A6M Zero late models confusion

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by greybeard, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    #1 greybeard, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    Hi all!

    Had an hard time lately trying to detect "who flew what" about Zero during last year of war.

    My main reference is quite generic about specific model, always mentioning it only as "Zero".

    It looks that only few units flew A6M until war's end:

    205th Ku
    252nd "
    302nd "
    352nd "
    381st "
    601st "

    but relevant model can only be guessed. Some hint can be found on Wiki, but, again, quite a confusion arises when one tries to match hints with models available.

    Given for sure that all of them operated until war's end A6M5c, model 52, then what is A6M6, model 53, mentioned by various sources? According to "Nohara, Shigeru: A6M Zero in action; Squadron/Signal Publications, 1983" only one was built, although according to James A. Broshot, a "small number" was built by Nakajima between late 1944 and early 1945.

    And what about the A6M7 Model 62? According to IJN terminology, first number of the model indicates the frame type, whilst second number is engine type. So it should be sixth type of frame, coupled with second type of engine, that's to say Sakae 21. Probably mismatch is explained by comment I found here: "was an A6M5c, but I prefer to think that it was an A6M7 because it has the bomb rack of the fighter-bomber". Actually, again according to Nohara, many A6M5c were retrofitted with bomb rack.

    Last but not least, the A6M7 model 63, so, according above mentioned terminology, fitted with third kind of engine, the Sakae 31. But with or without methanol water injection? According to a Japanese friend of mine, which doesn't mention his source, the naval version of this engine was the Ha35-31, not equipped with water-methanol injection system, whilst the Army version, the Ha35-32, was. According to Nohara, its production started in May 1945, so it should have participated only to final phase (homeland defence) of Pacific War, but with which squadrons?

    Cheers,
    GB
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #2 GregP, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
    Wiki is the last place to look for a good source. Nobody vets it and people post whatever they want, without regard to truth. Wiki is a doubtful source, but only when there is no other source. Some articles are correct. My estimate is fewer than 30%.

    The A6M6 Model 53c prototype first flew in November 1944. Due to engine failures the A6M6 was abandoned. The A6M8 Model 54c first flew in April 1945. The A6M7 Model 63 prototype first flew in May 1945. The A6M7 entered production in May 1945, but none were completed. Just partially-built airframes.

    Mitsubishi A6M6: Self sealing fuel tanks.
    Mitsubishi A6M6 Model 53c3: Similar to the A6M5 Model 52c. Had a Sakae 31 engine with water methanol injection and self-sealing tanks.

    Mitsubishi A6M7 Model 62 and 63: Based on the A6M6 Model 53c. Had bomb under the fuselage. Drop tanks (150 liters) were under the wings. Tail section was strengthened for dive bombing. Was intended for Kamakaze attacks. No one knows how many A6M7 Model 62s were completed, but not many. There are supposedly 2 on display, but both have been heavily restored to the point where you cannot even be sure the profile is correct. I've even seen accusations that the fuselage of one is from another model. No proof, just supposition. Could be authentic; nobody knows who has come forward as yet. I have never seen any claim the A6M7 Model 63 was ever produced and flown.

    Mitsubishi A6M8 model 54c or Model 64 ... nobody is sure which, but only 2 were built: Had most powerful engine of A6M series (a Kinsei 62). The airframe limited performance. The nose was altered and the cowling mounted machine gun was removed.

    Mitsubishi A6M8 Model 54 C2: More powerful engine proposed. None completed as far as anyone knows.

    None had much in the way of production. They made 1 A6M6c, an unknown very few A6M7s, and 2 A6M8s and neither was an A6M8 Model 64 C2. Not much to get excited over no matter WHAT the potential was.
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    The late war Zeroes used in the various kokutai's were primarilly mixed versions of A6M5 models 52a 'Kou', 52b 'Otsu', and 52c 'Hei' even earlier versions were still pressed into service and can be seen in some photo references.

    What is it specifically you are seeking?
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #4 tomo pauk, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
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  5. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Thanks to all for fast replies.

    I'm seeking relevant model(s) flown during 1945 by each of the above listed Kokutai's.
     
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  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    By the end of war, all zero fighters were replaced to A6M5c or A6M7 except Kamikaze or training purposes.
    The A6M7 was mainly deployed in Tokyo and its surrounding area like 302-ku.
    Other areas were covered by the A6M5c.
     
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  7. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Thank you, Shinpachi!

    Cheers,
    GB
     
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  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome, GB!
     
  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #9 GregP, Dec 23, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    Hey Shinpachi,

    Any idea how many A6M7s were built and by whom? I have found virtually all other models, but there seems to be no source for A6M7s. By the way, Nice spreadsheet. I have refomatted it and converted so I now have metric and SAE values. Good information.

    I wonder if you have any access to A6M5 Model 52 documents as we are in the middle of doing the interior of our airplane right now. It would be very nice to have original colors. Right now we are using the colors of the Zero in the UK at Duxford combined with some color photos of zeros right after the war. We're looking for original documentation on the elevator trim system, too.

    All the best, - Greg
     
  10. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hello, Greg.

    According to my own research based on Maru Mechanic and some others,

    A6M7 since May 1945
    Estimated total 490 (Mitsubishi 158 + Nakajima 332)

    I have no exact docs about the interior color and the elevator trim system to be shown.
    Ed's old Japanese friend, Katsushi Owaki, has ever introduced his color research in his blog.

    Merry Christmas!
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks you Shinpachi. I appreciate it!

    - Greg
     
  12. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome and a Happy New Year, Greg.
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Same to you, my friend.
     
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  14. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Greetings!
    Any published performance figures for the A6M7? I was not aware that it was produced above a few samples. Nearly 500? Thanks for the info Shinpachi. Re A6M5c, I have a book shows just under 100 made. Is that correct?
     
  15. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    George, you might download the table from this post: link
     
  16. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hello, kettbo :)

    My number was based on production quantities in both Mitsubishi and Nakajima per month comparing with other sources like Maru Mechanic and Famous Airplanes of the World. Production number 93, you might have referred, for the A6M5c introduced in Maru and FAOW was based on serial numbers left in Mitsubishi for the limited period since Sept 10 1944 for nos. 5510-5692. There should be 183 airframes at least between nos. 5510-5692 even if it was correct and 93 is wrong in any case.

    Thanks for your follow up, tomo. The list was a genuine translation of FAOW lists.
     
  17. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    I did in fact START that other thread...2011. How forgetful of me TOMO
     
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