Vought V-143


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  FIGHTERVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Vought  

Vought V-143

The V-141 having acquired a somewhat alarming reputation, the aircraft was redesignated V-143 and, with modifications to the tail unit, entered in an Argentine fighter contest. As the spinning characteristics of the fighter were still unsatisfactory, the prototype was fitted with an anti-spin chute before demonstration, a fact of which a competing manufacturer made capital. In May 1937, in an attempt to improve the marketing prospects of the V-143, a number of engineering changes were introduced. The rear fuselage was lengthened considerably and an SB2U-1-style tail assembly was fitted in an attempt to eradicate the handling shortcomings of the fighter. At the same time, a Pratt & Whitney R-1535-SB4G engine of 825hp was installed. The USAAC evaluated the modified prototype on 18 June 1937, but again rejected the aircraft. As no export orders for the fighter - which was also offered with a 525hp Wasp Junior engine as the V-150 - materialised, the sole V-143 prototype was sold to the Japanese Imperial Navy, which assigned it the designation AXV1. Although it was later to be widely alleged that the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen was based on the V-143, there was no truth in such allegations, although Vought's method of undercarriage retraction provided the inspiration for that of the Japanese fighter.

Vought V-143A three-view drawing (1280 x 916)

  Take-off weight1982 kg4370 lb
  Empty weight1583 kg3490 lb
  Wingspan10.21 m34 ft 6 in
  Length7.92 m26 ft 0 in
  Height2.84 m9 ft 4 in
  Wing area17.37 m2186.97 sq ft
  Max. speed470 km/h292 mph
  Range1300 km808 miles

John Kress, jwkress47@yahoo.com, 27.12.2020 16:21

Assuming that the Japanese designer used the Vought V-143 as a starting point he made excellent design changes to convert a plane no one wanted into a thoroughbred killing machine.


jcf, e-mail, 08.02.2021 John Kress, jwkress47@yahoo.com

Jiro Horikoshi didn't use the V-143 as a starting point for the A6M, the Northrop /Vought design has nothing to do with the Zero, even the landing gear claim is dubious.


BHH, 15.04.2015 20:21

@ Blair. Yes, EXACTLY. Except the shape of the wing is very different. This one a straight leading edge, the Zero tapers both leading and trailing edges. Also the shape of the forward fuselage from the canopy to the engine is totally different. Also the shape of the vertical tail is dramatically different in taper than the zero. Also the aft fuselage below the tail is fatter on this than the zero. Also, as you said the razorback fuselage is totally different. Also the landing gear and wheel arrangement is reversed from the zero.

But other than all that, yeah... um... totally the same.


blair, e-mail, 07.12.2014 02:57

It does look exactly like a razorback Zero! I think the USAAF just did not want to admit they turned down a good design!


joe, 29.08.2009 05:39

no comment


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com