A6M8 - The Final Zero

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Far before the A6M Zero was outmatched by newer Allied aircraft, Mitsubishi was tasked on designing a successor carrier capable fighter, the A7M Reppuu. Due to the extreme requirements, this aircraft would not be completed without the new 2200hp MK9 engine, which would not be finished before 1945. Finally when production of A7M was about to start, the Mitsubishi plant was devastated by and earthquake and a B-29 raid.

Partially due to Navy’s demands to keep up the production numbers and belief that there were no better fitting engines for the compact A6M, they were all build with different variants of the NK1 Sakae engine. When hopes of A7M production starting any time soon were crushed and ceasing Sakae production, the Imperial Navy needed to get something in production quickly to fill their ranks. There was of course the Kawanishi N1K1-J and N1K2-J, but increasing their production rate was slow due to the troublesome NK9 engine being in high demand for multiple projects, like Army’s Ki-84.

At this point it was decided to try mounting Mitsubishi Kinsei 62 into the A6M. This was a promising idea, because in just few weeks Kawasaki had managed to convert their inline engined Ki-61-II Kai into the highly praised Ki-100. The Kinsei was already an old engine at this point, but good thing about it was how the slow and carefull upgrade process had filed down flaws from it, making it extremely reliable.

Two prototypes were build and test flights soon commenced. A tendency to overheat was quickly discovered, resulting into some improvements in the cooling system. New test flights were successful and right away the Imperial Navy placed an order of 6300 units, but not a single one was made before the war ended.

Main differences to A6M5 Hei would of course be the improved engine power from 1130hp to 1500hp, which improved the climb rate and sustained turn rate to levels of earlier A6M variants. It was also the fastest Zero, but only by a small margin due to the large cowling. The large intake at the top side is said to be similar to that in B6N and the spinner taken from D4Y3. The 13.2mm Type 3 machine gun from the cowling was removed, slightly decreasing the fire power, though it is said this variant was planned to have the Type 99 mark 2 model 5 cannons, which fired at 750rpm.

General characteristics

Length: 9.237 m
Wingspan: 11 m
Height: 2.986 m
Wing area: 21.26 m²
Empty weight: 2150 kg
Normal Load: 3300 kg
Fuel capacity: 510 L internal + 300 L in droptanks
Water methanol: 80 L
Lubricating oil: 63 L
Reduction ratio: 0.633
Propeller diameter: 3150 mm
Propeller pitch: 24"/49"
Powerplant: Mitsubishi Kinsei 62 (Ha-33-62)

  • 1500 hp at 2600rpm take-off
  • 1350 hp at 2600 rpm at 2000 m
  • 1250 hp at 2600 rpm at 6000 m


Maximum speed: 590 km/h (367 mph, 319 kn) at 6000 m (19 685 ft)
Cruise speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
Never exceed speed: 700 km/h
Take-off distance: 200 m
Landing speed: 138 km/h
Range: 1822 km/h
Service ceiling: 11 200 m
Rate of climb: 13.42 m/s
Time to altitude: 6000 m in 6 minutes 50 seconds
Wing loading: 155 kg/m2
Power to weight ratio: 0,454 hp/kg


2 × 20mm Type 99 model 2 mark 5 cannons in the wings, with 125 rounds per gun
2 × 13.2 mm Type 3 machine guns in the wings with 240 rounds per gun

2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 bombs
1 x 250 kg Navy Type Number 25 Model 2 bomb (with special bomb rack)
1 x 500 kg Navy Type Number 50 Model 2 bomb (with standard drop tank rack)
1 x 500 kg Number Type 2 50 Model 1 GP(SAP) bomb (with standard drop tank rack)
10 x Type 3 No.1 Mod.28 Mk.1 rockets
2 x Type 3 No.6 Mod.27 Mk.1 rockets



Specifications and Performance of Service AirPlanes of the I.J.N

【完全ガイドシリーズ306】零戦完全ガイド Mook, 2020

Yellow Series Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Arthur Juszczak, 2001


Absolutely +1

If I understand correctly, this plane cannot mount a 250kg bomb by default, but that could be done with any A6M with a “special” suspension system. This is quite distinct looking rack. Early Zero variants indeed used this in late war, even A6M2s.

Meanwhile the 500kg was mounted with the standard drop tank rack.


Yes. +1

Really cool +1

I’m all for another Zero for the collection, but the BR it might end up in would make it hard to be competitive. Assuming that it would be in 5.0 with A6M3 mod 22Ko and the A6M5, it would face the start of the superprops that the marginal upgrade isn’t going to do much to help out…

1 Like

great idea

A6M5 Otsu is already 5.3, so this would likely be 5.7.


Oh right. Even more yikes!

Hope the a6m2s can also carry a 250kg bomb

1 Like

This would be an excellent plane (for Gaijin to uptier haha)

I’d look forward to the improved 20 mm cannons


It’s too bad those are only ever mention for A6M8 and A7M2. However most IJN fighters produced during late 1944 and in 1945 should get 620rpm firing version.


This would be awesome, but Gaijin would uptier our planes by at least another 5 BR levels


Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.