F6F Hellcat vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1943-44 (Duel, by Edward Young

By Edward Young

Within the key Pacific conflict battles of the Marianas Turkey Shoot, Leyte Gulf, and in and round Japan itself (from past due 1943 via to VJ-Day) the relevant warring parties concerned have been the F6F Hellcat and the A6M5/7 Zero-sen. the previous used to be Grumman's successor to the pugnacious Wildcat, and its production was once formed through the strive against studies of Naval Aviators flying the F4F opposed to the A6M2/3 Zero-sen from overdue 1941. Blooded in wrestle opposed to the japanese in August 1943, the Hellcat went directly to function the vital US army fighter on board provider decks till war's finish. regardless of its lethality within the air whilst ranged opposed to the easiest jap combatants, the Hellcat nonetheless retained docile dealing with characteristics round the provider deck. Naval Aviators flying the Hellcat claimed in way over 5,000 kills within the Pacific, and greater than three hundred pilots completed ace prestige at the kind. nearly all of those victories took the shape of A6M5 Zero-sens, the most-produced version of the ultimate Mitsubishi fighter - a few 6000 have been outfitted from past due 1943 via to war's finish. The A6M5 reached front-line devices simply because the Hellcat was once making its strive against debut, the recent model of the Zero-sen being in accordance with the former A6M3 version yet with converted flaps and ailerons and thickened wing skinning. It was once basically intended to be an meantime layout pending the arriving of the A7M Reppu and J2M Raiden. in spite of the fact that, terminal improvement issues of the previous and technical concerns with the latter intended that the A6M5, and re-engined constrained run A6M7 (150 built), needed to carry the road via to September 1945. via now badly outclassed by way of the Hellcat, actually hundreds of thousands of Zero-sens fell sufferer to US military fighter squadrons within the ultimate years of the battle.

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Extra info for F6F Hellcat vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1943-44 (Duel, Volume 62)

Sample text

Com A Zero-sen takes off from an airfield on Rabaul as a groundcrewman working on a Type 1 Navy Attack Bomber (“Betty”) turns to watch. (via the author) 59 ENGAGING THE ENEMY 60 6 0 All models of the A6M Zero-sen were equipped with the Navy Type 98 reflector gunsight. Based on the German Revi 2b, the Type 98 gunsight featured a circular reticle pattern. It replaced earlier model telescopic gunsights, going into production shortly after the A6M2 Model 21 Zero-sen entered service. Unlike their American counterparts, the IJN and JAAF developed their own gunsights and other equipment – a seemingly unnecessary duplication of effort.

Landing gear control 56. Altimeter 57. Rudder pedals 58. Airspeed indicator 59. Gun charging controls 60. Cockpit heater control 61. Turn and bank indicator 62. Ammunition rounds counter 63. Fluorescent lights control 64. Rate of climb indicator 65. Wing lock safety control handle 66. Manifold pressure gauge 67. Chart board (retracted) 68. Oil temperature gauge 69. Fuel pressure gauge 70. Fuel quantity gauge 71. Control column A6M5 ZERO-SEN ZERO SEN COCKPIT 1 4 4 2 3 71 23 5 6 15 24 7 8 11 10 9 23 16 17 18 25 32 33 34 26 19 27 14 13 47 21 20 22 30 31 29 49 28 12 37 34 40 35 41 42 39 36 48 46 43 45 38 44 1.

Tight horizontal and climbing turns, rolls and chandelles were also frequently employed in combat. More critical to the survival of Zero-sen pilots in combat with the Hellcat was the IJNAF’s comparative lack of coordinated defensive tactics – the lack of adequate radio communication was a great handicap in this regard. The IJNAF failed to develop a tactical system of mutual support comparable to the US Navy’s section and division tactics. It was late to adopt the two-element, four-airplane formation of most other air forces, continuing to use the three-airplane shotai formation well into 1944.

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