Die Cast Model Grumman G-21-A Goose
"The Wings of Texaco"
In 1993, the Texaco Oil Company began to release one famous die cast airplane each year by offering them through their dealer service stations. They have continued this practice each year since that time. The display here in the museum is the fourth in the series and is actually a small coin bank which is used by inserting coins into the model through a slot on the top of the fuselage.
Each of these are authentically scaled replicas of the actual airplane. This particular airplane has a unique historical background that is based upon an actual Grumman Goose that was purchased from Grumman in June 1940.
The twin Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. radial engines delivered a top speed of 205 MPH and had a maximum range of 1150 miles. The Texaco Goose was flown by the Texaco-Arkansas Division of the Producing Department for the superintendent of the New Iberia District in southwestern Louisiana. In 1942 it was assigned to replace an older Goose in the Houma District, where it continued to serve until it was sold in 1948.
Source: Excerpts from schauscollectibles.com
Japanese A6M Zero Model
The museum model represents the Japanese A6M Zero airplane. The design of the Zero began in May, 1937, by Mitsubishi and Nakajima, and was a carrier based fighter aircraft. The specifications for the airplane called for two 7.7 mm machine guns and two 20 mm cannons.
Each airplane also had radio direction finding equipment for navigation and a full array of radio gear. The chief designer at Mitsubishi was Jiro Horikoshi. Using a top secret aluminum, T-7178, he created an aircraft that sacrificed protection in favor of weight and speed. The airplane was one of the most modern fighters in the world when it completed testing.
The A6M entered service in 1940, and became known as the Zero because of its official designation of Type O Carrier Fighter. They were fitted with 950 HP Nakajima Sakae engines and the aircraft exceeded its design specifications. A superior dogfighter to the early Allied fighter, the Zero was able to out maneuver its opposition. The Zero was responsible for bringing down at least 1,550 American aircraft between 1941 and 1945. With the arrival of the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the F4U Corsair, the Zero was finally eclipsed and the kill ration which was 1:1 dropped to 1:10. During the course of the war over 11,000 A6M Zeros were produced.
Source: Some excerpts from militaryhistory.about.com