Mitsubishi Zero (oz2544)


Mitsubishi Zero (oz2544) by Walt Musciano 1954 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Mitsubishi Zero. Scale model fighter for control line. Air Trails, February 1954. Design by Walter Musciano. Scale is 1/16.

Quote: "One of the biggest surprises of World War II was the fact that the Jap Zero lighter could outclimb and outmaneuver the best of Allied fighters during the months immediately following Pearl Harbor. These clean-looking craft held their own against some of the best US planes for a longer period than the American flying forces like to remember.

Much confusion existed as to the actual identity of the real Zero. At one time, during 1942, as many as three Japanese planes were called 'Zero'. The Mitsubishi S-00 Mark I turned out to be the real, vaunted enemy fighter. This craft was called 'Zeke' and is listed as such on all identification charts. A virtual twin, Hamp, was also called the Zero. Plans for both planes are shown.

Power was a 1,200 hp Mitsubishi Kinsei, twin-row, air-cooled, radial engine which pulled the craft to a top speed of 345 mph. Range was 1,600 miles with the aid of an auxiliary detachable tank. This tank, incidentally, was made of papier mache and plywood as a material conservation measure. A 500 lb bomb could be substituted for it. Armament consisted of two 7.7-mm machine guns in the upper cowl and two 20-mm cannon mounted in the wing.

The Achilles heel of the Zero was the fragile eggshell construction that was necessary to obtain a light wing loading for its excellent maneuvering qualities. For this reason, the craft could not outslug its adversaries but relied on its climbing ability and maneuverability to utilize hit and run tactics.

Our control line replica of this famous plane is built to the scale of 3/4 in - 1 foot, and will accommodate engines from .14 to .33 cubic inch displacement. A Veco 29 engine powers the prototype model. However, alternate engine installations are illustrated including upright and pancake mountings.

Construction is started by cutting the vertical keel to shape. Be certain to cut out for the wing and stabilizer as well as bellcrank mount. If a pancake engine installation is used, with a beam mount, spaces should be cut out of the keel for these mounts. Install the mounts now, if required. Cut the formers and plywood bulkhead to shape and cement to the keel. Note that the bulkhead should be cut out only to accommodate those engines with an attached tank. This bulkhead is normally left solid. Cement the bellcrank mount in place.

Attach the wire lead-out lines to the bellcrank and bolt the bellcrank to the mount. Be sure to twist and solder the ends of these lead-out lines as illustrated on the plans. Cut the elevator and stabilizer to shape and sand smooth. Cement the elevator halves to the dowel spar and add the control horn, When thoroughly dry the elevator assembly is hinged to the stabilizer. Cloth hinges are used. Firmly cement the stabilizer into the slot in the keel and add the control rod.

Attention should now be directed to the wing. In order to attain the width required the wing covering must be butt-joined. When this joint is dry the sheet covering is cut to outline shape. Taper the balsa spars as described on the plan. Sand smooth and cement to the lower sheet covering. Saw the plywood spar joiner in one piece and firmly cement this to the balsa spars, thereby forming the correct dihedral automatically..."

Update 26/05/2016: Replaced this plan with a clearer copy scanned from fullsize, thanks to JJ.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to Pit. Also, previous scan version.


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Mitsubishi Zero (oz2544) by Walt Musciano 1954 - model pic


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