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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 A6M8.1 But due to United States bombing campaign it was very difficult on industry.1

Prototype

The A6M6 Model 53c prototype first flew in November 1944.1 Due to engine failures the A6M6 was abandoned.1

The A6M7 Model 63 prototype first flew in May 1945.3

The A6M8 Model 54c first flew in April 1945.1,4

Production

The A6M7 entered production in May 1945.1

Variants

  • Mitsubishi A6M6: Self sealing fuel tanks.1
  • Mitsubishi A6M6 Model 53c3: Similar to the A6M5 Model 52c.1 Had a Sakae 31 engine with water methanol injection.1,3
  • Mitsubishi A6M7 Model 63: Based on the A6M6 Model 53c.1 Had bomb under the fuselage.1,3 Drop tanks (150 liter3) were under the wings.1,3 Tail section was strengthened for dive bombing.3
  • Mitsubishi A6M8: Had most powerful engine of A6M series.1 The airframe limited performance.1 The nose was altered and the cowling mounted machine gun was removed.1
  • Mitsubishi A6M8 Model 54c2: More powerful engine.2

Specifications

  Mitsubishi A6M6
Type Fighter bomber1
Crew 11
Engine (Type) Nakajima Sakae 311
Sakae 31a3
Cylinders Radial 141
Cooling  
Net HP 1,1301
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG1
Wings 2: 13 mm MG1
2: 20 mm1
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 551 lb1
1: 250 kg1
  Mitsubishi A6M7
Type Fighter bomber1
Crew 11
Engine (Type) Nakajima Sakae 311,3
Cylinders Radial 141
Cooling  
Net HP 1,1301
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 6,614 lb1
3,000 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
340 mph1
548 kph1
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
8 minutes1
Service ceiling 33,400'1
10,180 m1
Range 945 miles1
1,520 km1
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG1
Wings 2: 13 mm MG1
2: 20 mm1
Bombs  
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 550 lb3, 551 lb1
1: 250 kg1
  Mitsubishi A6M8
Type Fighter4, Fighter bomber1
Crew 11,4
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei 621, Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 624
Cylinders Radial 141,4
Cooling Air4
Net HP 1,5601,4
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 36' 1"4, 36' 11"1
11 m1
Length 30' 3"4, 30' 3.75"1
9.24 m1
Height 11' 11"1,4
3.63 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,740 lb1
2,150 kg1
Loaded 6,945 lb1,4
3,150 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
355 mph1, 356 mph4
573 kph1
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
6.8 minutes1
Service ceiling 37,075'1,4
11,300 m1
Range  
Armament 2: 20 mm4
2: MG4
Wings 2: 13 mm MG1
2: 20 mm1
Bombs 1,102 lb4
Bomb - under fuselage 1: 551 lb1
1: 250 kg1
  Mitsubishi A6M8 Model 54c
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei 622
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP 1,3402
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
356 mph2
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