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Boeing XPBB-1 Sea Ranger aka Lone Ranger copilots seat...this replaces the other posts on the Mars JRM and the other XPBB-1? post


P-59A
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As you guys know I have been researching a WW2 pilots seat for the last 6 months. I have gone down some dead end roads in the past. The Boeing Aircraft company museum curator came through with the missing proof. If one seat from the Sea Ranger can be found then who knows what else is out their. I found this on line and had no idea what it was, but it was nothing like I had seen before. The prior owner bought this at an airport hanger sale 25 years ago in Texas. He had no idea what it was either so it sat in his hanger all these years. The first thought was it came from the Mars Martin JRM. The Smithsonian Air and Space museum sent me what they had on the JRM and that paperwork identified the seat as being Mod. 262 made the Warren McArthur company. I posted that information and an expert in the Warren McArthur company who has the original archives sent me a photo from the company of that seat. Clearly my seat was not what was pictured. The expert then provided me the information on  the seat I have. It is Mod. 182.   These are from a prior post....

 

"Posted November 17, 2020

So A guy with the original archives of the Warren McArthur Company contacted me and proved the seat that I identified as being from a Mars JRM was not correct.  He sent photo's of original  documents and proved his point. The documents say the seat used in the JRM was a Mod. 262 and he sent the Mod. 262 information. This is a part of our conversation. "

 

"I believe that the seat you have is a Warren McArthur Model 182 which is the pilot seat for a Boeing PB1B1 from 1943."     I looked for this aircraft and now think he mistyped "PB1B" The only Boeing sea plane from that time frame is the XPBB-1. This was a one off proto type.  Do any of you have photo's of that seat?

          

  

"Posted January 20

I'm communicating with Boeing on my seat. A guy suggested it may be the XPBB-1. When I asked the guy how he came up with that he said what follows in my e-mail to Boeing. I also sent this to the Air and Space museum...  "Brian, this is an update on what may be a XPBB-1 seat. I am in contact with Boeing and sent them this e-mail, "I should also mention I have been talking to an expert on Warren McArthur seats. He is the one who proved my seat  was not the Mars seat by sending that first photo. He has the original archives for Warren McArthur and suggested it may be the XPBB-1 seat. I asked him how he came to that conclusion and he said "I looked at the seat photo's (that I sent him) got the model number went to my reference sheets and that's what McArthur had as the plane that seat was in. The problem is the variants in these seats is really close and there can be 8 or 10."  I am not sure what "8 or 10" means. It could be that McArthur submitted 8 or 10 seats to Boeing of that same type with minor variations. My seat was flown. I took it to Yanks air museum and they confirmed the damage to the seat rails came from a combination of two metals (steel and aluminum) in contact with each other and the negative ground of the plane in contact with moisture caused the electrolysis damage."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I looked high and low to find a photo of the XPBB-1 flight deck with no luck. I made an appeal to Boeing for help on this and they sent the only flight deck photo of the XPBB-1 I  have seen. First the common on line photos.

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After talking to some people in the aviation field about the seat variations Warren made I was told that is not uncommon. Boeing would have placed the seats variaton's in mock up to decide what seats worked best in the space then they would have test flown those seats for real world function. The document talks about removal and replacement of their seats.

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This is my seat. I  do not know witch variation it is. Boeing is looking into that. What I do know is Mod 182 was made for the XPPB-1 and no other aircraft used that seat. I also know my seat was flown. Only one XPBB-1 was made and the Navy flew it for several years. It is likely The Navy used the seat variations to replace defective seats over time. It is also possible more seats are out their. As it stands right now as far as I know this is the only known seat...for now.

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This is an email from the Museum of Flight in Seattle. I am hiding the name of my contact.  

8:55 AM (6 hours ago)

to me

"Could be. That’s seems closer than anything else we have found."

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  • 1 month later...
P-59A

This week was very interesting. I had an hour  long three way with Boeing, The Smithsonian and my self. The guy with the Warren McArthur information is named Nick. Nick sent me a photo from his Warren papers that stated the seat was for a PB1B1 made by Boeing. I could not find that aircraft and asked Boeing what they knew about it. The answer I got was not anything that made sense to me so I brought the Smithsonian Air and Space into the conversation. After much back and forth it was decided by all of us that the Warren information was a typo.  The next item was my seat pan. It's not like the one in the photo. This started another round of back and forth. The Smithsonian pointed out a flaw in the proto photo I have already posted. In that photo it was pointed out  that if you shove the seat up it gets in the way of the throw of the yoke. The Smithsonian concluded my seat was most likely made for the PBB that never went into production and was likely used to replace the proto seat.  This started another round of back and forth so I brought Nick into the conversation.  Nick went through the whole catalogue of aircraft seats and my seat is the only one that looks like this. Nick agrees that PB1B1 is a typo. It should read PBB1. Nick also agrees that being the contract for the PBB was canceled before the XPBB-1 even flew that my seat is indeed a production seat. Warren never put the modification in the books because the aircraft never went  into production and most likely only made a few at the very most. The reason for this conclusion is that my exact seat  shows up nowhere in the records and the only seat like it is the proto seat. I am now 100 percent on the identification of this seat. Nick sent me the production photos of the XPBB-1 pilot seat and a crew seat. I will include that paper that started this whole mess off in the first place.

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P-59A

One other thing to note. The production photo of the crew seat is a dead ringer for the factory photo of the crew area. The skew number for that seat shows up in the typo number above.

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pararaftanr2

Nice job of detective work, and an even nicer piece of very obscure aviation history for your collection. Well done!

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P-59A
33 minutes ago, pararaftanr2 said:

Nice job of detective work, and an even nicer piece of very obscure aviation history for your collection. Well done!

Thank you! From you that  is high praise.

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P-59A

One more thing that is agreed on. My seat back is cut. This was not done post war by someone for no reason. The padding is a leather slip on cover that stops you from looking up. Now look at the photo of the cockpit of the XPBB-1 you will see it's all window. The proto XPBB-1 seat has a very tall seat back and even large head rest. Cutting the seat back was a field modification to get better visibility. My seat was flow, everyone who has seen it agrees on that.

 

 

 

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jerry_k

Here is one of the PBM seat, similar to this second one from #6 post:

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P-59A
33 minutes ago, jerry_k said:

Here is one of the PBM seat, similar to this second one from #6 post:

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Hey Jerry, What have I learned about seats made by Warren McArthur is many seats look alike yet are different. The JRM and the XPBB-1 were developed around the same time and share a "look" to them. The first photo is the JRM proto pilots seat and the second is the XPBB-1 proto pilots seat. At first glance they look the same, but when you look close at the JRM seat it has longer arm rests, a different seat pan construction and the added tube frame head rest. The XPBB-1 has shorter arm rests, a solid tall seat back and a more complicated seat pan. Without having Nick's archives I would be lost. The records indicate they made seats custom to the aircraft. No one aircraft seat was ever used in any other aircraft. They did not have the one size fits all mentality early on, but they used common parts and more to the point most of their seats were made for the Navy and the Navy was anal about what they wanted. The early seats have high production standards. Nothing is welded on the early seats. Later on around late 43 or 44 is when you start seeing production short cuts like welded parts.

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P-59A

My C-54 copilots seat made by Warren shows production short cuts. All Navy pilot seats made around 1943 had the inertia reel attached and use a spring to raise the seat rater than those bungy cords.

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P-59A

So, when  you look at the XPBB-1 crew area and at the Warren photo they are the same exact seat. The records do not show that seat being used in any other aircraft.

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P-59A

So while I am at it lets cover my PBB seat and the proto XPBB-1 seat next to the proto JRM seat. My seat looks the same at first glance to both of them. That is how I went down the wrong rabbit whole early on. My seat has the short arm rest like the XPBB-1 and it had the tall seat back that was cut down to be more like the proto JRM seat back. If my seat was a JRM there would be no need to cut it down.  What makes my seat unique from the other two seats is the rake of the seat to the seat rails and the seat pan.   On the proto JRM and the XPBB-1 both seats sit above the rails. The PBB seat sits way in front of the rails. The proto JRM and proto XPBB-1 are the only seats made by Warren that have this look. They are early seats. Remember when I talked about the throw of the yoke being affected by the proto seat pan?  The fix was to get rid of the leg rests or the leg rest made it hard for the pilot and copilot to change places with the back up pilot and copilot. Remember this bird was able to fly for long hours and they had guys to swap out with. Pushing the seat closer to the rudder pedals likely fixed another issue with the ability for everyone to reach the rudder pedals. Nick brought up one other thing about my seat that is not like any other Warren WW2 aircraft seat. It is not black. All WW2 Warren seats have a black protective coating that is not enamel paint. My seat was prepped. All of the places that had parts covering them have that black on it. My seat was made then the plug was pulled on the PBB project and it was never given its final coat of paint. The Navy went ahead with replacing the proto XPBB-1 pilots seats with the PBB seats on hand. As I said before my exact seat is not in the Warren archives because it never went into production because they never made the PBB. This was a long hard road to figure out and it took everyone to do it. No one person had all the answers. When I asked Nick about how he came by the company archives he told me they were going to be thrown away by the person who had them 30 years ago so he asked for them. WOW!

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pararaftanr2

Am I correct in thinking that your prototype seat, with the unpadded seat pan, was designed to accommodate a seat parachute, while the later model, and your C-54 seat, with the seat cushion built in, were designed for pilots wearing a QAC parachute harness? 

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P-59A
43 minutes ago, pararaftanr2 said:

Am I correct in thinking that your prototype seat, with the unpadded seat pan, was designed to accommodate a seat parachute, while the later model, and your C-54 seat, with the seat cushion built in, were designed for pilots wearing a QAC parachute harness? 

No and yes...maybe. The proto seat was made to have that monster leather two part pad that covered the seat back and pan on it. The Navy was going for comfort on long flights. For practical reasons that pad could be removed and a pad like the one seen in the proto cockpit photo could be used. Any photo of that seat in flight has alluded me. It seems reasonable to me to assume that seat could have been used without the pads, but I can not prove it, so with out proof I guess the pilot wore a QAC harness at all times. As for my seat I am of the thinking that seat was made with the idea of sitting on your parachute, but again any in flight photo has alluded me. Warren does not have my seat in its archives so I have no idea what they intended to do with it. Photo's of the flight deck of that bird are very rare. The photo of the flight deck I posted was from Boeing and that is the first time anyone has seen any flight deck photo. It did not exist on line until I posted it. I even had a guy writing a book on the XPBB-1 contact me asking how I came upon that photo.

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P-59A

To be clear my seat is for the PBB that was never made and I guess that makes it a proto seat too, but it was made to replace the first proto seat on the XPBB-1 in the production run that  never happened.

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P-59A

I took a harder look at the seat pans from the JRM, XPBB-1, C-54 and mine. My seat pan has more in common with the JRM seat pan In that they have a real metal seat pan. The X-PBB-1 has more in common with the C-54 seat pan in that its a tube frame with a drop in seat. I do not know why they did this unless they decided the full metal JRM style pan was the better pan for a sea plane rather than the metal frame wood seat bottom type on the C-54 Pics are XPBB-1 with no seat pan like the C-54 and JRM and mine with a seat pan.

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pararaftanr2

Okay, thanks. I also noticed in your Boeing cockpit photos the early-war MSA rebreather oxygen system, used with their "Type C" mask, marked as #22 and the rack for its replacement canisters, #25. You don't see those very often in vintage photos, but they were state-of-the-art for Navy aircraft in 1941-1942 before being replaced with demand oxygen systems.

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P-59A
4 hours ago, dmar836 said:

Pretty cool!

Except for the mini migraines I have had over this seat, yes it is cool.  😵

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