Jump to content


Photo

USN Parachutes


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 07 April 2007 - 06:23 PM

When it rains, it pours! Nothing for years then, in the past couple weeks, two very interesting photos of non-standard parachute harnesses surface. USN quick-attachable-seat harnesses were always (Up till now, I thought.) converted from the standard Irvin-style seat harness the Navy used. (See Photo 1) The right strap from the seat pack attached to the "V-ring" on the right of the chest strap and the left strap with the ripcord attached to the hole at the bottom of the hook on the chest strap.

Photo #1 is a recreation from Jeff Warner's new book on USN flight gear. I use it for illustration of the Irvin-style harness only. Photo #2, also from the same book, is a National Archive photo. It shows the Navy flier wearing a Switlick/Pioneer style harness (More associated with the AAF.) that has been converted to quick-attachable-seat configuration. OK. The right strap from the seat pack can attach to the "V-ring" but what about the left strap with the ripcord? Nowhere to hook it except to that same "V-ring". Is that what they did?

Photo #3 was sent to me by JerryK, a member here from Poland. All other gear on the guy is USN. He is carrying a plotting board, indicating he is a pilot. However, his parachute harness has "V-rings" on it which would indicate it is a chest pack harness. A chest pack on a fighter pilot? For that matter, any fighter/TBF crewman? Or, could this be another Switlick/Pioneer style harness converted to QAS with the "V-rings" added to connect the straps from the seat pack to the harness?

Any thoughts out there?

Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Attached Images

  • Irvin1.jpg
  • Switlick1.jpg
  • Switlick2.JPG


#2 dustin

dustin
  • Members
    • Member ID: 56
  • 3,676 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 April 2007 - 07:37 PM

Tom, I cannot difinitively say but I do agree with you that they are converted AAF QAC parachute harnesses or seat type but it woould be easier to convert QAC types over the seat types especially picture #3 you can clearly see the V rings on chest but we cannot see the back to be sure for other attachments but note in picture #2 he is turned just enough to see the clip on his lower right rear for attaching parachute so you would have to assume there is another on the other side so it works in the correct fashion a true QAS would.
I would have to assume that there is clips on the back of parachute picture #3 because it does not make sense that a pilot would use a QAC which is reserved mainly for aircrew members plus ..Where would he store it?! there is no room in cockpits for something like that from what I have seen from museum aircraft.
Just my 2 cents

you know after looking at picture #2 again...that is exactly what they did,they converted a AAF QAC harness I say this because there are no leg straps on him but where that clip is attached is where the original leg strap would have been they simply cut the legs straps and added clipsfor attaching QAS

Edited by dustin, 07 April 2007 - 07:40 PM.


#3 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:20 AM

Dustin,

A chute without leg straps would be a death trap. As soon as you pulled the ripcord, your body would shoot out the bottom of the harness from the jolt of the canopy opening and you would be a gone goose! I've been told that, even with the straps attached, one's gonads are just about pushed up to his throat! The leg straps are probably just hanging out of sight behind him.

One thought on Photo #3. Usually, the harness rings on a chestpack harness are pointing up. In this photo, they appear to be pointing down. The photo is not clear, but I wonder if this, too, is a AN-style seat harness converted to QAS and the rings were added to take the two straps coming up from the seat pack. Then, like in Photo #2, large hooks would be added to the risers to attach to the risers coming out of the back of the seat pack, like any other QAS.

Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#4 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:42 AM

Here is a photo from Dan Poynter's The Parachute Manual. 99% of WWII photos show the guys wearing the harness but not the entire QAS chute. Here you can see the whole rig as a unit. Note that the two straps coming up from the pack are for attaching it to the harness so it leaves the plane with you. Other than that, they bear no weight as the two main risers from the harness are attached to the canopy.

Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Attached Images

  • QAS1.JPG


#5 dustin

dustin
  • Members
    • Member ID: 56
  • 3,676 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:54 AM

Tom, I really do not know but here is a side look at the AN-6510 seat chute.I think one thng is forsure they are converted either from QAC or seat type harnesses.I used a picture from bells aviation

Attached Images

  • bells.jpg

Edited by dustin, 08 April 2007 - 08:55 AM.


#6 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 10:20 AM

They have to be converted from seat pack harnesses. QAC chutes have no risers on the harness. You descend hanging from the canopy by your chest, not your shoulders like other harnesses with risers. That is why these photos are so intriguing. I have always suspected some AN-6510 seat pack harnesses were converted to QAS configuration but this is the first time I have ever seen one. Now to find one! :lol:

Tom

#7 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 10:41 AM

They have to be converted from seat pack harnesses. QAC chutes have no risers on the harness. You descend hanging from the canopy by your chest, not your shoulders like other harnesses with risers. (Snipped)

Tom


Whoops! I lied! :blush:

There are two kinds of QAC harnesses, "Red" and "Yellow". The Red class harness has the rings on the harness and the hooks on the pack. This was the style of early war AAF chest pack chutes and the reserve on troop chutes. This is the one where the guy will hang by his chest when the chute deploys. The Yellow class QAC rigs had the hooks attached to real risers and the rings are attached to the pack. With these, the guy will dangle by his shoulders under the canopy, as with other parachute types.

As the two styles were often found in the same bomber aircraft, the harnesses and chute packs were prominently marked with red or yellow paint or cloth panels so that, in the chaos of a bailout situation, a crewman didn't grab a chest pack that wouldn't fit his harness. There are also stories of gunners attaching their chute pack to their harness by a piece of strong cord so that, if they were ejected from the craft the pack would come with them. There are stories of crewmen falling thousands of feet while they grabbed the cord, pulled in the pack and attached it to the harness.

I've also heard stories of crewmen only getting one side of the pack hooked. Needless to say, that made for some pretty nasty trips to Terra Firma!

Tom

#8 dustin

dustin
  • Members
    • Member ID: 56
  • 3,676 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:36 AM

The leg straps are probably just hanging out of sight behind him.

Tom , well if you look there are no straps to hook too.If you think about it the leg straps go between the legs towards the front then out over the legs there needs to be ne V ring and on snap hook on each side to secure the straps coming from under the legs there is nothing present in that picture.

#9 dustin

dustin
  • Members
    • Member ID: 56
  • 3,676 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:48 AM

Tom, I am using this picture for two points the first do show you waht I was refering too in last post about leg straps and the other point is that picture #2 could be a converted QAC on this type QAC you simply have to the fold over the snap clips, over and down the back as these straps are long enough to do that.The straps are tacked by cotton thread ment to break on opening shock of chute.They are double folded and placed over chest were someone could simply drape them down the back and work under the same principle.
the leg straps are attched but not through crotch area

Attached Images

  • man.jpg


#10 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 01:42 PM

Tom , well if you look there are no straps to hook too.If you think about it the leg straps go between the legs towards the front then out over the legs there needs to be ne V ring and on snap hook on each side to secure the straps coming from under the legs there is nothing present in that picture.


You may be right in one respect and wrong in another. There HAS to be leg straps or a harness is useless. However, we have both been assuming the hook we see is for the riser to attach to the pack. That could very well be the hook for the right leg strap. Harnesses are made with one leg strap having a nook and the other a V-ring. The corresponding sides of the harness have the opposite fittings. This prevents one grabbing between their legs and getting the left strap hooked to the right side of the harness.

Now, if that is the hook for the leg strap, what the heck kind of harness is it? Don't see any evidence of a seat or back pack. Are there risers back there with the big hooks on them for a QAS pack?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Tom

#11 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 01:54 PM

I tried to edit the post above and it apparently didn't take.

I just went back and looked at the photo again. There is a strong possibility the hardware for the right leg strap, either hook or V-ring, is there but hidden by his right arm. How far they stick out from the main harness varies with how the harness has been tacked. If that is the case, then the hook we see could very well be for attachment to a QAS pack.

Tom

#12 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:22 PM

Tom, I am using this picture for two points the first do show you what I was referring too in last post about leg straps and the other point is that picture #2 could be a converted QAC on this type QAC you simply have to the fold over the snap clips, over and down the back as these straps are long enough to do that.The straps are tacked by cotton thread meant to break on opening shock of chute.They are double folded and placed over chest were someone could simply drape them down the back and work under the same principle.
the leg straps are attached but not through crotch area


OK, that is an A-3 harness, the one I mentioned as "Yellow" previously. In fact, you can see the yellow cloth on the risers. The risers are tacked to the front of the harness and will break free when the chute opens. However, they are not long enough to be converted to a QAS configuration, as they would only reach the center of the back. Risers for a seat pack would have to come down beyond the wearer's butt and risers are one thing that would not be lengthened by adding additional material. That was an absolute no-no.

I used to manufacture repro harnesses for re-enactors who couldn't afford originals. The same harness could be set up as an AAF S-1 seat pack or a B-8 back pack chute as the risers were the same length. The risers on the A-3 chest pack were a good twelve inches or more shorter than the others. I don't remember the exact length but I took it from measurements of original harnesses.

I have a little webbing left from my old stash. Other than that, it has disappeared from the marketplace and the guy down in Florida making harnesses is protecting his business by making sure no one else finds out where he is getting it. Anyhow, I had thought for some time about making myself a QAS harness based on the AN6510/S-1/B-8 harness I am used to making. I haven't because I felt it would be totally incorrect - that all QAS's were based on the Irvin-style harness (which uses a totally non-existent type of webbing). Well, these photos have given me heart. Just maybe there were some conversions out there.

Been fun going back-and-forth with you on this. Next water balloons at ten paces? :D

Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#13 dustin

dustin
  • Members
    • Member ID: 56
  • 3,676 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 April 2007 - 06:52 PM

hhmmm, well we can bang are heads on the wall all we want but I do not really think it is going to get us any headway.I think we can atleast agree they are converted harnesses by the parachute loft?! I am familiar with parachutes used by both the AAC and USN but have not put much actual research into them.
We might have to let this one GO with very good points and possible explainations but all we have are educated guesses on this as actual documents on these types of conversions may not exist since these were done on unit levels I'm sure. :D

#14 Sgt Brown

Sgt Brown

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 81
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NE Ohio

Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:10 PM

hhmmm, well we can bang are heads on the wall all we want but I do not really think it is going to get us any headway.I think we can atleast agree they are converted harnesses by the parachute loft?! I am familiar with parachutes used by both the AAC and USN but have not put much actual research into them.
We might have to let this one GO with very good points and possible explainations but all we have are educated guesses on this as actual documents on these types of conversions may not exist since these were done on unit levels I'm sure. :D


Hey, that's what this site is here for, throwing out (up?) ideas and batting them around. None of us will ever know everything, especially when it comes to field modifications.

Now I will have to come up with another topic to debate!

Thanks,
Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#15 Gregory

Gregory
  • Members
    • Member ID: 75
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warsaw, Poland

Posted 06 May 2007 - 02:50 AM

Photo #1 is a recreation from Jeff Warner's new book on USN flight gear. I use it for illustration of the Irvin-style harness only.

Here it is USMC pilot. Irvin-style harness can be seen.

Attached Images

  • 1.jpg


#16 Gregory

Gregory
  • Members
    • Member ID: 75
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warsaw, Poland

Posted 10 February 2008 - 03:12 AM

Hi,

It is an interesting WWII picture of the USN aviators survival and parachute training. I think this is the training of releasing parachute belts before jump into water fully clothed and equipped but with the belts released which is very important to survive in water after the jump. Do you recognize what model of the USN parachute can be seen at this pic?

Regards

Greg

Attached Images

  • 1.jpg



2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users