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WWII Zero fighter takes to the skies over Japan

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By Kazuhiro Nogi

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sweet!

14 ( +19 / -5 )

This isn't right. You can't remove the stain of war from it. Anymore than if he opened a concentration camp too, because it wasn't the camp's fault either.

WWII really has to come to an end.

-24 ( +12 / -36 )

sf2k.

Tell that to other countries who still fly wwii planes and even perform mock battles. You know who those are.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

"The sin doesn't rest with the Zero -- it was the people who fought each other,"

Correction, the sin rests with those whose ambition, greed, and dreams of conquest began a war that cost countless lives.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Despite its fearsome reputation, Yanagida and the jet's owner...........

It is not a jet.

33 ( +33 / -0 )

This is a business run by Mr. Ishizuka, who used to make top-quality sheepskin coats in New Zealand.

https://www.zero-sen.jp/

For ¥60,000 you can become a support club member. T shirts are ¥2,000 and there's a charming selection of pin badges and stickers.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"The sin doesn't rest with the Zero -- it was the people who fought each other," Yanagida said.

WOW! That is some SPIN!! You have just blamed the countries that fought imperial Japan for WWII in the Pacific!!

This is a perfect example of Japan's whitewashing. I have zero( haha get it!) problem with flying this plane around, but PLEASE stop the whitewashing & admit your history Japan, THEN you can toss out these little quotes!

-10 ( +14 / -24 )

On the money GW! I don't care how many downs you get

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

Yes it was a fearsome plane when the war began, that being the invasion of China, latter Pearl Harbour and Singapore. Was soon obsolete and as the article states 10,000 built only 4 remain. Certainly not a survivable aircraft. But if it's all you have to feel good about, good luck to you.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Visited a museum near Kagoshima some years ago, it had old aircraft there and was full of pictures and letters from the young men (some aged 17) before their final flights. Very moving and one had to admire their bravery, doing what they thought was the right thing.

A testament to the futility of war and in no way a glorification.

"The sin doesn't rest with the Zero -- it was the people who fought each other," Yanagida said.

More the rulers and generals, I'd say.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Toasted Heretic - the museum you visited was devoted to the Kamikaze pilots. And it totally misrepresents the reality; Young pilots had no choice in the matter. Cowardly officers put a paper in front of them to draw either an "0" accepting the mission or a "X" declining the mission. Those who declined suicide were thrust into constant combat missions sure to end in death at that stage in the war.

Those young pilots (16-18 years old) right out of training did not fly their planes at US warships shouting their devotion to the emperor. Most had to be held up in tears by ground crew just to get into the aircraft.

Once in the air, they were actually escorted by other pilots to make sure they didn't abandon the mission.

A disgusting footnote to Japans shameful war

11 ( +21 / -10 )

No different from a restored gun or any other weapon from the war in my opinion. It's a nice looking airplane.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Was this not a copy of Howard Hughes H1? Either way a darn fine plane.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Indeed the zero was an amazing fighter in the opening years of WWII. Pretty much outmaneuvered and outclassed anything we had at the time. But the US aircraft industry quickly turned to building planes like flying tanks, superior in every way. Still, back in 1941 that a non-White country could create and build such aircraft blew our racially superior minds. In WWII Mitsubishi Zeros were dogfighting Lockheed P-38 Lightnings over the Pacific. Today Mitsubishi is building the Lockheed F-35s under license. Times change. The Zero is a cool plane, glad some survived for history's sake.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

@ toasted and clam. i recommend anyone who visits japan to pop by chilan in Kagoshima. low cost flights are easy. you can take a local bus from Kagoshima and visit quant samurai houses, and if you want, the nationalistic suicide bomber museum. the charm is the people who live there. the history is back then children as young as 15 were given a cup of sake, an unairworthy plane and a big dose of propaganda. this is why i respect article 9. never again.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Mitsubishi may legally seize Zero.  What it made during War,  it usually gets back.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

This isn't right. You can't remove the stain of war from it. Anymore than if he opened a concentration camp too, because it wasn't the camp's fault either.

You can visit concentration camps in Europe that were restored as memorials to what happened.

Quite a controversial subject and as much as I detest the J-Gov's whitewashing of history, I don't take any offense to the restoration of this amazing machine. I don't believe the restorer is attempting to revise history but rather pay tribute where it's due.

After all, I grew up watching war-planes of old paraded around the skies of my town and while I respectful of the history behind it, I was mostly just in awe of these amazing machines from that era. Truly amazing machines if you see them fly over.

I'm usually one of the first to jump in Japan in regards to things related to the war, but I don't see why anyone has their panties in a twist about this. Let's try a positive slant on the war, when due, from time to time.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

These pilots had. nochhoice.  on way feud.  Their families were hiing their  Sayonara letters for yrs after war.  There was nano.    mentioning of emperor in any o lettesvthat one magazine revealed.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The plane is a piece of metal with no more meaning than what people give it.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Every time LDP plans to change Peace Constitutīooooo, all opinion magazines have  WWII special issues. ,    So, stop writing about emperor.    Anyone who. Use bathroom is not god.  those. Plots ddidnot die or emperr

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Beautiful plane, nothing more nothing less.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

VERY light, Zeros could climb and maneuver better than any other monoplane. Though not quite as fast as similar planes in Europe, it didn't matter in South East and East Asia and the Pacific war theaters, where range and practicality were preferred qualities. Zeros had both.

Lightness came from removing armour from the seat and anything else such as for comfort. Two other features were weaker points: fuel tanks without receding rubber lining (ie. becoming smaller as fuel was used up like a bladderwhich Allied planes had) causing fumes to gather - one bullet in that caused explosions and numerous losses); separate controls for twin 20mm cannons and 7.62mm machine guns, which was OK for managing appropriate caliber when shooting, but bringing both to bear meant taking one's hand off joystick or throttle or both.

This article is about a past aviation engineering achievement, and that is all. Otherwise this war is over (except for the annoying technicality of the issue with Russia and those northern island territories).

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Or maybe the sin rests with those who saw the potential rise of a nation whose population weren't of European stock, and so adopted policies to thwart that rise, which allowed militarism to flourish, and led to inevitable conflict.

Ah, there it is... the mindset of the endless excuse and lack of responsibility.... "But, but, but.... "

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

@sf2k. Please feel free to tell the Commemorative Air Force based out of Dallas, TX that it ain't right. I'm sure they will be very sympathetic with your opinion. Or not so much. In addition to the many other WWII and immediately post-war aircraft in their inventory is an A6M3 just like this one that they have had since 1998. Also salvaged from New Guinea, I believe.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Boyington was initially a P-40 Warhawk fighter pilot with the legendary "Flying Tigers" (1st American Volunteer Group) in the Republic of China Air Force in Burma at the end of 1941 and part of 1942, during the military conflict between China and Japan, and the beginning of World War II. In September 1942, he rejoined the Marine Corps (he had been an aviator before the war). In early 1943, he deployed to the South Pacific and began flying combat missions as a Marine F4U Corsair fighter pilot. In September 1943, he took command of U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron VMF-214("Black Sheep"). In January 1944, Boyington, outnumbered by Japanese "Zero" planes, was shot down into the Pacific Ocean after downing one of the enemy planes. He was captured by a Japanese submarine crew and was held as a prisoner of war for more than a year and a half. He was released shortly after the surrender of Japan, and a few days before the official surrender documents were signed.

Used to love watching this TV show and the dog fights.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@LandofExcuses

Difficult to decide which is sadder... a Japanese who thinks the war started with Hiroshima, or a Westerner who thinks it started with Pearl Harbor. And all that happened before is "just details".

Lack of education on both sides.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@Clamenza

Dont confuse me with the Chairman of some right wing group in order to push your point through please.

Secondly, I am a Japanese Citizen, so you are wrong on both accounts.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

It is a part of history and should be preserved. As far as the war goes, it's over and almost all the people from that time are dead or dying. There are current conflicts in this world more important to focus on.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

A definite beauty and good on Mr. Ishizuka for making this happen!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@lucab   all Japanese know the war started by Tojo etcs with Pearl Harbor attack and ended after Nagasaki.  You are the only one in the world who are making up what Japanese think.   Maybe you wrote your thinking using Japanese? 

@David:  Japanese live longer years.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

It is a plane. It is part of history. Unless one was on the business end of it in WWII, perceive it for what it is, respect it for what it was. That war was hell, but this is a plane.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This isn't right. You can't remove the stain of war from it. Anymore than if he opened a concentration camp too, because it wasn't the camp's fault either.

Does that also apply to Luftwaffe warplanes that still fly, or only Japanese ones? What about the restored German and Japanese tanks? We can be interested in the machines of war without actually being warmongers you know.

By that reasoning, just scrap every WW2 aircraft, or turn them all into museum exhibits, never to fly again.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I've also visited Pearl Harbour, Hiroshima Peace Museum, Auschwitz, Anne Frank's House, sites in Okinawa - in fact; many places that are testament to (as I previously said) the futility of war and its brutal, tragic results.

I feel such places, exhibits and such are essential to remind us that man's inherent nature to kill over geography, ideology, race and creed are still very much with us.

Long may the Zero and other such artefacts remain with us to (hopefully) educate us over the horrors of conflict.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

WWII really has to come to an end.

FROM: The Ministry of Truth.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

To Shoko and Jeff Lee;

excellent posts both

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Toshiko, that should have read

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@oakes you said"For ¥60,000 you can become a support club member" that ok with me, but what happens to WW11 vet a survivor? would they get a free membership? the reason for saying this is my friends father in law is a Kamakazi pilot he is in his 90's, I asked my friend would it be possible to meet him, but he said no as he didn't want to talk about the war and he was rather grumpy, as for the project to get this war bird flying again, is it a question of restoration or conservation? I think that these should be kept flying so that we can teach children the wrong and futility of war. there is a whole generation of children that need to be made aware of history and what happened back in the past.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I've also visited Pearl Harbour, Hiroshima Peace Museum, Auschwitz, Anne Frank's House, sites in Okinawa - in fact; many places that are testament to (as I previously said) the futility of war and its brutal, tragic results.

Well, just to play devil's advocate here, all of the sites you mentioned were to remember the victims, not a celebration of the achievements of the aggressor.

While yes, historical artifacts, no matter what side they fought on deserve to be preserved and shown, but... Just to keep with the WWII comparisons, you won't find Post-Berlin Wall Germany rolling out the Panzer Division with full marks of their Nazi past down their streets.

The Zero was and is a remarkable achievement and should be in a museum, not proudly flown over a cheering crowd of a society that has never accepted their loss.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

There is no question that Japan's imperialist aggression and the hideous crimes against humanity that went with it. The restoration of the Zero is a necessary preservation of history, though the some of the vilest mass murderers in history made its creation a necessity.

The Zero was restored. It is now a piece of historical machinery, alongside Medieval armor, Civil War ironclads and Victorian factories. It is important to preserve the past. It is important to preserve the past or otherwise we cannot fully understand the present.

My interests: classic cars, ships, old buildings and airplanes.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Mona,

Japan had been the victim of Western aggression since the mid-1800s. Indeed, it suffered the first wave of assault 400+ years before. It did not go out seeking to assault and violate the West. It had to fight to retain its sovereignty and the Zero was, as other have pointed out, a remarkable technological achievement that shock the Western racist Imperialist view of not just the Japanese but Orientals as a whole.

The disbelief of the possibility of its existence by Western racist Imperialists is part of the historical record.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and the Zero was one such remarkable freedom fighter. Pun intended. Without it Japan would have had to just roll over and die to the Western masters like so many other Asian nations. It took Japan standing and fighting against them, from Russia onwards, to gain any respect at all from them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Zero was a fine (aquatic) bird. But do not forget itsmuch less well known terrestial cousin:

The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa "Oscar" was a single-engine land-based tactical fighter. Almost as good (and closely resembling) the "Zero", it was our enemy in Burma. Luckily the Japanese Army Command frittered it away on "hit and run" ground attacks, instead of using it as an interceptor, which was what it was. 100 mph faster, infinitely more agile and more heavily armed, it would have cut our Vultee Vengeance dive bombers to ribbons.

I believe that Japanese pilots had more "kills" with the "Oscar" than with any other type. But it was outshone by the more glamorous "Zero" (like Spitfire/Hurricane).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Zero fighter was piece a fine piece of machinery like the American Mustang, the German Foch Wolfs and Messerschmitts. The Zeros were no match, of course, for Allies war machinery. The B 29s saturation bombed Japan into a mud puddle before the A-bombs finally convinced an obtuse Hirohito to throw in the towel.

From people i knew who as children watch Zeros battle the B-29s said that when a B-29 was fatally shot it when down in a slow spiral. When a Zero was hit it just exploded--poof--and there nothing left.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be watched in conjunction with Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' (Kaze Tachinu, 2013), tracing the dreams of the designer vs the designs of the state.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Mona,

Japan had been the victim of Western aggression since the mid-1800s. Indeed, it suffered the first wave of assault 400+ years before. It did not go out seeking to assault and violate the West. It had to fight to retain its sovereignty and the Zero was, as other have pointed out, a remarkable technological achievement that shock the Western racist Imperialist view of not just the Japanese but Orientals as a whole.

The disbelief of the possibility of its existence by Western racist Imperialists is part of the historical record. 

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and the Zero was one such remarkable freedom fighter. Pun intended. Without it Japan would have had to just roll over and die to the Western masters like so many other Asian nations. It took Japan standing and fighting against them, from Russia onwards, to gain any respect at all from them.

oy vey. Can only hope that's sarcasm...

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

In terms of WWI war birds, I like Vought F4U Corsair because of its unique wing design.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a general rule pilots from all sides of the conflict were brave, never knowing if their next mission would be their last. Hoping that their machines would bring them home in one piece. The Zero was well made and a surprise to the Americans at Pearl. The superiority of the Zero over allied planes in 1942 did not last. Nor did the fear of allied pilots who faced them. However as a fighter that has its place in history it is well worth preserving some few of them.

The only true way to win at war is not to have one. Everyone in a war loses. Yes Japan attacked China and America and the Philippines and others in WWII. It's militaristic leadership of the time ended up with Japan and the region paying a heavy toll in lives lost. This is all a matter for history and has been recorded for posterity by all concerned so no one side can alter the facts as known by all.

The zero like most single engine fighter planes of their time is a beautiful piece of engineering. great to see any of them in the sky's where they belong.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Kobe White Bar OwnerToday 09:23 am JSTWas this not a copy of Howard Hughes H1? Either way a darn fine plane.

Seems like a bit of urban legend based on Hugh's unsubstantiated claim. While there are general similarities shared by many radial air cooled engine fighters, there is not direct similarity between the zero and the H1 racer.

"Aviation historians have posited that the H-1 Racer may have inspired later radial engine fighters such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. After the war, Hughes further claimed that "it was quite apparent to everyone that the Japanese Zero fighter had been copied from the Hughes H-1 Racer." He noted both the wing shape, the tail design and the general similarity of the Zero and his racer. Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi Zero strongly denied the allegation of the Hughes H-1 influencing the design of the Japanese fighter aircraft."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Toasted Heretic - the museum you visited was devoted to the Kamikaze pilots. And it totally misrepresents the reality; Young pilots had no choice in the matter. Cowardly officers put a paper in front of them to draw either an "0" accepting the mission or a "X" declining the mission. Those who declined suicide were thrust into constant combat missions sure to end in death at that stage in the war.

Those young pilots (16-18 years old) right out of training did not fly their planes at US warships shouting their devotion to the emperor. Most had to be held up in tears by ground crew just to get into the aircraft.

Once in the air, they were actually escorted by other pilots to make sure they didn't abandon the mission.

A disgusting footnote to Japans shameful war

Yeah; think you totally misread my post. As per usual, natch.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can't blame the machine for killing people. All war memorabilia should be kept alive to remind up and coming generations what went on and maybe learn from past mistakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cool looking plane. Peace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"...is a beautiful piece of engineering."

It was actually a crude piece of engineering, lacking armour, self-sealing tanks and other advances. Once the allies got their act together, their aircraft were able to easily shoot the Zero and other Japanese aircraft out of the sky.  Check out "the Marianas Turkey Shoot."

The Zero also couldnt be upgraded with more powerful engines, etc., due to its weak structure. The allies enjoyed kill ratios of around 10 to 1. It's strange to be proud of that kind of legacy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@JeffLee

The Allied aviation experts of the 1940s disagreed with you and I suspect they know more about military aviation than you.

Engineering is about choices and compromises. An object cannot be all things to all purposes. Could the Zero have been built with those things?

Of course, then it would have been as slow and unmanoeuvrable as those other planes, it's designers put speed and manoeuvrability about other factors.

And, indeed, it was slowly upgrade with them, contrary to what you wrote.

When Chennault reported the Zero’s exceptional performance to Washington, the reports were generally dismissed as exaggerated or impossible. Asians were not conceived as being capable of producing such a craft. When one was finally captured, it amazed the air force.

@ Kabukilover

I's not right to compare a B29 bomber to a light weight fighter. The reason for that is known, to achieve its brilliance, it was built out of a novel light weight alloy, not armored, and not fitted with typical safety features, e.g. the self-sealing fuel tanks.

Everyone knows the A-bombs did not do that, it's a very old argument merely designed to appease American's conscience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"...it's designers put speed and manoeuvrability about other factors."

True, and it was a flawed strategy. The plane's lack of pilot protection and other defensive features led directly to its extremely high attrition, giving the enemy superiority of the skies and decimating Japan's ranks of experienced pilots. How someone can argue that was a good strategy is beyond me.

The Zero's engineering was crude and one-dimensional and didn't come close to the standards employed by the US and UK.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Jeff Lee - true. The Zero was a good fighter for its time early in the war, but early successes against US pilots were an indication of how unprepared they were in both fighters and tactics.

Once they rolled out better fighters a year or so into the war and stopped traditional dogfighting against the more maneuverable Zero, it was all over but the crying

0 ( +1 / -1 )

japan began seriously planning and designing for war before the allies. As soon as the US knew it was in a shooting war it designed planes that left the Zero in the dust (literally).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jeff,

Engineering also happens within material and economic constraints and, as we know, Japan suffered from severe material constraints.

The Zero's development, and period of air superiority, was objectively, quite extraordinary and it took the USA to luck out and capture almost undamaged ones before it could back engineering it and work out counter strategies. It inspired the Allied engineering that finally defeated it.

US experts simply did not believe Japan, or any other Asian nation, was capable of developing such an aircraft and it was the world's most capable carrier-based fighter at the time. From no where. Its psychological and military shock value was worth it alone.

The "flawed strategy" in the picture was geological. Being born on a small, extremely resource limited island. As we all know, and Japan did at the time, it just did not have the industrial base to fight the USA in a prolong conflict, so it made the best of what it could.

From; Flying & Popular Aviation magazine, January 1941.

“Japan’s military planes are so few and poor in comparison with other powers … largely because civil aviation there is in an extraordinarily low state of development. The experience of the Japanese people with mechanical gadgets is definitely limited. They have not yet gotten beyond merely imitating what others have done. At that they are the world’s finest, but imitativeness is little help in aeronautics … anything the Japanese obtain via the imitation route is bound to be three years old. With planes being the most complicated and highly developed type of machinery in existence, a certain amount of native ingenuity is required to make them work…. Japanese industry is not well adapted to the high degree of precision required in planes.”

"Japan turns out a nation of blind patriots but gives only limited schooling in the mechanical arts. The general level of education in Japan is low. Their equipment is deficient. It takes a good educational system to turn out a nation of mechanics.”

The captured Zeros were flight-tested against the most modern aircraft then in the U.S. inventory and bested them all in range and maneuverability.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLeeToday 07:57 am JST"...

The Zero's engineering was crude and one-dimensional and didn't come close to the standards employed by the US and UK.

The early Type 21 through 32 zeroes were better than the Brewster Buffaloes, F4F Wildcat, P-36 and P-40s and other US fighters they engaged early in the war. It was the Zero's superiority that lead to planes like the F6 Hellcat, Corsair, P-47, P-51 etc. As for UK planes. As for UK planes Zeros weren't made of wood like Hawker Hurricanes and the only engagement between Spitfires and Zeroes in WWII (over Burma I think) resulted in a hands down victory for the Zero.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have heard that the speedy Zero had a go-faster button which the pilot could push for a few minutes of overboost. It was then uncatchable, but gradually allied pilots learned to hold back and wait until they ran out of steam.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The early Type 21 through 32 zeroes were better than the...Wildcat,....

The Wildcat scored a 6 to 1 kill ratio in combat against the Zero in 1942 and 7 to to 1 for the whole war. And the Wildcat wasn't considered by the Allies as a particularly good plane.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F4F_Wildcat#cite_note-polmar-2

Early engagements often saw the Zero come out ahead, but that was because Allies had yet to develop the right tactics and update their aircraft, whereas the Japanese had nearly a decade combat experience in China. Once the tactics were developed, the situation became a "turkey shoot" (in the pilot's own words) for the good guys.

Weapons systems are evaluated by a wide range of parameters. The Zero scored high on speed and maneuverability, but ultimately its myriad deficiencies in nearly all the other areas proved it inferior to most Allied aircraft from 1942 onward.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have heard that the speedy Zero had a go-faster button which the pilot could push for a few minutes of overboost. It was then uncatchable, but gradually allied pilots learned to hold back and wait until they ran out of steam.

no such thing as a "go faster button"

someone was telling you Porky Pies

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I actually do have a go-faster button in my car, but that is extra boost for the turbo.

No, this J person was serious. He said it was the strength and weakness of the Zero in that once the extra fuel for this was gone, then it was back to reality. "Porky pies"? I am shocked and disappointed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JeffLee

The US had been supplying planes, pilots, training, and indeed building aircraft factories, since the late 1920s but intensified their activities from 1936 onward to fight the Japanese.

The Zero was only introduction July 1940, so it's difficult to imagine how its pilots had a decade of experience.

Strategically, one Japanese expert described the loss of a nigh undamaged Zero to the Americans, allowing them to test and back-engineer it, to be equivalent the loss of Midway Island.

You appear desperate to paint anything Japanese bad and deny them even their technological achievements. Achievements even Allied experts in the field admitted.

There are no good guys in a war, only victims and abusers and the US was certainly not one. It fought its wars in Asia over the dead bodies of women an children. If in doubt, ask the Chinese why it chucked them out a coupe of years after the war and organized Anti- rallies and boycotts of their products? The same problem as Okinawa, except even moreso; a series of high profile rapes, murder, general crime, an increase in prostitution, and a generally arrogant, racist attitude to the extent whereby, in 1946, General Marshall was ready to withdraw the marines due to the political trouble they were causing.

It's all in the historical record. The Zero was the Zero.

Yes, the Nakajima Sakae engine was supercharged and had a boost control feature which activated a compressor under the central manifold that increased performance, otherwise it was able to run reliably on a very lean fuel mixture on extended flights giving it its outstanding range. Up to 12 hours in the air but generally six to eight at cruising speed.

You guys are trying too hard to put anything Japanese down. Example, you describe it as "weak", the experts called the "Super Ultra Duralumin", an aluminum-zinc alloy, remarkably strong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I was a nipper, I thoroughly looked forward to going to AirShows in which I'd see German WWI/II Aircraft being flown within the same airspace as Allied forces. It'd be great to see the Japanese one fly there too. They are all equally marvels of engineering of the day back in their times.

It's a pity that Japan doesn't host it's own International Airshow - they do however have a handful of displays put on by the local Defense force.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ishizuka paid over $3m to buy the wrecked Zero? To whom?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JeffLeeJune 29 01:37 pm JST

Early engagements often saw the Zero come out ahead, but that was because Allies had yet to develop the right tactics and update their aircraft, whereas the Japanese had nearly a decade combat experience in China.

The high ratio of kills attributed to the F4F Wildcat is regarded as the result of pilot skills rather than technical superiority. The Zero was considered technologically superior at the time.

"Ultimately, Wildcat pilots prevailed against Zero pilots by means of better tactics and, later in the war, better training. Operating in four ship flights and two ship elements, instead of the three plane Vics used by the Japanese, gave Allied pilots more flexibility in air to air combat. Teamwork, such as the famous Thatch weave, was an effective antidote to the Zero's superior performance. By the end of the war, the various Wildcat models had proven very effective in air to air combat and recorded slightly in excess of a 6 to 1 kill ratio."

http://www.chuckhawks.com/1v1_zero_wildcat.htm

It wasn't until Sep 1943 when the F6 Hellcat entered the war that the tide turned technologically on the Zero. The Hellcat is attributed with 70% of the kills in the Pacific Theater.

Don't see that statement about the Japanese having had a decade of combat experience in China being significant, after all most of the decade was with bi-planes. Both the F4F Wildcat and Zero were introduced in 1939.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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