View Full Version : WW2 Parachutes. How exactly did they work? Questions?

05-16-2008, 05:56 AM
I`m curious to how WW2 era parachutes worked, specifically:

1.Were fighter pilot parachutes different to bomber pilots?

2. What did the parachute release cord look like?

3. Where exactly was it positioned? On chest area, or perhaps higher up by shoulder?

4.Was the cord just like a thick string? Or did it have a ring pull? Or handle pull?

5.Was there a secondary emergency cord in WW2?

6. Any diagrams?


05-16-2008, 07:21 AM


05-16-2008, 07:23 AM


Nice site on LD.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

05-16-2008, 07:24 AM
Clickety click. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-WW-II-Fighter-Pilots-Seat-Parachute-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ190220471849QQihZ009QQcategoryZ47 21QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem# ebayphotohosting)

05-16-2008, 07:30 AM
Thnaks for bringing the topic of parachutes up Seafire. Looking into LD's work I never knew his parachute designed was tested let alone tested and proved to be a success. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

05-16-2008, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
Clickety click. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-WW-II-Fighter-Pilots-Seat-Parachute-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ190220471849QQihZ009QQcategoryZ47 21QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem# ebayphotohosting)

This is very useful, ploughman. thankyou.

05-16-2008, 09:24 AM
US carried two chutes from all I've heard and read, primary and backup with separate ripcords.

05-16-2008, 10:09 AM
Thats really weird...

I was looking around the web for the same information just the other day... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

This (http://www.303rdbg.com/uniforms-gear.html) web site has some interesting information and pictures...these guys have a really nice collection of allied flight gear. Look around a little bit and you might learn something (I did).

The pictures and text are taken from the web site...

Photo #14 - Sometime time during the first half of 1944 and probably in conjunction with the issuing of the A-3 harness, the 8th AAF began requiring that the older type Q.A.C. harnesses and the newly arrived A-3 harnesses be color coded, as well as each corresponding parachute. This was to eliminate any chance one might find himself trying to attach a red group parachute to a yellow group harness. I make no claim that I know the exact date when the order came down to mark the parachute equipment and can only speculate based on photographs here at the 303 website, other 8th AAF websites and related books. So keep an open mind to time periods that I may associate to flight gear or events that happened.

Photo #2 - Above is the typical fighter pilot rig -- the B-8 chute with the seat cushion on top of the dinghy. The seat pad is shown separately on the right as is the Type C dinghy on the left. Note the two hooks on the side of the dinghy that connect to the parachute harness. The long line with the hook on the end was to clip on to your Mae West.

Photo #17 - Above are two authentic WWII, A-3 type QACs. The harness on the right still has its risers tacked down. Once a man connects the chute, bails out and pulls the rip cord, the force and weight of the man acts against the opening shock of the canopy. This sudden jolt pulls and breaks the tacking, allowing the parachute container and risers to be in the position you see above on the left. One veteran described how, after the canopy opened he was relieved, but thought he was falling out of his harness when the risers popped free a few seconds later.

05-16-2008, 10:18 AM
Excellent, Zardozid! Great- Best yet! Thanks to you, too!

05-16-2008, 10:22 AM
Here is something else I was looking at...

Fighter Pilot Seat Pack Assemblies (http://www.vintageparachutes.com/pageDisplay.jsp?pageid=8460)

Reproduction Parachute Systems of WWII (http://www.vintageparachutes.com/pageDisplay.jsp?pageid=8464)

A-3 and A-4 Crewmember Assemblies (http://www.vintageparachutes.com/pageDisplay.jsp?pageid=8459)

Here these guys sell 3 different WW2 parachute systems...Fighterpilot, D-day soldier, and Bomber crewmember.

05-17-2008, 06:20 AM
A friend of mine (a WW2 buff) went for a parachute jump in the UK in the 1980s for fun. He was overjoyed to find out that the harness he was given turned out to be of WW2 US Army pattern, dated 1945... Personally I would have preferred something a bit more modern with less potential for weakening. He survived the jump.

His argument for the jump was that if ever anyone objected to him wearing para wings or glider pilot wings when reenacting he could point out that he had done both things at least...