Thursday, April 15, 2010
MITSUBISHI NAVY “ZERO”
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 1. Gross wt. 5,140. Engine 1,100 hp Nakajima. Sakae 21 14-cylinder radial.
PERFORMANCE: (Zeke) Top mph 325. Cruise mph 265. Range 590. Ceiling 36,000.
The Mitsubishi Navy ZERO was a single-seat fighter powered by a 1,100-hp Nakajima powerplant of 14-cylinders in two rows. It had three unprotected fuel tanks, one in the fuselage and one in each wing. The pilot’s cockpit was located over the center section of the wing and was under a raised transparent canopy with no armor protection. The ZERO fighter was produced in two versions, the Mk. I, code-named “Zeke,” and the Mk. II, code-named “Hamp.” The only difference was that the Mk. II had a redesigned wing with smaller span and blunt wingtips. Both fighters’ armament consisted of two 20mm cannon in the leading edge of the wings, outboard of the prop disc, and two 7.7mm machine guns mounted in the top cowling, firing through the airscrew. One 500-pound bomb could be carried in place of a drop fuel tank.