The Mitsubishi A6M2 Reisen (code name «Zeke»), often referred to as the "Zero" due to its naval designation as the Type 0, is a single-seat carrier based monoplane fighter currently sitting at Rank 2 in the Japanese line. The upfront cost of a A6M2 is 180,000 . The A6M2 is also available to the Americans as a converted Rank 2 Premium Aircraft for 1150 .
Design, Development & Operational HistoryEdit
At its launch, the A6M2 model 11 knew no equal. This single-seater carrier-based fighter was designed to replace the aging A5M. To reduce its weight, duralumin was widely used, and its propeller was made of a lightweight aluminum alloy. The A6M2 did not have high survivability due to its lack of armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, but in the first half of World War II, it had a considerable advantage in maneuverability and speed when compared to the Allies (which had nothing to oppose the Zero until the arrival of aircraft such as the F4U and F6F).The first prototype of this series, the A6M1, first flew on April 1, 1939. During the test a more powerful engine was proposed, and the Mitsubishi Zuisei 13 (780 hp) was replaced with the Nakajima Sakae 12 (940 hp). After a successful test flight, the new engine was adopted for serial production and the plane was designated the A6M2 Model 11. Its main drawback was that it could not be used on aircraft carriers due to its large wingspan, which was not designed for carrier-based operations. To circumvent this limitation, the A6M2 model 21 was designed with folding 500 mm wing panels.
The Zero had no equal in the sky until the end of 1942, and even when it was finally made obsolete, its production continued until the end of the war, making it the most popular fighter in Japan. Like many other Japanese aircraft, the Zero was used in the last months of the war to attack bombers.
A total of 740 A6M2 model 21s were built in Mitsubishi plants; 326 were built in Nakajima plants.
Uni-colour of V-103 of pilot Saburo Sakai, Tainan Kokutai, Bali Island, Indonesia, February 1942: Shoot down 230 players of the USA.