Data from The Great Book of Fighters
General characteristics of A6M Zero
- Crew: 1
- Length: 9.06 m (29 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)
- Height: 3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
- Wing area: 22.44 m² (241.5 ft²)
- Empty weight: 1,680 kg (3,704 lb)
- Loaded weight: 2,410 kg (5,313 lb)
- Powerplant: 1× Nakajima sakae 12 radial engine, 709 kW (950 hp)
- Aspect ratio: 6.4
- Never exceed speed: 660 km/h (356 kn, 410 mph)
- Maximum speed: 533 km/h (287 kn, 331 mph) at 4,550 m (14,930 ft)
- Range: 3,105 km (1,675 nmi, 1,929 mi)
- Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 15.7 m/s (3,100 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 107.4 kg/m² (22.0 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass 294 W/kg (0.18 hp/lb)
- 2× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 97 machine guns in the engine cowling, with 500 rounds per gun.
- 2× 20mm type 99 canons in the wings, with 60 rounds per gun.
- 2× 60 kg (132 lb) bombs or
- 1× fixed 250 kg (551 lb) bombs for attacks by Kamikaze
FORMOSA was a Japanese colony until 1945 – Zero aircraft were based here and some presumably were the Kamikaze’s which attacked American ships off Okinawa.
One Japanese pilot who had an interesting story during WWII. This pilot ran out of fuel and crash-landed on a coral atoll lagoon down near the equator at Nukuoro where I took the underwater picture.
His grand-daughter is now married and living in USA. He fathered two additional children on other islands!
The aircraft was 80% intact and in shallow water just off a beach, in the area known today as the Federated States of Micronesia, Eastern Caroline Islands.
We made underwater pictures of the aircraft during our expedition in 1969, plus 16mm movie footage.
These would make a TV story if we can find details on the pilot’s fate after the war.
A remote chance is that he survives today but in his late eighties.