, manufactured under license in Canada. They were named after Harvard University, or by inference John Howard of Charleston, whose estate founded the college.

The Film Company search for an aircraft that could pass for a Zero ended at Richardson Aviation's Hangars in Saskatoon, SK. where a number of good serviceable copies with current airworthy certificates rested, having been in service up until 1965 before being sold as surplus by the RCAF.

An interesting historical note: the first Harvards pressed into service for training in 1939 were manufactured in the US by North American and flown to the border. There, they were pushed across before takoff to the Canadian Aerodrome, to comply with US Neutrality law.

The Harvard is the advanced trainer a prospective pilot flew before being assigned to a squadron with whatever combat aircraft they were destined to pilot. Earlier training would be in gliders and low power piston aircraft. Some 82,000 pilots from Australia, New Zealand, and the UK were trained in Harvards by the RCAF under the BCATP between 1939 and 1944, as well as unknown numbers of US volunteers. Any US citizens in the RCAF were discharged and sent to the US to report for duty once the US entered WWII.

Link: A RCAF Harvard flies in formation with a USAF Texan:

415 Wing RCAF markings indicate this aircraft was from the same training wing as the planes bought and used as mock Zeros the film.

Link: A converted Harvard that was actually used in the film, designated "Zero 101", Canadian Car and Foundry serial number 20473 manufactured January 14 1953. It is the only flying example from those converted in 1969 by Cal/Volair for 20th Century Fox. Currently owned, piloted and shown by Douglas R Jackson.

Some of the Harvards were also used to replicate Japanese Kate Torpedo Bombers in the film, which the canopy more closely resembles.
Link: Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Carrier Based Torpedo Bomber

11/16/2006 @ 02:32 [ref: 14748]
 , TX
Those of you stating the Mitsubishi A6M Model Zero did not have 20mm Cannon are wrong. You may have it confused with the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa , used by the Imerpial Japanese Army Air force. The Imperial Japanese Navy used the Zero.

The Ki-43 was often miss-indentified as the Zero, and carried two MG's in the nose firing through the prop.It had no wing armament. The Zero also had nose mounted MG's firing through the prop arc, but was also armed with a 20mm cannon in each wing.

08/27/2006 @ 10:55 [ref: 14002]
 , WA
Your info is incorrect, old curmudgeon. The standard Zero armament was 2 7.7 mm machine guns and 2 20 mm wing mounted cannon. Years ago I read a book written by the designer of the aircraft. Cannon armament was part of the design right from the start. In fact the main wing spar was designed to be te mount for the 2 cannons. This contributed to the lightness the aircraft was famous for. The down side was that it was a complex piece that was difficult to manufacture.
As for your Flying Tiger source you should keep something in mind. The vast majority of the aircraft the Flying Tigers faced in combat were flown by the Japanese army and not the navy. The fighter plane most used by the Japanese army at the start of the war was the Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar. This aircraft looked very similar to the navy Zero and was lighter but was armed only with 2 30 cal. machine guns. In the heat of combat it was not uncomman for the Oscar to me misidentified as a Zero.
I hope the above was of help. You may want to check out http://www.acepilots.com/planes/jap_fighters.html for more info about these two aircraft.

08/18/2005 @ 02:37 [ref: 11014]
 tom johnson
 san fransisco, FL
your all a bunch of low life cock suckers fancy arguing about somthing as stupid as that personally i think you should have all been in the loads your mums swallowed
07/14/2005 @ 09:52 [ref: 10749]
 the old curmudgeon
 jax, FL
Does anyone know where this rumor got started about the zero having twin 20 mm cannons? If there are any good AIs(airframe inspectors) out there who would like to do a weight and balance on the zero with 2 of those heavy cannons and the ammo, I would like to read the results.
07/12/2005 @ 20:21 [ref: 10731]
 the old curmudgeon
 jax, FL
Does anyone know where this rumor got started about the zero having twin 20 mm cannons? If there are any good AIs(airframe inspectors) out there who would like to do a weight and balance on the zero with 2 of those heavy cannons and the ammo, I would like to read the results.
07/12/2005 @ 20:21 [ref: 10730]


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