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From the country that brought you WWII in the Pacific...


Moon The Loon
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This was the lead line in a series of proposed commercials to advertise Honda's arrival in North America in the 1960's. Needless to say, the agency didn't get awarded the contract.

50 years later, I recalled that phrase after looking up at the sound of a throaty radial engine overhead. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. After reviewing many photos on web-sites, my observation seems to confirm I was looking at a Mitsubishi Zero in flight in the skies over Ottawa.

Wow.

Googling "Mitsubishi Zero" brought me here:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/28/world/restored-japanese-zero-fighter-plane-flies-over-japan/

This is close to what I saw -

 

images.jpg

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Hmmm..ahhhh errr...I would like to believe you about a Zero over OW but I have my doubts. There are only about 4 that are in flying condition and I think only one has an original Sakai engine in it. The rest have P&W engines.  What you may have seen is an AT6(American) or as we called it, the Harvard, that has been modified to look like a Zero, many for use in WW2 films.

Based on my only 150 hours in the "Hazard" I can tell you it did have a throaty engine as well :unsure:

At the end of WW2, McArthur, I think ordered all Zeros destroyed and all tech manuals etc destroyed. There is one Zero south of the border that was recovered and some elderly Japanese gentlemen that help build the original sent secreted manuals and tech drawings to help with the retoration but alas...many parts were just not available and the restored aircraft do noit have the Sakai engine and parts of the landing gear are also modified.

 

Just for fun.....

The flight line at RCAF station Penhold in 1963.....with my brand new Yashika 35 MM...(as you can see...not used to it yet) the centre of the photo has a fellow Officer Cadet who ground looped and is being rescued from the one legged Harvard.......he was later CT'd (Ceased Training and released)

00013_s_13akrvrvqx0176.jpg

Shot out of the back seat as my instructor took me up to learn instrument flying

00015_s_13akrvrvqx0409.jpg

Taking a break from Instrument flying from the back seat and I shot this one of me trying to do a barrel  roll from the rear seat...

00018_s_13akrvrvqx0239.jpg

Edited by Kip Powick
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Thanks Kip. With all respect, the distinctive rounded wingtips of the Zero are a giveaway. Harvards/Yales had a squared off wingtip. The engine installation was also more "compact" to the rest of the airplane.

I'm not denying your observation, but I'm interested to find out if the Zero in my link is the airplane I saw. What if it was???:o

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I wonder if it could be:

A6M2-21 c/n 5549 (Nakajima built) WI-187 Recovered from Balalae Island in 1965 after service with 201 Kokutai, was with Robert Diemert, Manitoba, Canada. Now reported with Blayd Corporation, Carman, Manitoba, and being used as a pattern for building a new Zero. Project commenced in 1994 and is estimated to take 60,000 man-hours. The new aircraft will fly with a P&W R-1830 engine.

http://www.seattlepi.com/business/boeing/article/Newly-acquired-Japanese-Zero-set-to-fly-Saturday-3619660.php

http://www.ascalecanadian.com/2012/06/flying-heritage-collection-fly-day-zero.html

IMG_0185.JPG

 

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If you are real curious, give Vintage Wings in Gatineau a call...maybe they have a lead on it. Not exactly warbird weather, though.btw..going through their inventory, the p40 has rounded wing tips and a similar looking tail section, but no radial. 

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Many years ago, I went to a factory in Manitoba, that had nothing to do with Diemerts brutal operation.  It was in the southwest somewhere and run by an old man and his two sons.

They were making BRAND NEW ZEROS from parts of wrecks out of jungles.  I think the plan was to make 4-6.  All they need per airplane was the serial plates to be considered "original", and they had them, plus several wrecks.

You should have seen the level of artisanship required to make one of these.  When I was there they were milling wing spars, which were continuous 39 feet with the spar twist of several degrees over the entire length.  It was taking a month per spar, as they had to start over several times.  They said it was the reason no one ever built one other than the factory.

i really don't remember too much other than they had 2-3 quite full looking wrecks (lots of bamboo used inside).  I really don't know what happened to the project, but I'll state again, this wasn't Diemert. If any of this rings a bell, I'd love to fill in my blanks.

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1 hour ago, acsidestick said:

Many years ago, I went to a factory in Manitoba, that had nothing to do with Diemerts brutal operation.  It was in the southwest somewhere and run by an old man and his two sons.

They were making BRAND NEW ZEROS from parts of wrecks out of jungles.  I think the plan was to make 4-6.  All they need per airplane was the serial plates to be considered "original", and they had them, plus several wrecks.

You should have seen the level of artisanship required to make one of these.  When I was there they were milling wing spars, which were continuous 39 feet with the spar twist of several degrees over the entire length.  It was taking a month per spar, as they had to start over several times.  They said it was the reason no one ever built one other than the factory.

i really don't remember too much other than they had 2-3 quite full looking wrecks (lots of bamboo used inside).  I really don't know what happened to the project, but I'll state again, this wasn't Diemert. If any of this rings a bell, I'd love to fill in my blanks.

I believe this link may be helpful

Restoration of Japanese Aircraft
First, he restored the D3A2 Val 3178 using an American Wright R-2600 radial engine, and flew it to Ottawa where it was donated to the Canadian National Aviation Museum, in return for the transportation services of the Canadian Air Force (CAF). 

Diemert then restored two Zero fuselages at the same time in the 1970's. The first plane, given A6M2 4461, but crashed on its first test flight. He then used the rear fuselage of the second fuselage to rebuild a single Zero that was then sold to the USMC Museum.

 http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/restore/diemert/index.html

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4 hours ago, Say Again, Over! said:

Can you get me an approximate place as well as date and time?  I'll try a replay and see if we had him tagged up.

Hi SA,O: I was walking along Richmond Road vicinity Island Park Drive at roughly 11:45 Wednesday morning 23 November. He was about 2,000' southbound. You might just solve the mystery!

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On 2016-11-23 at 10:45 PM, bluemic said:

Hey Moon,

Don't suppose you could've spotted a Nanchang CJ-6 perchance?  Everyone and his dog seems to have one stuffed in a hangar these days....

mic

From Don's post (above), the CJ-6 had a nose gear. Still got doubts what I saw! Any insider hints, Say Again, Over??

Edited by Moon The Loon
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From the NRC website:

Quote

The Harvard is a post-war single-engine propeller aircraft used extensively by the Royal Canadian Air Force for flight training. It is capable of high-g "aerobatic" manoeuvers and carries 2 pilots and an advanced instrumentation package in the rear seat. Its flying qualities make it an ideal demonstrator for out-of-control recovery technique training and the rear cockpit can be modified to host advanced avionic displays. The unique display capability allows prototyping and assessment of novel and unique flight display technologies to aircrew in a broad range of flight conditions.

 

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Thanks Say Again, Over! Hey Kasey, sounds like a pretty good use of tax dollars!  :lol:

The airplane is a joy to fly - a good friend took me up in the one he and another owned - we did aerobatics for an hour or so...the log-book entry for the trip was, "therapy..."

Edited by Don Hudson
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The NRC aviation folks are doing some pretty important work in the establishment of navigation and communication technology upgrades in Canada. They've also been heavily involved in increasing the understanding of airborne icing.

Edited by J.O.
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