Japanese Mitsubishi A6M ''Zero'' Bomber Fighter

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The iconic Imperial Japanese Naval Fighter of World War II, it was officially designated as The Navy Type "O" Carrier Fighter. Her Pilots called her "Reisen" (for "Zero"). Allied Pilots knew her as "Zeke" or "Meatball" (in reference to both 1940s phonetics and the large Red Circular emblem on the Fighter). First flown in 1939 by The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Company, The Zero was one the the best performance Fighters of the early War in The Pacific. Designed for Naval Carrier use, The Zero featured  39 foot folding wingspan (for maximum storage in a Carrier Deck). It's fusilage was 29 feet long. Although a single seated Fighter/Bomber, 2 seaters were very common. The Zero had an impressive 1,600 miles effective range (making it ideal for Carrier warfare). The Zero had an operational ceiling of 29,500 feet. It had a maximum air speed of 340 mph. Capable of carrying 66 pounds of ordnance, The Zero was armed with twin 20mm wing Cannons and two. 7.7mm wing Machine Guns. The Zero featured a 12-1 "kill ratio" in ariel combat. Over 11,000 Models were built (featuring 6 variants). The Zero met it's match in 1944 with the inception of the US P-38 "Lighting" Fighter. It still was used effectively in the controversial "Kamakazi" (Divine Wind) suicide attacks against Allied shipping until the end of The War in 1945. The Zero's main claim to history, it that it was the primary Fighter used in The Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Over 500 Carrier based Zero Fighters inflicted heavy damage on The US Pacific Fleet.