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.


Specifications A6M3 Type 0 Model 22General characteristicsCrew: 1
Length: 29 ft. 9 in.
Wingspan: 39 ft., 4 in.
Height: 9 ft., 8 in.
Empty weight: 3,984 lbs.
Loaded weight: 5,609 lbs.
Powerplant: 1× Nakajima NKIF Sakae 14 cylinder, air-cooled radial engine, 1,130 hp
Note: Our aircraft has a Pratt & Whitney R1830 enginePerformance
Maximum speed: 388 mph at 19,690 ft.
Range: 1,929 mi.
Service ceiling: 36,250 ft.
Rate of climb: 3,100 ft/min.Armament
o 2× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 97 machine guns in the engine cowling
o 2× 20 mm (0.787 in) Type 99 cannons in the wings