A6M2 (China)

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RANK 6 USA
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
␗A6M2
a6m2_zero_china.png
GarageImage A6M2 (China).jpg
␗A6M2
Purchase:1 300 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
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Description

The ␗A6M2 Reisen is a premium rank III Chinese fighter with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB) and 3.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack".

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Max speed
at 4 400 m510 km/h
Turn time17 s
Max altitude10 300 m
EngineNakajima Sakae 12
TypeRadial
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight2 t

This aircraft is a copy of the A6M2 in the Japanese tech tree: it has really good turning and maneuverability, is able to accelerate fast, has a good climb rate and is known for being the best turn-fighter at its battle rating with the cost of being very weak in terms of armour protection against enemy fire. This aircraft also has a slow top speed, but is still very competitive with other fighters at its BR.

One thing many players note when fighting the Zero is its immense manoeuvrability and turn rate. It is incredibly nimble and has an amazing climb rate, which allows you to run literal rings around many opponents. Even fighters renowned for manoeuvrability, like the mighty Spitfire, will think twice before engaging in a turn fight with the Zero. The Zero's lightly loaded, high-lift wing and low weight make it a dream to fly at speeds below 400 km/h, with an ability to execute wild gyrations and zoom climbs at the whim of the pilot. However, the Zero is hard to handle as it approaches speeds of 480 km/h.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,400 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 491 477 10300 17.7 18.1 10.2 10.2 175
Upgraded 531 510 16.8 17.0 17.4 13.3

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
660 310 484 451 280 ~13 ~7
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 270 < 420 < 410 > 324
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,400 m 950 hp 1,075 hp

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural660 km/h
Gear310 km/h
  • No armour plates
  • No armoured glass
  • No self-sealing fuel tanks (1 in each wing root & 1 between the cockpit and the engine)

Your biggest asset to survive is your extreme manoeuvrability: use it to stay out of the enemy's crosshair. The absence of armoured protection means incoming shots from any angle will penetrate and inflict damage to your critical components. A fuel tank on fire will in almost every case burn entirely through, leading to the airframe's destruction.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 100 Sl icon.png
RB6 200 Sl icon.png
SB540 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts120 000 Sl icon.png
Aces400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 60 / 200 / 280 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 136 / 136 / 136 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Mods ammo.png
type89_belt_pack
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
type97_new_gun
Mods pilon bomb.png
9 in (mod30)
Mods ammo.png
type99mk1_belt_pack
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
type99mk1_new_gun

Armaments

Offensive armament

Ammunition120 rounds
Fire rate516 shots/min
Ammunition1 360 rounds
Fire rate900 shots/min

The A6M2 (China) is armed with:

  • 2 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 navy cannons, wing-mounted (60 rpg = 120 total)
  • 2 x 7.7 mm Type 97 navy machine guns, nose-mounted (680 rpg = 1,360 total)

Suspended armament

Number of setups1
List of setups
Setup 12 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 ground bomb

The A6M2 (China) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 bombs (120 kg total)

Usage in battles

The best tactic to use in this aircraft is to sneak up behind your enemies and use your excellent turn rate to your advantage, something that most other fighters don't have at the BR. The most dangerous enemies in this aircraft come from above, Boom and Zoomers will rain fire from above if you are not careful.

Force an enemy pilot into a dogfight at 370 - 400 km/h and below 6,000 meters. At this speed and altitude, no enemy fighter can out-manoeuvre or out-climb you. Jump on cruising enemy aircraft from above. Fasten onto the tail of the bandit, use your superior manoeuvrability to match his evasive moves, and put enough rounds into him to bring him down. Use your machine guns first to "bore-sight" the enemy - once you get hits on him, finish him off with your cannons. Below 480 km/h you can fling the Zero all over the sky to get on an enemy's tail or to shake off all but the most determined attacker. Climb away from most enemy aircraft, hanging on your prop in a near-vertical climb. Manoeuvres like the Immelmann are easy, and heavier fighters can't stay with you. The Zero rolls faster to the left than to the right. Roll left to tighten your turn and get onto the enemy's six. Don't dive away from attackers - your plane doesn't have the power or weight to out-run most fighters. To exploit your plane's best performance, force the enemy lower and slow down the pace of the engagement.

Mastering trigger control is crucial for the A6M2, as each of its Type 99 Model 1 cannons only has a 60-round drum that runs out very fast with a long burst which is commonly done by inexperienced pilots. A good way to practice trigger discipline is to fire short bursts for no more than 3 seconds each time. This can be very effective as a short burst of the 20 mm is generally enough to cripple if not destroy a target.

Realistic/Simulator Battles

The A6M Zero is overall a great plane to fly. Its advantages include the extremely smooth handling, impressive turn rate, low stall speed, the ability to not enter spins in extreme manoeuvres, and decent rear visibility. It is able to pull really tight turns or barrel rolls without losing control or going into a spin, allowing the player to use this stability to their advantage. Its disadvantages, however, are the fragile protection, wing-mounted guns with very little ammo, and the cockpit scattered with frames. Although not thick, these frames can still be obstructions in a fight. Also the gunsight is small and mounted very low, resulting in inadequate visibility over the nose. This can limit the player's ability to see the target in a turn fight since to lead the target, the player must cut inside its turn, meaning the nose will now block the target. The A6M can perform dogfighting, some ground pounding and some intercepting.

You can bring the minimum amount of fuel (29 minutes) since this model of the Zero only has a 60-round drum per cannon, as a result you might need to constantly return to airfield to reload so there is no need to bring more fuel. Set the convergence to 150-300 m. When taking off, the A6M will shift severely to the left so it is best to set separate keybind for left and right brakes to counter the torque.

For dogfighting, it is better to engage with an altitude advantage so climb to around 2,500 m. Track the opponent using lead or pure pursuit, as with lag pursuit you will eventually end up at the 6'o clock of the target aircraft whose fuselage will soak up most of your MG bullets, and your wing mounted cannons will become really awkward to aim. With the amazing stableness the aim should be easy. Target their wings or nose and avoid the back half of the fuselage as there is usually nothing in there. You can turn with most planes with your combat/takeoff flaps deployed. Note that it is best to fire in 5-round/half-second bursts to avoid wasting cannon rounds. Once the cannons are out, the leftover 7.7 mm MGs can only effectively damage single engine fighters.

For ground pounding with bombs, look for tanks and pillboxes. First you need some separation between you and the target so you have enough time to line-up the drop. Dive at the target at a rather shallow angle, and release the 60 kg bombs when you are very close, with the target below the gunsight and filling up around half of it. If you only use the MGs, your targets are trucks, AAA and howitzers. Dive at it and stabilise the plane so the gunsight stays overall still at the target. Then, once the target fills out around 1/6 of the gunsight, open fire. If your aim is accurate you can destroy one target in a single pass. However, it is very recommended to set keybind for firing MG only as you can definitely not waste the valuable cannon rounds. Save them for any unexpected dogfights.

Landing is easy thanks to the low stall speed and lovely handling. Line up and approach the airstrip at treetop, decrease speed to at most 210 km/h and deploy combat, takeoff and landing flaps in order. Further decelerate so the touchdown speed is no more than 180 km/h to avoid bouncing up. Keep braking until the plane reaches a full stop, you don't have to worry about the nose dipping down and causing a propeller strike.

Enemies worth noting:

  • P-61: this plane is one tough nut to crack. It is quite fast, packs a fatal punch, has a searching radar, and a deadly turret on top. The turret consists of 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns that cover the upper half of the plane, and most P-61 players tend to fly low or get you into their upper half to target you with the turret. Avoid being above them at all costs, utilise the Zero's manoeuvrability and sneak under their belly. Its appearance resembles a P-38: a center fuselage with two engine nacelles extending backwards and forming the twin tail like a frame, you will know it is a Black Widow and not a Lightning when red tracer bullets start shooting out from it.
  • I-16: the late I-16s are equipped with ShVAK cannons that can be pretty dangerous to your fragile airframe. They can turn equally well as the Zero, have superior roll rate but the stability is so terrible that as soon as they pull a little more on the stick, they will enter spins. Therefore it is quite easy to counter them: engage a turnfight with them and turn tighter and tighter, or do a few barrel rolls. They will quickly lose control and start spinning and it is quite hard to recover. Then simply get some separation, turn around and put some solid shots into them. They have an I-15's short and fat fuselage, a flat radial engine and triangular stabilisers located right after the low-mounted mono wings, all covered in olive green paint.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent turn and roll rates
  • Excellent climb rate up to 4,500 m
  • Good cannon armament
  • Extremely manoeuvrable, your opponents will have a hard time hitting you
  • Very good at catching enemies off guard
  • Can out turn most enemies it can face
  • Tail hook enables it to land on carriers
  • Very short takeoff distance
  • Excellent smooth handling in simulator and great rear visibility

Cons:

  • Mostly faces Japan (facing equally/more manoeuvrable planes)
  • No armour and no pilot protection
  • Limited 20 mm cannon ammunition
  • 7.7 mm machine guns don't really do any significant damage
  • Guns have different trajectories, you need to get really close to a target to be effective
  • Attacking bombers is one of the worst jobs for the Zero, as it is easily damaged by tail gunners
  • Slow in a straight line
  • Strictly limited to the air-to-air role, although it performs exceptionally in it
  • No self-sealing fuel tanks and the plane is littered with fuel tanks, will ignite and burn to death quite often
  • Can easily be countered by just doing simple Boom & Zoom as the Zero lacks adequate energy retention
  • Low dive speed, and easily compressed in a dive
  • Has lots of bars inside the cockpit, limiting visibility
  • Prone to ripping during high-speed manoeuvres

History

Main article: History of the A6M2

After the first encounters with the Zeke in September 1940, Japanese forces proved their superiority over the poorly equipped ROCAF with only biplanes and very few monoplanes imported from US, making Zeke invincible over the Chinese skies up until 1942.

Zekes in KMT forces

In spite of the supremacy of the Japanese aviation over the Chinese forces, KMT forces still got their hand on two A6M2b Zekes at Leizhou Peninsula, Guangdong in 26 November, 1941, the plane V-172, sn. Mitsubishi 3372, manufactured in 21 October, 1941, belonged to the Tainan Air Group (Tainan Kaigun Kokutai 台南海軍航空隊) and was piloted by staff sergeant Inoue Shichigosanzo (井上七五三造; fate unknown)[1] and V-174 by sergent Takaaki Shimoto(下東孝明; fate unknown); they were then dismantled and transported to Liuzhou (now in Guangxi) for further studies and ROCAF decals were painted onto V-172, it was then evaluated by the AVG-the Flying Tigers where Claire Lee Chennault was in command, that was in fact the very first complete Zeke captured by allied forces. Later in October, just 3 months after the Akutan Zero was discovered in Alaska, KMT forces captured another A6M at Hainan and transported it back to Guilin (now also in Guangxi) for studies as well, these 2 Zekes served as the few examples for the allies to exploit the flaws of the "invincible Zeke".

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

  • A6M2 (USA) - USA-captured A6M2
  • A6M2 - Original version in the Japanese tree

External links

References


Mitsubishi Company (三菱商会)
Fighters  A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4
  A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu · A6M5 Hei · A6M6c
  A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2
  J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)
Hydroplanes  F1M2
Interceptors  Ki-83 · Ki-109
Bombers  G4M1
  Ki-21-Ia · Ki-21-I hei · Ki-67-I Ko · Ki-67-I otsu
Jet Fighters  Ki-200
Captured  ▃A6M2 · ␗A6M2
See also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (1945+)

China fighters
British  ␗Gladiator Mk I
Japanese  ␗A6M2 · ␗Ki-27 otsu · ␗Ki-43-III ko · ␗Ki-44-II hei · ␗Ki-61-I otsu · ␗Ki-84 ko
American  CW-21 · Hawk III · P-66 · ␗P-40E-1 · H-81A-2 · ␗P-43A-1 · ␗P-47D-23-RA · ␗P-47D-30 · ␗P-51D-20 · ␗P-51K
Soviet  ␗I-15bis · ␗I-153 M-62 · ␗I-16 Chung 28 · ␗I-16 type 5 · ␗I-16 type 10 · ␗I-16 type 17 · ␗La-9

China premium aircraft
Fighters  ␗A6M2 · H-81A-2 · Hawk III · ␗Ki-45 hei/tei · ␗Ki-84 ko
Jet fighters  Shenyang F-5
Strike aircraft  A-5C