The Allies’ main opponent in the Pacific air war, the Zero is the most famous symbol of Japanese air power during World War II. The fighter first flew in April 1939, and Mitsubishi, Nakajima, Hitachi, and the Japanese navy produced 10,815 Zeros from 1940–45. Japan made more Zeros than any other aircraft in WW II. Its distinctive design and historical impact make the Zero an important machine in air power history.
The Zero got its name from its official designation, Navy Type Zero Carrier-Based Fighter (or Reisen), though the Allies code-named it “Zeke.” The Zero was the successor to the A5M Type 96 “Claude.” Mitsubishi designed the A6M from Navy requirements set out in 1937 for a fighter that was fast, maneuverable, and with great range. Designed as a carrier-borne fighter, it was exceptionally light compared to its opponents. This requirement was necessary not only to provide maneuverability but also because of the Zero’s low-powered engine. Lack of interservice cooperation in engine development limited the horsepower available to Japanese designers. Other consequences included omitting armor protection for the pilot, not using self-sealing fuel tanks, and building lightweight wings as an integral part of the fuselage.
While development of the A6M Zero continued by adding self-sealing tanks, armor plate, and increasing horsepower to 1,150 hp, the later A6M5 was much heavier and thus less nimble. Weight increased 28 percent, but horsepower increased only 16 percent, degrading overall combat performance.
This model has a fixed landing gear, it does not retract. It can be displayed on its landing gear or mounted on the included stand. The propeller is free to spin (you can actually blow on it and it would spin).
The box measures 7.5 x 7.5 x 2.75 inches and it has windows so that you can see the top and bottom of the model.