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Hasegawa 1/48 Mitsubishi A6M1 12SHI Experimental Zero Fighter (Re-Issue) Kit

Hasegawa 1/48 Mitsubishi A6M1 12SHI Experimental Zero Fighter (Re-Issue) Kit

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$31.99 $39.99

On September 27, 1937, the Aviation Board of the Imperial Japanese Navy (II N) convened to discuss a proposal for a new carrier-borne fighter type. The board commissioned both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Nakajitra Aircraft Company co-design prototypes_ What resulted from this bid competition would go on to become one of the most successful fighters of the Second World. War -- the Zero, The design spec most desired by the navy for the new type was to have 20mm cannon as the main armament -- a vast increase in firepower over the 7,7mm machine guns that comprised the standard main armament of Japanese fighters at the time. The Oexlikon 20rnm cannon design was determined best suited to the fighter's foreseen primary mission, i.e. winning and maintaining air superiority in the skies over the future "decisive naval engagement" for which the IJN had been perennially and habitually planning for decades. Specs also called for six hours of "loiter time" over the battle. area -- a range capability theretofore unheard of in carrier-borne fighter design. Although the design was originally intended to be powered by the Nakajima Saka.e engine, prototypes l and 2 were powered by the Mitsubishi Znisei engine. These prototypes were given the official UN alphanumeric aircraft designation A6 M1. and when fitted with the Sakat, the design became known as the A6M2. The reason for the Sakae being given .the final nod was that there were problems with the two-stage supercharger on the Zuisei. The lines of the new fighter were drawn up to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. Towards this end, the oil cooler intake under the cowling on the first prototype was made as small and unobtrusive to the air-stream as possible, but resulting problems saw the oil cooler intake given the more protruding aspect characteristic of later Zeros. The Zuisei Type 13 was a two-stage supercharged engine capable of 875hp at 3,000m, according to official claims_ Fitted to the new fighter prototypes, the powerplant initially drove a two-bladed propeller, but resulting vibration problems on the maiden flight saw the immediate adoption of the more familiar three-bladed type that would later be fitted to all production model Zeros. Severa1 other characteristics in the appearance of the Zero prototype are distinguishable from production models, including difference in radio antenna angle, shorter tail area and low setting of the horizontal stabilizers The prototype made its maiden flight on April 1, 1939, and went through considerable subsequent testing and evaluation before the design went on to fame and glory as the production model Zero fighter series.

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