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trekkie951
04-27-2006, 09:08 PM
i was wondering, how common was pilots getting shot in the cockpit back in WWII? and what kind of measures were taken to protect them?

FritzGryphon
04-27-2006, 11:41 PM
Very common. I think it was the leading cause of aircraft loss in WWI, and ever-increasing measures are made during WWII to protect the pilot.

It mainly comprises of an armored seat back, and sometimes additional protection behind the pilot's head. Sometimes metal, like early 109s, or transparent like in the La-7.

The front window is sometimes armored, especially on bomber destroyer or ground attack planes. You'll find the FW-190 pilot is mostly invulnerable to 30cal fire from the front, because of the sharply angled 50m thick window.

Side windows or lower body 'bathtub' armor is rare, except on some planes like the IL-2.

The protection is generally only adequate for small caliber weapons and shallow impact angles, and only from attacks from directly behind or directly ahead.

In PF, you're mostly likely to be killed by side shots, top shots (like in a turn) or head on shots in planes lacking frontal armor (like early Yaks and LaGGs, watch out for bomber gunners!). 50cal is likely to hit you from any angle, though the injuries are less for bullets coming through armor than for direct hits, which will usually kill you outright.

Esel1964
04-27-2006, 11:47 PM
I've never heard of fighter pilots wearing them,though it wouldn't suprise me-BUT,flak jackets(for what they were worth,at the time) were not uncommon for bomber crews.

rnzoli
04-27-2006, 11:58 PM
the recently posted interview from FPSOLKOR include some interesting story about this, when the Yak pilot shot deliberately at the cockpit of an Il-2 going in the wrong direction

the Yak pilot used small caliber machine gun, because he knew that the armored protection will protect the pilot's life from small caliber fire

however, he had to make some tough warning to the pilot of Il-2, because it seems they are trying to defect to the Germans

in fact the pilot was drinking too much vodka the night before and navigated very badly

FPSOLKOR
04-28-2006, 03:36 AM
Originally posted by Esel1964:
I've never heard of fighter pilots wearing them,though it wouldn't suprise me-BUT,flak jackets(for what they were worth,at the time) were not uncommon for bomber crews.
Flight crews of DB-3 bombers of 2-nd MTAP and 40 BAP (VSS BSF) used to wear standart army casks (metal helms) for protection against shell debris. Some pilots used to put frying pans on the seats. Data used is taken from memos, so dont blame me, when i speak a piece of mind...

MadRuski
04-28-2006, 04:11 AM
so what about death by shrapnel? imagin a huge steel rod or chunk of a body slaming into the cockpit

WOLFMondo
04-28-2006, 04:21 AM
Italian gunners in bombers used to wear full army combat gear, webbing, helmets, rifle magazines...crazyness.

FPSOLKOR
04-28-2006, 04:22 AM
Originally posted by MadRuski:
so what about death by shrapnel? imagin a huge steel rod or chunk of a body slaming into the cockpit
Oh well? S/it happens! Do not remember who wrote it, but on one occasion pilot was about to be hit by a bomb from a bomber, when that bomb was hit by a shell that went throughhis wing...

FPSOLKOR
04-28-2006, 04:24 AM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
Italian gunners in bombers used to wear full army combat gear, webbing, helmets, rifle magazines...crazyness.
Hand grenades, spades, backpacks full of weeks worth ratios... What else we have forgotten? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif