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How many of you have a B-24/B-29 pilots seat?


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#1 P-59A

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:42 PM

This is my seat. The paint indicates it came off a PB4Y. When I got it the canvas was going south so I found a period correct shelter half and had an auto upholstery shop make a pattern from the old canvas and reuse the batting. Anyone care to post theirs?

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#2 P-59A

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:43 PM

The back.

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#3 P-59A

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 10:17 AM

I can't be the only one...can I?

#4 JDK

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:57 PM

I have one. Ive had it for years. Picked it up from a guy in AZ. I think I posted it on here a few years back

JD

Edited by JDK, 27 July 2019 - 07:58 PM.


#5 P-59A

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 09:05 PM

I have one. Ive had it for years. Picked it up from a guy in AZ. I think I posted it on here a few years back

JD

JD, Please feel free to post it again. Doing an internet search I found (not counting seats in B-24/B-29 aircraft) less than 12. Most of the photo's were from several years ago. I really thought more were around. I picked up a bare head rest off e-bay last week. I was thinking of having copy's of it made and doing a paper pattern of the canvass for those who don't have a head rest as most of the ones I saw on line were missing the head rest.


Edited by P-59A, 27 July 2019 - 09:09 PM.


#6 JDK

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 02:47 AM

Will do. Mine has the frame for the headrest, but not the canvas. If you ever put something together, let me know. Most seats Ive seen dont even have the frame for the headrest. Ive also been on the hunt for the elusive seat pad for these. Ive got one for a B-17, but it doesnt fit the bucket properly. Not thick enough.

JD

#7 JDK

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 02:48 AM

Btw...nice looking seat! Youve done a nice job with it!!

JD

#8 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:27 AM

Will do. Mine has the frame for the headrest, but not the canvas. If you ever put something together, let me know. Most seats Ive seen dont even have the frame for the headrest. Ive also been on the hunt for the elusive seat pad for these. Ive got one for a B-17, but it doesnt fit the bucket properly. Not thick enough.

JD

JD, During the war pilots wore the red group QAC parachute. They detached the parachute and sat on them. For a seat pad I use the seat pad from a parachute.



#9 pararaftanr2

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:16 AM

JD, During the war pilots wore the red group QAC parachute. They detached the parachute and sat on them. For a seat pad I use the seat pad from a parachute.

I'm curious where you heard that? I'd think sitting on the hooks of a QAC pack would be extremely uncomfortable, even with a seat pad on top, when on a mission of any length. I was always under the impression they wore the harness, but the pack was stowed near their emergency exit.



#10 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 10:45 AM

I'm curious where you heard that? I'd think sitting on the hooks of a QAC pack would be extremely uncomfortable, even with a seat pad on top, when on a mission of any length. I was always under the impression they wore the harness, but the pack was stowed near their emergency exit.

One of my hobby's for the last 20 years is looking for WW2 aircraft crash sites. I was also a volunteered at the Western museum of flight when they were at Hawthorn. On a B-24 the pilot and copilot go out through the top canopy hatch. They sat on the parachute and wore their harness. In the event of a bail out they would pop open the canopy above the seats grab the parachute and snap it on as they bailed out. I was talking to the son of the pilot of a B-24 crash site I went to. His dad made it into Rippley's Believe it or Not. In short the bomber mid aired and the pilot popped the top canopy. The bomber had lost its tail and he was tossed out through the hatch before he could get his parachute. His foot got snagged in the canopy frame and he was hanging outside the bomber as it was spinning and looping down. His parachute came out of the hatch and he was able to grab it, snap it on, kick his foot free and pull the ring. The chute deployment pulled him away from the bomber before impact and the concussion of the explosion popped open his chute and blew him off the impact site. He was the only one to get out. His dad never flew in a bomber again. He became a fighter pilot and flew in the ETO. His dad retired as a Lt. Col. USAF. If you noticed WW2 aircraft seats have a deep seat pan. Bombers and Fighters alike. All Pilots sat on their parachutes no matter what kind of parachute rig. The reason fighter pilots wore the AN-6513 and bomber crews wore the QAC was mobility. Fighter pilots don't move around so their parachute is a part of the harness. Bomber crews move around and need to be free of the parachute to do needed tasks in the bomber. This was the case up until the B-8 parachute came out.


Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 10:48 AM.


#11 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 12:45 PM

paraftanr2, I think you are mixing up the B-17 pilots seat up with other seats. The B-17 came out in the 1930's...pre war. Those did have seat cushions that were also flotation devises. The B-17 has a shallow seat pan that was really not made for a parachute to be placed on and the same is true pre war aircraft like the C-46 and C-47. Having said that most B-17 pilots and co pilots learned to make due sitting on their chutes The thinking on seat design changed with the reality of aircraft going down and the need to get your hands on your parachute fast. Sitting on your parachute insured it wasn't floating around the aircraft as it is going down.

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Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 12:48 PM.


#12 pararaftanr2

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 01:24 PM

Thank you for the reply P-59A. That's all well and good, but you didn't answer my question. Not looking to start an argument, but with all due respect, I had asked where you heard that pilots ever sat on their QAC pack specifically, either red, or yellow, group? Off course pilots of single seat aircraft wore a seat, or back, parachute. I'm the son of a former C-47 pilot, have studied WW2 for decades (yes, I'm old) and have collected the memorabilia (with an aviation preference) for 37 years. Not once have I seen, heard, or read, of a pilot who sat on his QAC pack. Not in rigger manuals, pilot information files, period training films or first hand written accounts. Thus my question. If you could provide a specific reference, or photo thereof, I'd be most appreciative and could say I learned something new today. Thanks again.



#13 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 03:15 PM

This is the bail out chart for a B-17 (still looking for the B-24) This chart shows the location of places to stow parachutes and "dingy's" aka life raft. As shown the Pilot sits on his raft and the chute is located behind him...no seat cushion's listed. The raft and chute are the same size. Take your pic as to what you would rather sit on.

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#14 pararaftanr2

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

For comfort, I think the raft is a clear winner without snap hooks or D-rings protruding into your bottom. It's packaging was designed to be sat on, unlike that of the chest parachute pack. As the war progressed and pararafts actually became available for use by bomber crews, to supplement the larger multi-place rafts that had previously been provided, attachments were added to the parachute harness for a pararaft. A parachute seat cushion was also available, designed specifically to integrate with the one man raft pack when worn with a seat, back, or chest parachute. 

The chart you provided is for a B-17F, and shows the pilots exiting through the bomb bay with their chest packs stowed behind their seats. It is a bit easier to see in this larger image, where the pararafts are referred to as a "Dinghy", which was the English term:

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Edited by pararaftanr2, 04 August 2019 - 03:48 PM.


#15 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 03:59 PM

I hear what your saying. Smallfield was saved because he was sitting on his chute. That is what he told his son and that is what his son told me. If it had been stowed away it never would have gone out the hatch. I think more to the point is the pilot would decide what was in his best interest. I have a life raft and sat on it in my seat. It's not as nice as you may think. 

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#16 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:02 PM

The raft has snap hooks and nothing keeps them in place when you are sitting on it. I think the only thing that would make any difference is the amount of clothing they wore. Lots of padding.

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Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 04:05 PM.


#17 pararaftanr2

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:02 PM

Below is the chart for the B-24. The chest packs for both pilot and co-pilot are stowed, behind their seats. For the pilot, his pararaft is stowed there also, while the co-pilot's raft pack is on the port side of the fuselage. Both men are shown to exit via the bomb bay.

 

P-59A, you have an awesome collection of pilot seats, which is something to aspire to, my congratulations. You've also done a great job on their various restorations. Thanks for sharing them with us.

 

 

 

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#18 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:15 PM

On my fighter pilot set up the pilot is on a seat pad attached to the harness on top of the parachute. I have worn this rig in both seats. It feels like you sit a little high but bomber and fighter seats can be adjusted. That seat pad would make a difference when it comes to hours behind a stick and being its not attached to anything it can be disposed of if needed. I don't know for a fact anyone did this, but if I can figure that out I'm sure others may have.

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Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 04:15 PM.


#19 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:17 PM

Below is the chart for the B-24. The chest packs for both pilot and co-pilot are stowed, behind their seats. For the pilot, his pararaft is stowed there also, while the co-pilot's raft pack is on the port side of the fuselage. Both men are shown to exit via the bomb bay.

 

P-59A, you have an awesome collection of pilot seats, which is something to aspire to, my congratulations. You've also done a great job on their various restorations. Thanks for sharing them with us.

 

 

 

That is for a B-24D. Later B-24's had the top hatch.



#20 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:37 PM

Thank you for the discussion. I have been to a dozen B-24 crash sites. The mishap reports almost always list ten fatal. I wondered for a long time why no one was getting out of the B-24. I was lucky enough to go up in the Collings foundation B-24. My take away was this. If you are in a B-24 that is going down or any bomber you are screwed. Weather the bomber is in free fall, flat spin or cork screw your stuck in a altered gravity situation and being forced to the side, rear or top as everything is shifting around you. The odds of you getting to your parachute in its storage location is remote. The odds of you getting to the bailout place is less remote. Getting the bailout place open...I don't think they had any real chance of getting out and the mishap reports  indicate that. In combat I have read of aircrew men attaching a rope or leash to the parachute and themselves so they could at least get out of the bomber with a parachute then worry about attaching it on the way down. I know that is not in any manual. Sitting on your parachute may or may or may not been sanctioned, but I know they did it. Guys will do anything to at least even the odds some. I think we can agree on that.

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  • B-17 Pilot 104.jpg

Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 04:43 PM.


#21 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:38 PM

Yes, I like going in gear.

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#22 pararaftanr2

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:46 PM

To the best of my knowledge, all B-24s, both early and late, always had a hatch in the upper fuselage behind the cockpit canopy and in front of the top turret. The side windows of the cockpit were also removable, but the top of the cockpit itself was fixed in place without a hatch. The "flight deck escape hatch" was intended for use when ditching, or for an emergency exit when on the ground, not for bailing out in flight. That's not to say it was never used for such in an aerial emergency, it was just not recommended due to it's smaller size, which would make exiting with a parachute pack difficult, at best.

B-24D and B-24J are illustrated below.

Not wanting to draw this further into the weeds, or distract from your original topic, so respectfully bowing out. Thanks for an interesting discussion.

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#23 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:50 PM

paraftanr2, 

  On a side note I have seen photo's of your collection and it is fantastic! I should be so fortunate. Feel free to discuss anything at length. I don't know nearly as much as I would like. Bomber crew crash sites have always held a special place for me. Fighter pilots are interesting. A bomber crew is something more to me...they just are.


Edited by P-59A, 04 August 2019 - 04:58 PM.


#24 P-59A

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:40 PM

This B-17 pilot training film clearly shows the pilot and co pilot wearing the AN 6513 parachute. https://youtu.be/WSH_GUa9H9o



#25 jerry_k

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 03:45 AM

Hmmm it looks like both guys have a SEAT type AN6510 chute's rather than AN6513 CHEST chute and harness. 

 

The rip cord handle is clearly visible on this screen in my opinion...

 

Regards,

Jerry

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