A6M Mitsubishi Zero Build

by aviator08 | December 8, 2015 | (10) Posted in How To

After building the Kelley F4U Corsair with the folded fuselage, and recieving all the complementary comments, I decided that it could be improved upon if I could make the fuselage truly round. I also wanted to try my hand at another big rounded fuselage aircraft. At the suggestion of a couple of the comments from the Corsair Build, I decided to work on the A6M Zero as it would make a great complementary dogfighting aircraft. With just a couple of changes the fuselage came out fully rounded and seems to still maintain the lateral strength. This was acomplished by removing the entire inside paper and taking the power pod plate all the way back to the tail.


 A6M Zero build Video



 I started out by building the fuselage for the Zero using two bulkheads and an extended power pod plate. The power pod plate extends all the way back to the trailing edge of the horizontal stabalizer. This provides the needed stability to replace the inside layer of paper that was removed to allow it to form the fully rounded shape. The horizantal stabalizer / elevator and vertical stabalizer / rudder were added next in typical FT fashion with the front of the power pod plate being the reference point for level.


 Here is the comparison of the folded fuselage I used on the Corsair build and the rolled fuselage used on the Zero. The rolled fuselage is actually easyer to assemble then the folded fuselage was. 




 Satisfied that the rolled fuselage would work, I set out to build the wings.  I also decided to add optional flaps to the Zero build for realism. 


 Now to figure out where to insert the wing correctly. 


 Wing and rear turtledeck installed. 


Canopy and Landing gear installed.




  Ready for paint


 Paint almost finnished. 


After flying the maiden flight, I realized the I had a loose servo..... no wonder I had a bit of a time keeping it straight. Thank goodness the landing went well.

 Maiden Flight


 Shortly after the Maden flight of the prototype, I burned up my good 1150 kv motor by running it on a 4 cell Lipo. It made the Corsair fly extremely well, but alas, it didn't last long. I have flown the build video Zero with a 1350 kv motor that I had but it got too hot quickly. I flew the Build Zero in the video with a 905 kv motor with a 12 x 6 prop and a 3 cell Lipo and it did Okay, but not quite as well as the 1150kv with the 10x6 prop did. I think once I get a 850-905 kv motor that is capable of handling a 4 cell Lypo and use a 12 x 6 prop, that will be the ultimate ticket.

I really like the way the rolled fuselage turned out. The assembly is still an advanced build, but with a little patience it is well worth it. The A6M Zero flies very scale, able to do loops and rolls with ease. I added a little more height on the landing gear from the prototype to accomidate a larger propeller. The Flaps do slow the landing speed down and look very scale. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The A6M Zero is a formitable foe to the F4U Corsair. Looks like there might be a dogfight in the air!!






WEIGHT WITHOUT BATTERY: 21 oz. ( 595 g) 
CENTER OF GRAVITY: 3" ( 76.2  mm) from leading edge of wing 
CONTROL SURFACE THROWS: 16˚ deflection - Expo 30% 
WINGSPAN: 44 inches (1117.6 mm) 
RECOMMENDED MOTOR: Park 425, 1150 kv

RECOMMENDED PROP: 10 x 6, 10 x 7 prop 
RECOMMENDED SERVOS: (4 ) 9 gram servos


MOTOR: 840-905 kv 4 cell

ESC: 40 amp

PROP: 12 x 6

BATTERY: 4 Cell 2200 mah Lypo



jamboree1 on March 7, 2016
Now that's thinking outside the BOX, literally, Such a great looking build. One of my biggest gripes about FT planes has been they look like 1970's to 1990's Volvo's with wings.
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topper60 on March 7, 2016
nice plane, nice technic and nice pilot too bravo
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aviator08 on March 16, 2016
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. Planebreaker ,thanks for the feedback. It is always gratifying to know that someone else enjoys it also. Have fun and fly safe!
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Yogenh on March 6, 2016
It looks and flies really good.

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planebreaker2000 on March 6, 2016
Great idea on the rounded fuse. It looks great.
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planebreaker2000 on March 16, 2016
This is a great flying plane! I just got done building and flew it. It performs quite well. I did make a few minor changes. Permanent firewall no power pod and I printed it at 115%, but otherwise as per plans.

Thank you for your design and the build video it makes the build go much easier. It is an awesome flying plane and it looks good in the sky.
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Huskersfan74@gmail.com on March 11, 2016
I saved the "Tiled Plans" for this plane and I am trying to print them out. I have a canon MG5500 printer and I am wondering if I need to print the pages "full page" or "fit to page". I don't want to waste 25 sheets of paper and ink printing them wrong so any help you can give me would be great.
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Huskersfan74@gmail.com on March 11, 2016
I figured out my problem, but I chose to leave the comment just in case someone else has the same problem. I figured out by using the 1" x 1" scale on page 24 that I need to print "full page" in order to get the 1" square. If I print "fit to page", the dimensions come out to less than 1"
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ray574 on January 19, 2018
You might try looking at planes that are the same size as yours and get the motors that they use. This is what I have always done with complete success. You are using too large prop for motor speed (kv) thus causing too much voltage draw for the motor.
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ray574 on January 19, 2018
On a side note, you can complete your engine cowling by cutting half inch wide rings with outside diameter matching the front of plane, about 4 to 6 of them to finish off the very front of the cowling , remove paper, glue together with foam c/a, not hot glue, and then sand the outer edge to taper like the actual plane. Cheap but realistic results. Excellent zero, by the way, great job.
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Pigi19 on September 2, 2020
Buongiorno, appena collaudato il mio zero e vola benissimo con motore 900kv ed elica 12x6
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A6M Mitsubishi Zero Build