Mitsubishi A6M Zéro

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Mitsubishi A6M Zéro

Message par Wildcat le Sam 7 Oct - 9:01

Mitsubishi A6M Zéro





The Mitsubishi A5M Claude just entered service in early 1937 when the Japanese Imperial Navy began to search for a possible successor. In May, it had developed a number of specifications for a new onboard fighter that was sent to Nakajima and Mitsubishi. Both companies began their work while waiting for further details.

Based on the experience of the A5M in China, the Japanese navy sent out this additional information in October and asked for a speed of 500 km / h at 4,000 meters and a climb speed of 3,000 m in 3 min 30 s. They needed a 2-hour range at normal power, which had to rise up to 6 or 8 hours in economic speed with additional tanks. The armament was to consist of two 20 mm guns and two 7.7 mm machine guns, and the aircraft had to be able to carry two bombs of 30 or 60 kg. All future Zero had to be equipped with radio equipment. Finally, maneuverability had to be at least as good as with the A5M, while the wingspan should be less than 12 m to be able to fit on aircraft carriers.

Nakajima found the new specifications ridiculous, while the head of the Mitsubishi team agreed that they could be respected but only if the aircraft was made as light as possible. Every effort was made to save weight, and the designers made intensive use of the new duraluminium alloy.

At the time of Pearl Harbor, there were only 420 active Zeros in the Pacific. They were superior to their American counterparts until 1943 but remained mortal in good hands until the end of the war. More than 11,000 units were produced thanks to its ease of construction.

Designed for attacking, Zero was a model of maneuverability and firepower, to the detriment of protection, because only the latest versions were provided with a ridiculous armor. As a result, many Zeros were lost in battle as soon as the Allies abandoned the dogfight, which favored the most maneuverable apparatus, for the "yoyo" (horizontal or vertical maneuver, consisting of moving away and then returning to compensate for an inadequate rate of turn or climb), dive and zoom or attack in pique then resource in binomials favorable to the more powerful apparatuses [not clear] and presenting a greater inertia by their shielding. A single blow to the goal was usually enough to destroy it.

When the United States mastered the Zero attack technique, thanks in part to the Akutan Zero, new aircraft such as the Grumman F6F Hellcat or the Chance Vought F4U Corsair were built, surpassing Zero on all points, as far as maneuverability was concerned (no contemporary allied fighter, possibly with the exception of the Soviets, was no longer manoeuvrable than himself.) Even the Spitfire, probably the best modern fighter in this field that was opposed to him, was inferior to him ). But to correct this defect, it was enough for the American pilots to remember the effective tactics. Thus, the ratio of 1 Japanese plane felled to 1 American aircraft rose to 10 to 1. The Japanese government did not remain static and new aircraft like the Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden (Eclair Violet) "George" and especially the Nakajima Ki -84 Hayate "Frank" were excellent hunters and faced the later models of the United States in a desperate balance of power.

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Wildcat

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Date d'inscription : 29/09/2017

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