Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly April 1944. True serial number 357, the 357th produced by Nakajima. Assigned to the 261 Kōkūtai. Tail code 61-120.
During March of 1944, assigned to Aslito
Airfield on Saipan.
During June 1944, captured by US Marines at Aslito Field. This Zero was one of twelve aircraft (plus spare engines) loaded aboard the USS Copahee including A6M5 1303, A6M5 4340, A6M5 5350, A6M2 5352, A6M5 5356, A6M5 5357 (this aircraft). All were transported to the United States for evaluation.
United States Testing
Assigned number TAIC 5, it was flight
tested at Patuxent River, Maryland accumulating 190 hours of flight
time. One of the pilots to test fly it was was
Charles A. Lindbergh.
Discarded by the military after the war, this Zero was acquired
by Edward T. Maloney in 1950. The Zero was restored and first flew in June
1978 and has about 200 hours of flight time since the rebuild. Assigned
Civilian registration NX46770 The Zero has done two tours in Japan,
one shortly after it was restored, and was the first Zero to fly over
Japan since the war, and again during the summer of 1995. This aircraft
is the only authentic, flying example of the Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Model
52, with its original Sakae engine.
This Zero is displayed at Planes of Fame Museum. Often, this Zero flys from Chino Airport for their annual airshow or for special events.
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
Pacific Aircraft Wreks page 63 (upper left and right)
Thank to Edward Maloney and Jim Long for additional information
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September 9, 2020