Planes of Fame Zero

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Can't remember where the question was asked, but last week somebody asked if a Japanese Zero going into Prescott, Arizona abiout 3 - 4 weeks ago was ours.

    The answer is no. Our Zero stays in California ... but has been to Japan twice.

    The CAF's Midland, Texas show qwas about then and the Zero was probably the CAF Zero returning to Camarillo ... assuming it was a Zero.
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    I love the Zero too, Greg:)
    Thanks for your posts from POF. Please keep us informed your activities!

    A6M5(Green)image00.JPG
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    For comparison purposes, here are the CAF Zero and the POF Zero:

    CAF Zero
    DSC_9032.jpg

    POF Zero
    DSC_4553.jpg

    And the two of them together
    DSC_2819.jpg
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pretty cool thing.

    When we started restoring our Yokosuka D4Y "Judy" it was in very rough shape. Entire sections were crushed or missing. We have a retired Japanese fellow who comes over here about twice a year to help with restorations. His name is Sam Hayashi (Sam is "Americanized"). When we got to the wing, we removed five fuel tanks. There was Japanese writing on them and we took pictures and emailed them to Sam in Japan (outside Nagoya). He discovered that his father had signed the center tank! Talk about a small world, there are only two Judy aircframes in existence and he was helping to restore one his father had jelped build and signed!

    Naturally, we'll going to put him in the cockpit and take pics for Sam's family.

    Not Zero-related, but still pretty neat.
     
  5. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Greg! Is it the POF Zero that has the original manufactures engine in it? It has the smaller engine cowl.
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Our Zero is flying on an original Mitsubishi Sakae 21 engine and original Japanese propeller. We laso have a second Sakae 21 (not use if it is a Mitsubishi or a Nakajima) in parts, and we will soon start assembling the second engine to hang on the Judy.

    Just for information, the Sakae 21 was designed (after acquiring a license for the Feench Gnome-Ghone) by Nakajima and was built by several manufactureres including Mistubishi ... just as the Zero was designed by Mitsubishi and was built by several companies inclduing Nakajima. So ... we are flying a Mistsubishi aircraft with a Mistubishi engine.
     
  7. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. I remember Eric saying something about one of the Zeros having a original engine. I was not sure which one it was though. Thank you for the information.
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    You are very welcome. Google the Planes of Fame Zero and check it out. Ours is tail nuber 61-120.

    To me, it is a great looking aircraft and I love to see it fly every once in awhile.
     
  9. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Nice shots, Eric.
    A good question, Aaron. And -
    Interesting story, Greg!
     
  10. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    At a glance the trick is to look at the space between the cockpit and the cowling, from the right angle should be able to see a clear difference between an A6M2 and A6M3 which is an A6M5 without the exhaust stacks. A6M2 has a bigger fuel tank behind the engine and mounts are moved a few inches compared to other models, so that nose section between cockpit/cowling looks ever so slightly more slender or elongated at a glance. A6M5 looks stubby nosed after looking at a lot of A6M2, at a glance. It's quick ID.

    It's the M22 A6M3 that looks identical to the M21 A6M2 except for this feature.

    Funny thing about this method of ID though is it's only a few inches, really, if there's just one plane so you can't compare and you look too long they start blending together. The trick is to look away, quick look ID, sort of flash your brain. When there's just one, that works. The later engine makes it look stubby nosed. Earlier one is longer ahead of the cockpit.
     
  11. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    The Zero 21 that the CAF had in its possession until it sold in 2005 to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor was restored by Canadian Robert Deimert and was delivered to the CAF in an airworthy condition with a Nakajima Sakae 12 installed. However as documented in the film "The Defender" when the aircraft was run up prior to test flights at CAF it was discovered to have water in the fuel system and the engine didn't like it. The aircraft was then re-engined with a R-1830.

    The Zero N58245 now resides at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on display. It is also asserted that this aircraft (or its basic core components) participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. This has led to speculation that the aircraft was sabotaged prior to testing at CAF. (all unsubstantiated)

    The CofA for the Zero according to the FAA has expired.
    The two pictures are the aircraft on display at CAF and now as it is shown at Pearl Harbor.
     

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  12. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    Yeah I've seen the R-1830 powered one flying, such a shame when the original engine can't be kept in a warbird. Like those RR engined Messers and Heinkels in the BoB movie, nice planes, just a shame about the engines.
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    ... and frankly, if I may comment, the greenish grey for the A6M2 is not familiar with the Japanese.
    We were taught it was light-grey.
     
  14. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I can give more info on the former CAF Zero. I moved the pieces of that around the museum in Camarillo for a number of years. Sabotage was not an issue and there was conjecture about it's provenance as records are sketchy if they exist at all about where a plane was at any given time over 4+ years in a war zone. The real issue is that when it flew into Camarillo and they pulled some panels to do an inspection, they discovered that the wing spar had been cut during recovery and re-welded back together during restoration. That led to it's ultimate demise. To find a serviceable replacement spar would be difficult at best and to have one custom made was prohibitively expensive for a non-profit group.

    When the former Santa Monica Museum of Flying closed and David Price gave the CAF an offer for the Zero that was a GREAT deal, the old gray Zero "Fugu" was sold to help cover the cost of the flyable one.
     
  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Interesting info here guys, thanks!

    ...and great story Greg!
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    GregP, I am the one who asked about the Zeke landing at Prescott-Love Field. I will repeat the story. Getting ready to hit second shot on the South Course # 10, Antelope Hills. The golf courses there are right next to the airport. I hear a relatively big round engine and look up and see this low wing monoplane headed south going to go right over me. I watched and when he got directly over me I could see the tapered wing, round wing tips with red meat balls. The horizontal stabilizer well forward on the fuselage rather than directly under the vertical fin. He went over me and then into a tight turn, dropped his gear and made a short field final approach to the north. I got a good view of the canopy and thought that is a Zeke. I missed the green with a wedge. Later that day, I heard another big radial and looked over to where the runway was and saw and heard a radial engined low wing monoplane coming off the runway. I thought, Zeke, but the engine was too loud. Saw the vertical tail, tall and square topped, bubble canopy. R2800 F8F. He retracted his gear and honked up the nose and proceeded to climb out about 30 degrees. Right behind came the Zeke with a more leisurely climb out. They disappeared to the south. I went to Legend FBO after golf and asked the guys if a Zeke had landed and taken off today. They said yep and one showed me photos he had made. They said the fuselage of the Zeke showed a lot of oil drippings.
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    What a fantastic experience you had there, renrich:shock:
    I envy you!
     
  18. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    I posted Zero photos on my Wings Over Houston 2011 thread. :)

    DBII
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  20. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That would have been the CAF SoCal Wing guys. The F8F and the Zero are based down in Camarillo. If the red roundels had white outlines, it was definitely the Camarillo Zero. They also have a Hellcat down there that is down for an engine repair right now. Here are the three of the Camarillo Fighters at Riverside a couple of years ago.
    DSC_9179.jpg
     
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