Pacific Aircraft (US, Allied & Japanese)
Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero' or 'Zeke'
This fighter - by far the most famous of all Japanese aircraft - dominated the first six months of the aerial war in the Pacific, and continued in service until the end of hostilities. The Zero, allied code-name 'Zeke' was remarkable in being the first carrier fighter to outperform its land-based equivalents. It was designed by Mitsubishi to meet the severe demands of the 1937 Imperial Navy specification for a ship borne fighter - demands which included a speed of 311 mph and an armament of two cannon and two machine-guns. The result was a small, lightly-built aircraft with outstanding maneuverability. From October 1944 until the end of the War Zeros were employed in hundreds of kamikaze attacks on American warships
Mitsubishi Zero (Fighter Bomber) - code name 'Zeke' (off-site link)
Aichi D3A 'Val' Allied reporting-name 'Val'
Was the standard Japanese carrier-based dive-bomber during the opening stages of the Pacific War, operating with great effect in the Pearl Harbor attack and in the great carrier battles of 1942, but also suffering heavy losses in those battles.
Aichi D3A (Dive Bomber) - code name 'Val' (off-site link)
Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty'
Allied reporting-name 'Betty' - was the main 'heavy' bomber of the Japanese Navy during World War II. It was remarkable for its long range, but this was achieved by depriving the aircraft of armor while providing it with huge fuel tanks in the wings. Since the tanks were not self-sealing the Betty was extremely vulnerable, tending to go up in flames whenever hit. This led to its receiving the derisive nicknames 'One-Shot Lighter' and 'the Flying Cigar'. Despite its range and speed, it was therefore - not surprisingly - unpopular with its crews.
Mitsubishi G4M (Heavy Bomber) - code name 'Betty' (off-site link)
US, Allied and other Japanese Aircraft
Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War (off-site link)