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A6M2 engine and negative G load

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The Akutan Zero's engine would cut out under negative Gs. 

Because of this, several historians and books have cited this as a weakness of the plane.

On the other hand, I've heard that this was actually due to a mistake while repairing the Akutan Zero, and that the real thing had no such issue.


The Zeros were also known for attacking bombers upside-down down to speed up their break-off. This seems unlikely if their engine couldn't stay on. But this could still be an issue with just the early models, like with the Spitfire.

As a side note, modern Japanese media portrays the Zero as perfectly capable of flying inverted.


Is there a good way to know which is true? It'll be important to the sim to get this right.

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1 hour ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

When the captured Zeke was repaired, the technicians made a mistake with the carb, causing negative G issues.  A6Ms in service with the IJN had no such issue.

That's what I think too, but I read that on War Thunder. It felt weird disagreeing with actual historians with that as my source lol

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Eric Brown flew that Zero and he doesn't mention any carb cutting out and he had his fun with that plane. But the carb cutting out is mentioned in other places as well, but I find those sources more doubious. The Zero was one of Browns most enjoyabe rides, despite some shortcomins in control like shifting trim over the speed range and relatively poor ailerons. But 4500 ft./min climb is respectable in 1941...

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Ask ChatGPT:

Q: Does the A6m Zero fighters engine cut out during negative g maneuvers?

ChatGPT: Yes, the A6M Zero fighter's engine could cut out during negative g maneuvers. The aircraft's carburetor was not equipped with a float chamber, which meant that during negative g maneuvers, fuel flow to the engine could be disrupted and cause the engine to stall. This was a significant disadvantage for the Zero compared to other aircraft of its time.


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