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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi A6M6, A6M7, and A6M8 Rei-sen (zero fighter) fighter
Navy Type 0
Allied code name: Hamp, Zeke

Design

Mitsubishi tried to improve the capabilities of the A6Ms with the A6M6, A6M7, and A6M8. But due to United States bombing campaign it was very difficult on industry.

Prototype

The A6M6 Model 53c prototype first flew in November 1944. Due to engine failures the A6M6 was abandoned.

The A6M7 Model 63 prototype first flew in May 1945.

The A6M8 Model 54c first flew in April 1945.

Production

The A6M7 entered production in May 1945.

Variants

  • Mitsubishi A6M6: Self sealing fuel tanks.
  • Mitsubishi A6M6 Model 53c: Similar to the A6M5 Model 52c. Had a Sakae 31 engine with water methanol injection.
  • Mitsubishi A6M7 Model 63: Based on the A6M6 Model 53c. Had bomb under the fuselage. Drop tanks (150 liter) were under the wings. Tail section was strengthened for dive bombing.
  • Mitsubishi A6M8: Had most powerful engine of A6M series. The airframe limited performance. The nose was altered and the cowling mounted machine gun was removed.
  • Mitsubishi A6M8 Model 54c: More powerful engine.

Specifications

  Mitsubishi A6M6
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Sakae 31
Sakae 31a
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
Net HP 1,130
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG
Wings 2: 13 mm MG
2: 20 mm
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
  Mitsubishi A6M7
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Sakae 31
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
Net HP 1,130
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
340 mph
548 kph
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
8 minutes
Service ceiling 33,400'
10,180 m
Range 945 miles
1,520 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG
Wings 2: 13 mm MG
2: 20 mm
Bombs  
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 550 lb, 551 lb
1: 250 kg
  Mitsubishi A6M8
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei 62, Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 62
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,560
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1", 36' 11"
11 m
Length 30' 3", 30' 3.75"
9.24 m
Height 11' 11"
3.63 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,740 lb
2,150 kg
Loaded 6,945 lb
3,150 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
355 mph, 356 mph
573 kph
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
6.8 minutes
Service ceiling 37,075'
11,300 m
Range  
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: MG
Wings 2: 13 mm MG
2: 20 mm
Bombs 1,102 lb
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
  Mitsubishi A6M8 Model 54c
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei 62
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP 1,340
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
356 mph
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Seafire vs A6M Zero Pacific Theatre, Donald Nijboer, 2009
  3. A6M Zero in Action, Shigeru Nohara, 1983
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site