Mitsubishi A6M Zero

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A6M "Zero"
Replica of Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero Model 22 (NX712Z), used (with the atypical green camouflage shown) in the film Pearl Harbor
Role Fighter
National origin Japan
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
First flight 1 April 1939
Introduction 1 July 1940
Retired 1945 (Japan)
Primary users Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
Chinese Nationalist Air Force
Produced 1940–1945
Number built 10,939
Variants Nakajima A6M2-N

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero, often called just the A6M Zero or simply the Zero was a long range carrier ship-based fighter aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. The aircraft was built by Mitsubishi, making its first flight in 1939, and entering naval service in 1940.[1]

It was the primary fighter used by Japan during the war. It was the primary enemy of US Naval aircraft such as the Grumman F4F Wildcat, Vought F4U Corsair, and later the Grumman F6F Hellcat, which was specifically designed to combat the Zero. The A6M Zero was the best fighter at the beginning of the Pacific war. However, late in the war, new American fighters were able to defeat it.

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  1. This airplane type was named "zero" because it entered service in 1940; and 1940 was the 2600th year since Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. The Japanese Imperial Year was Kōki 2600 (皇紀2600年).

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