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At Eagle Farm Airfield, this Zero was reconstructed from parts of at least three Zeros including: A6M3 3028 (using the engine) A6M3 3030 (using the main fuselage and wing section) and A6M3 3032 (using the rear fuselage and other components). Plus, parts from other Zero wrecks captured at Buna Airfield.
This aircraft was possibly designated with an ATIU code XJ00. At one time, it appeared to be painted overall gray. Later was painted with American 'star & bar' markings. With the aid of an interpreter and a Japanese pilot prisoner, the personnel were able to create a cockpit check list.
The first test flight was on July 20, 1943, took off piloted by test pilot Captain William O. Farrior flight for 30 minutes and checked the trim. No problems were encountered and no major adjustments were needed except for some trimming.
The second test flight was on July 21, 1943 took off piloted by Captain William O. Farrior on another 30 minute test flight, but the engine cut out due to carburettor problems forcing him to make a dead stick landing. Afterwards, the right landing gear was repaired, but this Zero still had a tendency to ground loop, but this time in the opposite direction, so a tail wheel lock was installed to fix the problem. The brakes proved to be very inferior despite numerous relining, adjustment and checking of the system. As a result, all pilots were ordered not to use the brakes except in extreme emergency.
After the repairs, test pilot Captain William O. Farrior made additional flights in this aircraft on July 27, 1943 for 40 minutes, August 6 for 2.3 hours, August 10 for one hour, August 11 for 30 minutes, August 13 for 1 hour 5 minutes, August 21, 1943 for 2.5 hours, August 23, for 2.5 hours. On September 1, flown for 1.3 hours, September 2 for 2.1 hours and September 8 for 4.5 hours. in total, he flew this Zero for 20 hours and 45 minutes.
Later, it was shipped to the USA for further testing at Wright Field and later Eglin Field.
Richard Dunn adds:
The ultimate fate of this Zero is unknown. Likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared at the end of the war or after testing was completed.
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