X-Plus XP330050 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - Aircraft Carrier Hiryu, Pearl Harbor, December 1941 (1:144 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945.
It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service. In Japan it was unofficially referred to as both Rei-sen and Zero-sen. The official Allied code name was Zeke (Hamp for the A6M3 model 32 variant); while this was in keeping with standard practice of giving boys' names to fighters, it is not definitively known if this was chosen for its similarity to "Zero". Special Order!
Wingspan: 3 inches
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "Flying Dragon" - Hiryū (Japanese: "Flying Dragon") was a modified Sōryū-class aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was one of the carriers that began the Pacific War with the attack on Pearl Harbor. After being heavily damaged by air attacks 4 June 1942 at the Battle of Midway, Hiryu sank on 5 June 1942.
The ship was built within the specifications of the Washington Naval Treaty that was in place at the time, which placed limits on its tonnage and armament. As a result, the Sōryū and Hiryū were relatively small as fleet aircraft carriers compared to their contemporaries during World War II, carrying around 70 aircraft. Compared to her near sister Sōryū, Hiryū was almost four feet greater of beam, 2,000 tons heavier, and had her island superstructure placed on the port side and farther aft on her flight deck.
The Hiryū was also built with the deficiencies of the Ryujo in mind, which suffered from topweight problems as well as a small flight deck that delayed flight operations. Compared to the Ryujo, the Hiryu had a larger flight deck, hull and an endurance distance extended by nearly 3000 miles.
The port side island was an unusual arrangement; the only other carrier to share this feature was the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi. The Akagi and the Hiryū were intended to work in a tactical formation with starboard-sided carriers, in order to improve the flight pattern around the formation, but the experiment was not continued beyond those two carriers. The enlarged bridge design created turbulence, causing far greater deck accidents in the Hiryū than her sister carrier.