Sussing out the 'Chengdu Zero'In the spring of 1941, the Chinese succeeded in shooting down an A6M Zero fighter over the city of Chengdu, north of Chongqing. From the wreckage, and from interrogating Japanese prisoners, they managed to assemble a very accurate data sheet and three-view drawings of the new Japanese fighter. The drawings were given to the U.S. naval attache, Marine Corps Major James McHugh, who passed them on to the Navy Department in Washington. He also gave a copy to Chennault when the latter returned to China in August 1941; Chennault in turn supplied them to the War Department and used them in his own training program. (The drawings had one flaw: the aircraft's tail section had been destroyed, so the Chinese rounded it off like the tail of a Nakajima Ki-27 fighter. Thus, when Chennault sketched the Zero on the blackboard at Toungoo that fall, he actually drew something very like the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa flown by the 64th Sentai of the Japanese army.) What appears below comes as close as I can to the data sheet as I found it in the Chennault Papers. I have used X where a Chinese character appears in the table.
Engine X KNI - HP 840 - Air-cooled, two row 14 Cylinders