Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen. A photo. Characteristics.
Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen. A photo. Characteristics.

Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen. A photo. Characteristics.



A type: single-engine fighter

Crew: one pilot

Apart from the initial surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the early morning in December 7 1941 years, perhaps the biggest shock to the American forces in the Pacific have become outstanding performance characteristics of the main carrier-based fighter of the Imperial Japanese Navy - aircraft A6M2 "Zero-Seine» (Zero- Sen) of "Mitsubishi» (Mitsubishi), has excellent proportions. He was quick and agile, armed with two 20-mm cannon and two machine gun 7,7 mm and has an incredible range of flight in 3088 km using discharged ventral fuel tank.

Japanese Zero plane

The aircraft was completely missed by the intelligence services of the United Kingdom and the United States in the months before the raid on Pearl Harbor. "Zero" derives its origin from the requirements of the Imperial Naval Staff Headquarters from 1937 year to create a new aircraft to replace the aircraft A5M of Mitsubishi, then the main fleet fighter. The work proceeded without delay, and the first prototype flew 1 April 1939 year, and the first fighters went into operation next year. About 10 500 Zero fighter jets were built in at least eight different versions, and although more powerful US fighters surpassed them from the end of 1943, the Zero aircraft retained some fighting power due to their weight. By the end of 1944, most Japanese squadrons were forced to fly from land bases, as the once proud aircraft carrier fleet was sunk.

Finally, in a desperate attempt to set of aircraft "Zero" were urgently converted into "flying bomb" and thrown under the control of Kamikaze pilots in the attack on the huge naval forces invading the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In the US, two copies of the aircraft are maintained in a state of airworthiness, at the same time, several aircraft are restored to flight.


The aircraft in its time was one of the symbols of the Second World War. It belonged to the Japanese fighter aircraft fleet. The new machine has been designed to replace in the future fighter A5m. Moreover, it should surpass previous analogs speed, but would not yield in this case in terms of maneuverability.

Japanese Zero plane

The plane belongs to the carrier-based and, of course, should have a good takeoff and landing characteristics. This is especially true range. This aircraft was first used in the Japanese practice armed with guns (20 millimeters) and a couple of guns.


The aircraft developed aircraft Horikoshi. The most important component of such an aircraft - is its engine. Fighter has received a closed cabin and improved aerodynamics. The first type of aircraft was tested in 1939 year.




The plane had a capacity of 940 horsepower. Wingspan 12 meters length meters 9, 3,5 meters height. Wing area is 22 square meters. The empty weight of the aircraft had 1695 kilos, the ceiling of the aircraft 1 kilometer. Aircraft of this type are used primarily for maintenance of heavy bombers. They are often used in the war, and they made a large number of sorties. When the war with the United States, the Imperial Navy had in its composition more than 400 fighters of this type.

Japanese Zero aircraft cabin

In April 1842 aircraft carrier, the connection is made the raid, it was a blow for the projects of Ceylon. Here Zero showed great superiority over all those fighters who resisted them. In this case, he played a major role in the level of training of the pilots of Japan. In addition, they participated in the Battle of aircraft carriers in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Unfortunately we do not have time to cover Sehu aircraft carrier, and the US Air Force still sink it, but they provided the actions of their strike groups. Fighters of this type can always reliably cover up its own aircraft carrier.


Sometimes they could act not only as fighters, but also to dive like attack aircraft. Still, during the war in 44, the initiative passed to the Americans. When battles took place over the islands, many pilots of carrier-based aviation died here. The Japanese aircraft carrier fleet lost its former strength, and Zero fighters took little part in air battles. Here you can add that such aircraft often participated as kamikaze aircraft. It is safe to say that at this time such an aircraft was outstanding. He had a huge range. 

Japanese Zero plane

For example, if the Messerschmitt-109 had a combat radius of turn, like the Zero, the Battle of Britain could be quite different. In this case, Germany would be able to completely control the airspace over Britain.


It can be said about some of the weak points of this plane. He had a light engine, which had no provision to increase the capacity of a lot. We can not say that the work performed on the aircraft design bureau. They worked hard to design a glider.


The Japanese have always followed the direction of the development of technology in the global aircraft industry. Great attention was paid and weapons. Here are some developers have understood that in order to destroy enemy aircraft, Zero must have heavy weapons. All this was due to the fact that the machines potential enemy had a large margin. That is why the plane had to put a gun Swiss "Oerlikon". While such guns are common in Europe.

Japanese Zero plane

The Japanese have been able to draw attention to the fact that the gun was a small initial velocity of the projectile, but the gun was light and had a small size. It could easily install the wings of a low profile. Simply put, it was the main armament of the Japanese aircraft. When the car was presented as a finished product, the design of the aircraft immediately got a lot of enemies.


Around this plane flared very serious controversy. Some talked about such a shortcoming as a closed cabin, it can limit the review for the pilot. One of the commanders rose to defend the aircraft and stated that its main advantage lies in its good maneuverability. In this case, even you can abandon heavy weapons, in addition, there was also a limited range, they could not be accompanied by bombers. This was used by the Chinese and did with Japanese bombers what they wanted. Another important characteristic of the fighter was the maximum speed.


In this case, he was always an advantage to impose their battle tactics to the enemy. If the pilots are well trained management of such aircraft, it can win over the opponent. This can be even when the opponent will have the advantage of maneuverability.

Japanese Zero plane

It was a lot of controversy, and there was a threat that the project can be closed. However, the Commission has provided the designer Horikoshi theoretical calculations, which states that the future aircraft will have all the necessary qualities to a sufficient degree.


The plane was going at a factory Mitsubishi. He was tested for a long time, and only after that the aircraft was adopted by the Japanese fleet. Many pilots responded positively on this plane. He showed himself well in combat, and all efforts were aimed at to increase the production of these aircraft.

Japanese Zero plane

Japanese bombers suffered heavy losses, so they needed protection. The aircraft at the time had no competition in the skies during the war. He produced the best airline. In the fortieth year of aviation in Japan is much superior to their opponents and allies.


It may be added that some Japanese pilots thought the aircraft for a samurai sword. This fighter was involved in almost all the air battles that held the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its high range and agility have become almost legendary. To date, the aircraft remains a symbol of Japanese aviation.


Basic data


  • Length: 9,07 m
  • Wingspan: 11 m
  • Height: 3,5 m


The weight:

  • BLANK: 1894 kg
  • Maximum take-off: 2950 kg


Aircraft performance characteristics:

  • Maximum speed: 557 km / h
  • Range: 1800 km


Power point: engine NK1C «Sakae» (Sakae) 12 of "Nakayama" (to modify A6M2) engine "Sakae» (Sakai) 21 (on the modification A6M5) and engine R-1830 «Twin Wasp" Company "Pratt & Whitney" (to copy A6M2 at the Museum of Flying)

Power: 925 l. from. (690 kW), ISO liter. from. (843 kW) and 1200 l. from. (894 kW), respectively

Date of first flight:

  • April 1 1939 years


The surviving airworthy modifications:

  • A6M2 and A6M5


Japanese Zero plane Video