Warbird Obsession- page 2 | Military Aviation | Air & Space Magazine
Current Issue
October 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 47% off the cover price!

(John M. Dibbs / The Plane Picture Co.)

Warbird Obsession

It's an addiction. Admitting you have it is the first step.

Zero

None
(John M. Dibbs / The Plane Picture Co.)

“If one had any sense or a desire to stay alive, you didn’t try and mix with a Zero, at any costs,” Squadron Leader Robert W. Foster, RAF told James Busha, who wrote the text of The High Battleground. In 1937, the Japanese Navy requested an airplane with a maximum speed of more than 310 miles per hour at an altitude of 13,000 feet. The fighter also had to be able to climb 9,800 feet in under three and a half minutes, stay airborne for about one and a half hours, and operate from a carrier deck. (All this with an engine in the 1,000-horsepower class.) “Just glancing at the requirements made me gloomy,” aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi later recalled. But Horikoshi’s Zero remains the fastest fighter ever powered by a 1,000-horsepower air-cooled engine, and was rated by the U.S. Army Air Forces as superior to the P-38, P-39, P-40, P-51, F4F, and F4U—the best U.S. fighters of the day. The Zero pictured here is part of the Commemorative Air Force, based in Pacific Coast, California.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus