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Model 21 Zero Confirmed for Oshkosh

Dakota Blayde Zero's restored 1941 Nakajima A6M2 Model 21 Zero

An extremely rare World War II fighter aircraft will appear at AirVenture Oshkosh 2010: a restored 1941 Nakajima A6M2 Model 21 Zero from Japan, owned by North Dakota corporation Dakota Blayde Zero LLP. This excellent example of an Axis aircraft will be on display during the week at the new showcase in the Warbirds area, "The Scotts Warbird Alley," and will also appear at the convention’s final Warbirds in Review program set for 1 p.m. Sunday, August 1.

"I am pleased to report that the Warbirds in Review schedule is now complete," said Connie Bowlin, program coordinator who confirmed the appearance. "What a great way to end the week."

The aircraft, S/N 1498, was restored from a wreck discovered in the Ballale Island jungles in the Solomons in 1965. The airplane's restoration has been praised by Japanese aeronautical engineers and other world experts. Everything is original on the airplane except the engine, a Pratt & Whitney 2800. Its restoration lasted several decades.

Classic Wings magazine, in a 2008 article titled, "The Perfect Zero," described the restoration: "With only one genuine Zero flying today, collectors have had to settle for totally rebuilt aircraft powered by American engines to fill the void. Most have started with recovered remains which are good for patterns, and totally rebuilt the aircraft, having to remanufacture thousands of parts, costing vast amounts of time and money. One of the most exquisite machines to be reborn in this way is Zero '1498'."

Warren Pietsch, air show performer who flies the airplane and is one of the principals of Dakota Blayde, flew it up from the Fargo Air Museum last week to the Dakota Territory Museum in Minot. Preparations are under way to bring it to Oshkosh the week before AirVenture.

Other Dakota Blayd principals are Cindy Beck, Tri-State Aviation, Wahpeton, N.D., and Tim McPhearson of Tall Towers Aviation, Page, N.D.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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