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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Mitsubishi A6M2...Zero (Read 940 times)
Kerak
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Mitsubishi A6M2...Zero
Reply #17 - Jan 17th, 2021 at 9:41am
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Wing is complete...do I want a landing gear?

Did you know...of course you do...the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot...so named during the Battle of the Philippine Sea...was fought against largely obsolete aircraft and inexperienced pilots?  The A6M2 Model 21 (of Pearl Harbor infamy) that could achieve barely 320 mph under optimum conditions was the featured Zero on hand (by default).  By 1944 the Japanese were scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel in materials and personnel.  That fiasco was the last major carrier action executed by the IJN...from dizzying heights to the deep six.  After that, there was little if any resistance in the air...except for suicide missions.  I had a professor in college who was a young Hellcat pilot, seeing action at the very end of the war.  I asked him if he had any Zero encounters.  "I couldn't find any!" was his reply.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:31pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kerak
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Reply #16 - Jan 16th, 2021 at 2:47pm
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Here's an interesting detail photo...three items of note...Japanese considered their radios to be superfluous (unnecessary weight)...they were very adept at other means of communicating commands...so radios and associated systems were removed from their aircraft (I've actually read the assertion that their radios were of poor quality).  No RDF for these boys.  Lower right hand corner...radio mast is gone...removed.  Also note the fuselage decking that extends to directly behind the pilot's seat...many models leave this out of their design.  Lastly...note the headrest that also serves as a roll-bar...interesting feature for a people that didn't care much for pilot welfare.  Aircraft also featured (not seen) an air bladder behind the cockpit area to aid in at least temporary flotation in case of ditching...allowing the pilot time to evacuate.

Wing is coming along...no sanding yet...nor wingtips...very simple.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:32pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kerak
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Reply #15 - Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:02am
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I'll be working on the wing today...one eye on the football games...one on whatever else I need to be doing.  The wing is a basic dimer structure...may add a couple of extra stringers...one on the bottom to form a proper spar...the other on top toward the leading edge to discourage tissue sagging later on...my usual SOP.

The Zero's wing has an interesting history...main spar was constructed as an integral part of the fuselage bulkheads.  The benefits were added structural strength with regard to aerobatics...as well  as weight reduction.  It was estimated that at least 100 lbs of weight was eliminated in fittings (connections) alone.  There was a major drawback however...components could not be remotely manufactured and then assembled at a central location...jigs required assembly to be conducted at an exclusive point.  This in turn made assembly a very skill-intensive procedure and consequently dramatically reduced production rates.  All those Zeroes one sees laying around over-run Japanese airfields...it wasn't for lack of desire to return them to action.  If the wing structure/spar was in any way damaged...the aircraft was a virtual write-off...no way to simply change out a wing panel!

As I stated previously...the Zero was intended to be dogfighter...and lightness was paramount in that regard.  Add to the mix a pair of 7.7mg...as well as two 20mm cannon...and it was literal hell in the air.  Why no one could visualize that reality from the nearly intact aircraft remnants available...is amazing...if not near-criminal.  Of course...the AVG knew this all along...but no one officially listened to Chennault.  NEVER dogfight a Zero...or an Oscar!  It really was not until the advent of the F4U that any kind of parity came to the Zero's performance...and not until the arrival of the F6F (although slower than the Corsair) that the Allies achieved true air-superiority.

I recall listening to an interview with a Hellcat pilot...talking about his encounter in 1943 with a Zero.  The Japanese pilot, not realizing the difference between the Hellcat and its predecessor (Wildcat), put his ac into a near vertical climb.  The Hellcat followed.  Ordinarily, a Wildcat would have eventually stalled out...and then the Zero would have turned to finish it off...but this time, the Hellcat just continued to climb, all the while gaining on the Zero.  Eventually the Japanese ac was within range and those six .50's went to work.  The Grumman's big powerful engine had changed the equation.  The Hellcat could out run, out climb, out gun, and even turn equally with its rival.  The Zero's superiority was finally ended.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:32pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kerak
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Reply #14 - Jan 15th, 2021 at 7:09pm
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The intelligence report compiled concerning Hirano's Zero should have provided a veritable treasure trove of technical information...but did not.  The report was hurried, filled with racial bias, and outright unsupportable conjecture...all the things that I personally learned, have no place in an official document...whatever is said, had better be substantiated.  If you've ever given a command briefing, you know what I'm saying...no CO likes to be BS'd.

"The Mitsubishi Zero’s awe-inspiring performance characteristics as well as its weaknesses are well known today. But much of the information that came out of the hangar at Hickam Field contributed to the mythology surrounding the mysterious fighter, causing Allied pilots undue fright when meeting Zeros in combat in early 1942. Surprisingly few hard facts were revealed by the examination of AI-154. It took reports from several crashed Zeros and a flyable plane (Koga's Akutan Zero) to really learn the secrets behind the plane’s far-reaching strengths and vulnerabilities for successful combat against the legendary Japanese fighter."

The first aspect that should have been obvious was the Japanese emphasis upon agility and firepower in a dogfight.  That was achieved through a superb weight to power ratio.  All else was secondary.  It was a true Samurai warrior concept...speed, maneuverability, and a "sharp blade."  Instead, the Hirano report called the Zero "flimsy," without regard to pilot survival...a complete misinterpretation of reality.  It created an image of a Samurai pilot bent upon dying...fearless...even suicidal...a myth that every Allied pilot in the Pacific had in the back of his mind.

In the beginning however, an encounter with the Zero indeed was the harbinger of fear...and for good reason. The Zero was everything it was intended to be...and Japanese Naval Pilots were the most highly trained in the world.

In case you haven't guessed it already, the finish I'm aiming for is that of Ensign Masao Taniguchi, a WW2 survivor and 14 victory ace.  Taniguichi's first victory was over a Buffalo at Midway...six months later the Navy/Marine Corps still had no idea of tactics to counter the Zero even though the necessary intelligence was right there in front of them!

Incidentally...of the 609 Japanese aircrew that participated in the Pearl Harbor operations...less than 20 survived to war's end.  PO1C Hirano had lots of company.  Good night.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:32pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Sky9pilot
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Mitsubishi A6M2...Zero
Reply #13 - Jan 15th, 2021 at 10:41am
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Marc,
Did you get this from Antman and the Wasp? Very interesting...I'll have to get one for myself as well!

Neal, my thought are with you and your wife.  I've been playing taxi for my wife as well with vertigo and high blood pressure fluxuation.  Doctors can't figure out the blood pressure delima.  Hang in there!
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:33pm by Sky9pilot »  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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Kerak
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Reply #12 - Jan 15th, 2021 at 9:50am
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"These are the times that try men's souls"...I spent all day yesterday taking my wife from one doctor appointment to another...if I had a buck for every time she asked, "Why are we here?"  It's like a gut-punch for me...but just imagine what it's like for her....  That sounds like a complaint...but I know it can always be worse.  Thank God for diversions....

I got into this "Zero Project" after reading about the events of PO1C Tekashi Hirano's demise at Pearl Harbor, 7 Dec. '41.  Within approximately 10 minutes of making landfall, Zero fighter AI-154 (First Wave...Akagi) was down and Hirano was KIA...the first Zero fighter to "fall" into U.S. hands.  That's another story.  What really caught my attention was the complete and total anti-Japanese bias that went into the intelligence analysis of AI-154's wreckage!  Very few "experts" were willing to acknowledge the superiority of the Mitsubishi aircraft with regard to existing "Western" designs...much less credit the Japanese with such necessary design capabilities!  General consensus was, the Zero design had been "stolen" from America!  Consequently, these misguided notions persisted throughout the rank and file for many years afterward...I even heard them myself as a young boy.  It became part of wartime propaganda.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The Zero was a superior aircraft...for its time, a time that would be short-lived.  Horikoshi was the Zero's chief design engineer.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:33pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kaintuck
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Reply #11 - Jan 15th, 2021 at 4:04am
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Hope everyone has a better day, yes, my wife also is now my #1 patient. I take one day at a time.....
And good news is: my search for the miniaturization machine is over! Doug must of found this machine and used it to get his model of Dinah......along with countless others, they don't build these planes.....Noooooo......they use this:


They find a full size plane, take a 'picture' of it....then go back to the workshop....and dial in the scale, press the button...and *poof* out pops a airplane!!! Shocked

The mistery  is solved....all this time I see build articles....TRICKERY!

Now I just need to see who sells them and what the cost is......then I too can "build" these models....... Cheesy
Marc
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:33pm by Sky9pilot »  
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Kerak
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Reply #10 - Jan 14th, 2021 at 8:25am
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I hear ya' there, Tom.  My wife suffers from memory issues...some days are good...and some are bad.  Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel...but of course I'll never do that...not an option.  Model airplanes are a diversion for certain.  Be well in your life, Tom.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:34pm by Sky9pilot »  
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Sky9pilot
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Reply #9 - Jan 13th, 2021 at 10:38pm
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There is... I've had some family issues that have kept me from starting at present.  Family first, hobby 2nd or 3rd etc.
Sky9pilot
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:28pm by Sky9pilot »  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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Kerak
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Reply #8 - Jan 13th, 2021 at 7:48pm
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I thought there was a cookup going on?
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:27pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kerak
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Reply #7 - Jan 11th, 2021 at 8:07pm
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As much as I love Dinah...I don't think I'll be able to get to her just now.  I've pretty well talked myself into something a little less "mental."  Building from a 3-view can be slow going during  the best of circumstances...and that may have to wait for another time.

Meanwhile...how about another Mitsubishi...like Comet's 1943 kit E-3...yep, another Zero.  I really like what Mike did recently with his Whitman Dauntless.  Sometimes it's not the airplane that one is modeling...but the kit itself.  What I mean by that is...there are far better plans available of a Dauntless than what Whitman offered...but obviously, Mike wanted to do a specific plan.  Likewise with Comet's Zero...far better plans available...but I want to do the 1943 plan by Comet.  Needs a bit of tweaking...particularly in the tail, but otherwise...pretty close...acceptable.  I compared it with a decent 3-view...and it's not bad at all.  I've drawn some lines in to get an idea of those tweaks...just a rough idea.

I'll get to Dinah eventually...but meanwhile...a little Zeke...an historical kit design...a contemporary of the time...1943.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:26pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Kaintuck
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Reply #6 - Dec 11th, 2020 at 6:59am
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Wow Shocked the build AND the detail!!
Marc
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:26pm by Sky9pilot »  
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Kerak
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Reply #5 - Dec 5th, 2020 at 10:39am
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Wow!  Thanks, Andy and Ian...that really is beautiful work...setting the bar high.  Funny...he says that he designs "old style," something I'm very familiar with.  Grin  Again...thanks for the direction...gives me a nice reference to begin this project.

A word about Dinah...was originally designed and constructed to meet a IJAAF specification for a reconnaissance aircraft that could get in and out without interception, a task it accomplished admirably during most of the war.  As such, it was unarmed, unarmored, flew fast and high.  Ultimately those capabilities made it one of the few Japanese aircraft capable of intercepting the B-29 Superfortress.  Armed, Dinah sported a battery of 20mm cannon and even a 37mm gun firing obliquely upward.  Very few Ki-46 aircraft were successfully intercepted during the war.  As an interceptor itself, Allied aircrew took it very seriously.  Here's a photo of Dinah plunging through a Superfortress box...on what was probably intended to be, at the very least a ramming attack.  That kind of behavior would definitely attract attention, as noted by the B-29 firing ventral turrets and evasive maneuvers.

Neal
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:25pm by Sky9pilot »  

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pb_guy
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Reply #4 - Dec 5th, 2020 at 9:05am
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A unique take on removing the wing in those nacelles!
ian
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:24pm by Sky9pilot »  

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Reply #3 - Dec 5th, 2020 at 8:42am
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Sky9pilot wrote on Dec 4th, 2020 at 4:11pm:
Sounds like you're off to a good start!  I've admired this one as well.  I think a plan can be purchased.  I'll do some research.  I believe that it was Doug Beardsworth that has been flying one at the FAC meets.


https://www.google.com/search?q=ki-46+iii++balsa+model+plan&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEw...
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2021 at 12:28pm by Sky9pilot »  
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