A6M3 Model 22 Zero 3852 (Two Seater)
The plane is currently on public display for visitors to see at the Flying Heritage Collection at 3407 109th St SW. Everett, WA, 98204. It is one of 15 aircraft, most of which are flyable, currently the facility.
The plane is quite close to being fully flyable. To a casual observer, it is nearly ready to go. To the mechanics and staff, there are quite a few issues, including small mechanical preparations, final prep, and, of course, paint. These would have to be addressed before the plane could be added to the flying rotation. The project has been delayed. I'll certainly let you know when we begin to work on it again.
The path from airfield wreck to flyable aircraft is a long one. And, since the FHC required the plane be more than a static display but regularly operated, the restoration necessitated many new parts. The discoverer of the wreck(s) Bruce Fenstermaker and restorer Bruce Lockwood of the Santa Monica Museum of Flying (MOF) both agree that the three Zeros recovered at Babo were rebuilt with some original parts. Specifically, the landing gear and mechanical components from the center section of the fuselage. These were cleaned up, deemed flyable, and added to the project. Many other parts, of course, were reverse engineered from unserviceable or the mangled components from the wrecked Zeroes or fabricated using surviving sources as guides. The wings and spars would be a good example of parts that are most certainly recreated for a flyable fighter. So, like most aircraft restorations of the era, it is a mix.
Interview with Cory Graff via email January 6, 2010
Flying Heritage Collection - Official Website
Welcome by Cory - Flying Heritage Collection