August Model Aircraft Monthly: Major Zero variant discovery

Discussion in 'Modelling Books and Magazines' started by Gaston, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    #1 Gaston, Aug 2, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
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    Hello everyone: This letter about the short -tail Zero was an error on my part due to a photo that was altered long after being taken, which I realized only AFTER a more original version of the photo was brought to my attention...

    Unlike what were the arguments made to me about this mysterious short-tail Zero, this error in photo interpretation had nothing to do with lens distortion at the moment the photo was taken: These distortions are almost always detectable, with a "bulbous" look or a "vitrified" look that is almost always very obvious...

    It is a case of REPRODUCTION error, but such errors tend to be on one ENTIRE axis, not selective in the area affected: It is what makes this example of altered reproduction so unusual: It affected the tail only, and in a very discrete manner...

    This is due here to the gradual curvature of a book's binding which made the transition from distorted to undistorted invisible: As it got more extreme towards the book's binding, you can see the image was cropped to "conceal" the effect... No lens effect whatsoever here, and the front end matches all other photos perfectly...

    The original unaltered photo matches other photos and the new Tamiya model kit quite well, and shows that, despite what was said about lens distortion, an unaltered photo that is not obviously distorted is quite reliable... Without tampering!

    Original photo:



    http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j215/jicehem/Photoavecreprages_.jpg

    Mysteriously "altered" tail version (matches forward of rear of canopy, NOT behind):



    http://www.warbirdphotographs.com/NavyBWZeros/A6M7-M63-4.jpg


    Sorry to anyone I might have mislead with my "short-tail" Zero theory...

    Fortunately such peculiar image alterations are not common...

    Gaston

    P.S Note that my measurements off four actual Zeroes show the Tamiya kit 1" too long in the tail between the canopy rear and the rudder hinge: 138 inches instead of the correct 137", or a small .5 mm in 1/48th. The 1/48th Tamiya kit also has the root of the leading edge of the fin 2 inches too far forward, slanting it too much by 1mm at the root. The ailerons are also far too narrow in chord, 1mm plus, and the nose deck side profile is also too short by 1-2 mm.

    The canopy is the only accurate one in 1/48th, and the kit is still overall by very far the best Zero in 1/48th scale... The discussion below pre-dates this edit of this original post....

    G.
     
  2. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    It seems like the next step in your research would be trying to contact a living person (military mechanic) who worked on Zero's during the war. It seems that they would know how interchangeable the two manufacturing's where... I have read accounts of A6M's being cannibalized together in an effort to keep 'em flying, but I have never heard of a difference in the manufacturing of the same mark and models...their are differences between the A6M2 and A6M5 (ect), and some cannibalization "may" have been done between models (A6M3 parts on a 5) and this could blur what is seen in pictures...good luck with this. :D
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Reading about this in other forums.....some seem to think this is a pile of steaming brown stuff....I guess we will see in due course....
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    All comes down to facts and data. I'm looking worward to the results.
     
  5. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Lol....very true.
     
  6. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    It will be confirmed soon.

    Furthermore the picture is extremely eloquent as to what is going on...

    I'll also re-iterate the quoted context of the 1945 MacArthur blueprint destruction order, and the fact that convincing "substitute" numbered blueprints were offered (this deception specifically for the case of the Zero, alone among all the other Japanese aircraft designs) by the Japanese for the Americans to destroy, as related in a recent publication. This publication I have unfortunately been unable to track down after a casual read several years ago...

    Gaston
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Boy...is this Gaston joker taking a pasting over on j-aircraft.com about the supposed short tail Nakajima and longer Mitsubishi built Zeroes.....
     
  8. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Yikes. That's the trouble Wayne, everyone's an expert... or experte!
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Cripes, he is basing some of his data on plastic model kits????

    We have a saying at work, "And the stupid shall be punished"
     
  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Yikes, went and found it to read. His "evidence" is pretty weak. Having said that, I'm no expert on Japanese aircraft, Hell, ANY aircraft! :lol:
     
  11. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting discovery, Gaston.

    As long as I know frankly, I haven't ever heard of such length difference between Mitsubishi and Nakajima.
    Any of our experts who checked and measured a dozen of survived Zeros haven't pointed out such
    discrepancy of the length before.

    Very interesting again and I can't wait for reading the issue...
    Can I order a copy from Japan too?
    Thanks.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought...but isn't it possible that the aircraft pictured weren't parked perfctly parrallel?

    In other words, the three aircraft were parked on the ramp, but if they weren't perfectly square to one another, then the photo would show subtle differences in one (or more) of the aircraft by virtue of perspective.

    And I seriously doubt that the aircraft were perfectly aligned when that photo was taken.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I haven't seen any of these photos, but there is a very, very simple way of finding out! Just use scaling, an everyday feature of photo-interpretation, particularly military recce photos. Find an object or fitting on the subject, in this case the aircraft, that is of a known and given size, say, for example, the length of the canopy rail, and use that to 'scale' measure the other dimensions required. Piece of p**s!! Works even if you have to allow for angles etc.
    I don't wish to denigrate this chap, but it does seem rather odd that there should be two aircraft, of the same type but from different factories, with exceptionally differing dimensions! An inch/cemtimetre here and there is possible, perhaps, but nothing significant surely?
     
  14. jamierd

    jamierd Member

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    #14 jamierd, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
    if you look at the photo Gaston has put in the link its plainly obvious that the 3 aircraft are not parked parralel to each other the first aircraft is clearly parked at a completely different angle to the last 2 the light reflecting off the canopys should be enough to point that out to any one seriously studying the picture surely ?
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    This the image they were referring to:

    And jamierd's remarks about the lighting on the canopies is a good point. It emphasizes the varying angles of the aircraft there on the ramp.

    The middle aircraft does "seem" to have slightly different vert-stab dimensions...but I wasn't there, and I didn't take the photo, so I'm not sure what to think, really.
     

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  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    So, is this the pic this chap is basing his theory on? Even a very rudimentary examination, with a rough measurement of the image on the screen, shows that these aircraft appear to be identical, in length at least, from the rear of their canopies to the base of the fin. The angles are certainly not all 'square' to each other, and the lightning might give an impression of differences, but as far as I can make out, 'those babies be the same they be' !
     
  17. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Not only that but the two on the left are both Nakajima's...(maybe all?)
     
  18. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hmm. Lost interest in our contibutors hollow arguments ! I will very publicly admit, that my knowledge of Japanese aircraft of WW2 is not great, but the thought of such drastic changes, by any manufacturer, in any country, in time of war, and especially in the circumstances prevailing at this particular time, just does not make sense. Apart from the very strong and supported counter arguments put forward by the 'opposition' to our 'friend, which are logical, factual and more than convincing, such a drastic change, in the very critical dimensions concerned, to a high performance aircraft of this nature, would, by their very nature, cause a very distinct change in handling characteristics. Such change is something that does not just 'happen' - it requires planning, modelling, almost certainly wind tunnel or similar testing, and then, of course, flight testing of a modified prototype or protypes. Even as an emergency measure, this would take months at least.
    The required changes to tooling and production, materials requisition and actual financial budgeting would be a very unwelcome burden at any time, let alone the actual time period and war situation involved here. And for two separate factories to produce two distinctly different versions of the same design just does not make economic, production or operational sense!
    Granted, a number of 'Western' aircraft were produced at different plants, and some, if not all of these had differences. But these differences were minor detail changes - a different place for a switch or battery, a slight change to a canopy etc etc, none of which made a marked impact on operations or servicing, and only very small differences, if any, in actual flying characteristics.
    It may well be that our contributor has discovered something that has lain unknown for 65 years or so, and if so, then I'd be interested to see the outcome of his research - given this outcome had tangible evidence and proof, and not supposition of course. But somehow I feel that this started as a hunch, an is ending as a flight of fantasy, possibly through no fault of our 'friend', although he does appear to have missed large tracts of information readily, and rapidly provided by others, and also does not seem to be that well informed regarding the history and locations mentioned in the various tracts, not to mention what appears to be a penchant for quoting semi-technical jargon that isn't even presented or spelled correctly. Radiuses? Is that similar to radii?
    Smell it? I think I might be standing in it!!
     
  20. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Terry,.....Well, he has pulled his head in and said "It looks like I was wrong" stating, Quote " will still carry through with my photo analysis expert, but it looks like I was the victim of treacherous photos...Sorry to anyone I might have mislead..."

    treacherous photos.......my first reaction....what a crock of sh!t!:rolleyes:
     
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