One of the many CAF West Coast war birds in attendance at this years Aviation Nation, Nellis AFB.
Mitsubishi A6M3 "Zero" Model 22 Japanese Fighter #N712Z
Serial No. 3869 / Tail No. X-133
560 A6M3 Model 22s were built between December 1942 and summer of 1943. The A6M3 was built after the Battle of Midway, with longer wings, folding wing-tips (for carrier use), a more powerful engine and the longest range of all the Zeros.
The first flight of the "Zero" fighter was April 1, 1939. Allied Intelligence applied the name "Zeke" to the A6M, but it was better known as the Zero, the name derived from its type designation after the year in which it was put into service - 1940. Mitsubishi and Nakajima built 10,449 "Zero" fighters (more than any other type of Japanese aircraft). The single-seat fighter has light-weight all-metal construction and fabric-covered control surfaces. As the fighting on Guadalcanal raged, the Zero 22s were rushed to Buna in New Guinea and Buka in the Solomon Islands to provide cover over the supply route to Guadalcanal.
Our Zero was delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Group #3. The aircraft was recovered from Babo in New Guinea in 1991, partially restored from several A6M3s in Russia, then brought to the United States for completion of restoral. In 1998 the aircraft was re-registered and displayed at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying. Currently, this aircraft has a Pratt & Whitney R1830 engine (compared to the original Sakai engine in the Planes of Fame Museum's flyable A6M5 Zero). There is, nevertheless, the fact that Japan had a contract with Pratt & Whitney before WWII in which P&W provided engines for fighter planes and other aircraft. It is, therefore, conceivable that some of the planes participating in the Pearl Harbor attack could have been powered by American engines.
Crew Chief: Yoshi Abe
Zero Crew: Ken Gottschall, Robert Blair..
Text copied from the CAF West website. www.cafsocal.com/zero.htm