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View Full Version : "Comfort" in cockpits of BOB adversaries


Tvrdi
03-03-2011, 02:10 PM
some of you maybe saw this but nevertheless:

Me109:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9YVei2Yb_k

Spitfire MK I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFj8NDqZhlc

Sternjaeger
03-03-2011, 03:21 PM
seen it before, the guy is a right XXXX and totally biased. The cockpit of the 109 was surely smaller, but the layout was superior and so was the distribution/quality of the controls and instruments.

This again is a classic example of how people shouldn't always listen to pilots' opinions, because believe it or not they're human beings like us, with flaws, preferences and what not..

Tvrdi
03-03-2011, 03:28 PM
yeah, bit still it clearly shows how BF109 cockpit was small....really not much room for pilot....

Sternjaeger
03-03-2011, 03:48 PM
That's very true. I never had the chance of sitting in a 109, but I sat in a Spit Mk.IX and the impression that you get is to sit in a very vulnerable position: the seat is like a trestle suspended in the middle of the monocoque fuselage and you feel very exposed, not a nice place to be when they're shooting at you with 20mm..

Trumper
03-03-2011, 03:51 PM
;) The pilot in the video is the ex BBMF leader Paul Day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLOlp_cGsuo&NR=1
,probably has more flight time in a WW11 fighter than anyone else ,[maybe John Romain excepted] and you call him a twat and biased.
If you actually listen to what he says ,they are facts.
Cockpit is small/cramped
Canopy is heavy and difficult to get open [Black 6 crashed and the pilot asked the fire crews NOT to cut the airframe to release him] as he could'nt get out any other way had to be lifted.
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/lrg1545.jpg
He praises the controls,throttles,panel and the layout so not really totally biased against at all.
I think you need to listen more carefully and make a less biased statement yourself.

Il2Pongo
03-03-2011, 03:58 PM
we need his height and weight

Royraiden
03-03-2011, 04:18 PM
The guy pointed out bad things while on the Spit too, so not completely biased, but the fact that he seems really big and tall doesnt necessarily represent what most 109 pilots felt while inside that cockpit.

Jaws2002
03-03-2011, 04:59 PM
Modern era western civilians, used to have everything at their disposal judge war machines from an old era......:rolleyes:


I bet was more comfortable in the pit of the 109 than it was in the frozen trenches in Stalingrad.
We can argue and comment all we want eighty years later in a peaceful era.
Comfort don't mean crap in war. The Russians flew with open canopies in frigid winter and didn't whine like this guy.
Back then people were not used to be pampered like we are today, on top of that it was war, and in war you use what they give you the best you can.
They did mighty good throughout the war in those "oh my God this is cramped" Bf109 cockpits.
For the ammount of time the 109 had fuel that pit was plenty comfortable.

With this whiny generation of pampered crybabies, God help us if we have to fight a real war, against a real enemy.:rolleyes:

Sutts
03-03-2011, 05:08 PM
Modern era western civilians, used to have everything at their disposal judge war machines from an old era......:rolleyes:


I bet was more confortable in the pit of the 109 than it was in the frozen trenches in Stalingrad.
We can argue and comment all we want eighty years later in a peaceful confort.
Confort don't mean crap in war. The Russians flew with open canopies in frigid winter and didn't whine like this guy.
Back then people were not used to be pampered like we are today, on top of that it was war, and in war you use what they give you the best you can.
They did mighty good throughout the war in those "oh my God this is cramped" Bf109 cockpits.
For the ammount of time the 109 had fuel that pit was plenty confortable.

With this whiny generation of pampered crybabies, God help us if we have to fight a real war, against a real enemy.:rolleyes:


You guys are incredible. In what way was he being a cry baby? The cockpit is very cramped compared to the Spit and the canopy is dangerous in a crash situation with very poor visibility. He said he would much RATHER go to war in a Spit which is a perfectly reasonable argument given these issues.

He isn't saying the 109 is a hopeless war machine - just that he'd rather have more room, much better visibility and a better chance of surviving a ground flip if the choice was his to make. You can't argue with the facts.

Sven
03-03-2011, 05:17 PM
Well I shall put it this way, after watching the 109 video the word "Small" still echoes in my brain.

Sternjaeger
03-03-2011, 05:21 PM
;) The pilot in the video is the ex BBMF leader Paul Day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLOlp_cGsuo&NR=1
,probably has more flight time in a WW11 fighter than anyone else ,[maybe John Romain excepted] and you call him a twat and biased.
If you actually listen to what he says ,they are facts.
Cockpit is small/cramped
Canopy is heavy and difficult to get open [Black 6 crashed and the pilot asked the fire crews NOT to cut the airframe to release him] as he could'nt get out any other way had to be lifted.
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/lrg1545.jpg
He praises the controls,throttles,panel and the layout so not really totally biased against at all.
I think you need to listen more carefully and make a less biased statement yourself.

..since when having more flight time in a WW2 fighter than anyone else means you're not a xxxx?!

Ok, let's put it in this way: I met the man in person in a couple of occasions and both times he talked, behaved and addressed people like a xxxx, is that better? :rolleyes:

As for what he says on the video, the patronising tone in which he's giving his comment on the bf109 is as useless as his judgement: these aeroplanes were developed for combat duty, and as such the bf109 design was far superior.
Yes, the cockpit is way more crammed, but for EVERYTHING ELSE the bf109 is by far better than the Spitfire. Just to give you a couple of examples: the Luftwaffe tended to select small size men for their fighter crews, a choice that meant a better tolerance of G-loads and ease of movement in a machine that was deliberately small; second thing (and this is something that your friend here forgot to mention) the spitfire was designed with engineering farts like a fuel tank behind the cockpit panel with no adequate firewall, which meant that many Commonwealth pilots suffered severe burns because of this "uh, whoopsie!"..

Jaws2002
03-03-2011, 05:29 PM
He isn't saying the 109 is a hopeless war machine - just that he'd rather have more room, much better visibility and a better chance of surviving a ground flip if the choice was his to make. You can't argue with the facts.

My point is, he is "evaluating" this two aircraft based on today's "requirenments". Most of his points are about the comfort and safety, wich in a world war two type of strugle for national survival don't mean squat.
In the case of a ground flip actually the extremely solid frame cannopy of the 109 was a lot safer than most late war bubble sliding canopies.

You analyse fighting machines based on their fighting qualities, not based on pilot comfort. Pilot comfort on a short range fighter are way down the list of requirenments.
There are plenty fighting qualities of the 109 (climb, dive, negative G, Cannons, small, hard to see) that make the 109 of that era a very dangerous oponent for anything in the skies.

This is like some of the "reviews" you see online for fighting guns today.
Oh, the stock doesn't look good, is not very ergonomic, the plastic feels cheap, the collor is off......:rolleyes: It's a fighting gun, damit! Is the fighting qualities like reliability, accuracy, easy to learn and use is what matters. Not the color of the paint.

Sternjaeger
03-03-2011, 05:33 PM
From previous experience Sternjaeger has a slight 'bias' issue himself :)


...and generally prefers not to hear negative opinions on German aircraft and the Luftwaffe, though he usually ascribes those opinions to being due to 'propaganda' and not to the speaker being a 'twat'.

Under an engineering and military point of view there's very few remarks that can be made to German aircrafts of ww2, still I don't think they're the best, simply cos they were hard to handle at landing or takeoff, an extremely delicate phase for a combat pilot.

The best by far was what the Americans put in the sky, what really annoys me is hearing all this celebration for a machine like the Spitfire.. if you talk to people in the warbird circuit (which I regularly do..) you will hear them say that yes, the Spit is wonderful for acros, but to bring it to battle.. uhmmmm a bit flimsy...

addman
03-03-2011, 05:48 PM
The 109 cockpit is cramped to anyone except a child. I'm sure even the german pilots back then thought the same. To it's defence I'd like to believe that being rather squeezed in there made one feel more in symbiosis with the plane, like an extension of yourself. The feeling I got from watching that clip was very claustrophobic especially the lack of room for movement. I'm quite small by western standards (171 cm) but that cockpit would probably be small for me too. The 109 is one of my favourite WWII aircraft but that doesn't make it perfect :)....that's also why I like it.

Voyager
03-03-2011, 05:49 PM
seen it before, the guy is a right tw@at and totally biased. The cockpit of the 109 was surely smaller, but the layout was superior and so was the distribution/quality of the controls and instruments.

This again is a classic example of how people shouldn't always listen to pilots' opinions, because believe it or not they're human beings like us, with flaws, preferences and what not..

He loved the 109 instruments and control layout. What he was freaked out about was the really cramped quarters, the heavy canopy, and the cannon sitting right between the legs.

Anyways, a couple other articles on flying aircraft from the era:
The Legendary Zero (Part 1) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185354-1.html)
The Legendary Zero (Part 2) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185520-1.html)
Hurricane (Part 1) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185674-1.html)
Hurricane (Part 2) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185849-1.html)

Fritz X
03-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Hm, I for myself don't find the Bf-109 video appearing to be too biased... The last comment about not choosing it to go to war, especially when your enemy is a Spit on the other hand seemed to be unnecessary, though...

But his major complaints about the cockpit seem to be outright true. Just to compare what former RAF fighter and test pilot Eric Brown wrote in his book "Wings of the Luftwaffe":

"The cockpit was small and narrow and was framed by an unpretty canopy, which was heavy to open from inside and was fitted with rather primitive sliding windows. The frame of the windscreen was rather narrow and didn't block too much of the pilot's sight, but the overall space was so limited that the movement of the head was heavily limited, even for a rather small pilot like me."

This extract is a translation by me, since I only own a German copy of the book.

The plane being described there is a Bf-109 G-6/U2, by the way.

Dietger
03-03-2011, 07:04 PM
He pointed out good and bad things about the cockpit, and it really makes sence what he said about it.
But.

He is biased.
He simply hate the German equipment. His remarks, all over, make it clear.

But what the the Hell? You dont have to love everything you came across in your profession, right?

That guy is obviously a British snop, absolute ok for me.

PS. Jaws got some good points here. Its called WEAPONS-PLATFORM, not your granddaddys lovlely armchair......
PSS. And whats wrong with a big gun between your legs??? :D

JG4_Helofly
03-03-2011, 07:31 PM
Well, I can confirme that the cockpit of the 109 is very small, since I had the chance to sit in a 109 G and a fw 190 A8. So I can only compare these two planes. The problem was that it was very narrow and the pilot had to be small in height, because with canopy closed it was impossible to sit normaly. I had to lean my head forward. ( I am 180 cm in height)
So yes, it's not the most comfortable place.

Richard
03-03-2011, 08:12 PM
I sat in a F6F Hellcat and a P51 Cockpit once, (I'm 1.77m tall) both were pretty comfortable to me, The Hellcat cockpit feeling slightly bigger (to me) , I guess that the F4U Corsair had a similar cockpit size to the Hellcat as well.. So if I had to fly for 7 hrs straight, I think I'd pick the Hellcat, but there's no doubt that 109 'pit was a tight squeeze.

Blackdog_kt
03-04-2011, 12:46 AM
I think the pilot's review was unbiased, right up until the point where he said "i wouldn't want to go to war in this, especially against a Spit". It's funny because he had plenty of bad things to say about the Spit too and then in one fell swoop he's making it out to be vastly superior, which is i guess why people called him biased.

His technical appraisal on both planes was very good, he just proceeded to unfortunately destroy the entire presentation by being unable to resist putting a slight jab in at the end :-P

Also, i agree that the guy is obviously judging both fighters with the mindset of a modern-trained combat pilot and things are much better in today's aircraft, so any comparison to older ones will make them look bad somehow.

Finally, i guess he is a bit on the large side as well. I don't think that the RAF of Luftwaffe pilots of the day were much taller than 1.70-1.75m, with a few notable exceptions.
Heck, even in our airforce there was an upper limit up until we got Mirage 2000s and a lot of F16s with that recliner chair in the cockpit which makes everything comfortable and roomy :-P
Until that point our air force mostly operated F-4s, Mirage F-1s, F-104s, F-5s, etc, from the 60s-70s up until the early 90s. During those years, any person in the military flight school was disqualified from flying fighters if he was taller than 1.80-1.85m and we're talking a mere 15-20 years ago.

If you think about how people were generally shorter back in WWII and that it was possible the shortest guys were being preferred for fighter duty, i guess that neither the Spit nor the 109 was terribly cramped for their standards. Maybe they would describe it as a snug or tight fit (depending on whether they liked it or not), but even from pilots who criticized an aspect of their own aircraft what we usually hear are complaints about ergonomics, performance or visibility. They would obviously compare different types and say that "A is roomy and more comfortable than B", but i can't recall ever reading a comment from a wartime pilot stating that a certain cockpit was downright impossible to sit in for any length of time necessitated by the type's operational duties.

Heavies like the B-17 flew with open side windows for much of the war in freezing temperatures and totally lacked any kind of pressurization equipment. I'm sure if we took a B-52 crew to give an appraisal, the tail gunner would say it's impossible to sit in that ball turret and everyone else would talk about how "lack of pressurization makes your ears bleed in altitude changes", but the guys who flew the 17 back in the time loved it.

Making comparisons is the art of comprehending relevance and dependency between things, so the context of the time a machine was fielded in combat and the background of the guy making the comparisons is important too ;)

Sternjaeger
03-04-2011, 12:50 AM
Look, I know I won't be remembered for my manners, but this kinda stuff is what really damages the history of aviation..

Apart for my personal opinion on the pilot (who again I suppose I can express thanks to the freedom of speech and on the grounds of my personal direct experience with the person), the approach and comments that he does have no value for the sake of a correct evaluation of the quality and flaws of the two cockpit, not to mention his final personal opinion on something that he never even flew in.

And for the intelligent folks who thinks I'm a Luftwhiner, there are other important flaws in the 109 design: a real annoying factor of the 109 (and 110) cockpit that very rarely comes up but that you will notice once we can play CoD is the shadows of the window frames around the cockpit: they move continuously and will partially cover instruments.

Going back to pilot's accounts, I would rather value the impressions and comments of Charlie Brown, who flew both the Bf109 (he's probably the only modern display pilot to have flown the G and E series) and various marks of Spitfire.

LukeFF
03-04-2011, 01:22 AM
Lol, these video clips are becoming a weekly feature of this forum. :D

major_setback
03-04-2011, 01:30 AM
Getting into the cockpit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO9mEv5Ve54

BadAim
03-04-2011, 02:11 AM
Such emotion. Should we not save this passion for virtually murdering each other online when COD comes out in a few weeks?

Skoshi Tiger
03-04-2011, 02:22 AM
we need his height and weight

FWIW In the video he describes himself as lightly built.

Cheers!

Skoshi Tiger
03-04-2011, 02:23 AM
Such emotion. Should we not save this passion for virtually murdering each other online when COD comes out in a few weeks?

+1 Payback time!

Skoshi Tiger
03-04-2011, 02:27 AM
IUntil that point our air force mostly operated F-4s, Mirage F-1s, F-104s, F-5s, etc, from the 60s-70s up until the early 90s. During those years, any person in the military flight school was disqualified from flying fighters if he was taller than 1.80-1.85m and we're talking a mere 15-20 years ago.


I seam to remember the reason for the rule in the RAAF being if your legs were too long it would cause a small gap between your legs and the seat. If this was the case it resulted in to broken legs if you needed to eject.

Cheers!

Robotic Pope
03-04-2011, 03:01 AM
..Yes, the cockpit is way more crammed, but for EVERYTHING ELSE the bf109 is by far better than the Spitfire. Just to give you a couple of examples: the Luftwaffe tended to select small size men for their fighter crews, a choice that meant a better tolerance of G-loads and ease of movement in a machine that was deliberately small; second thing (and this is something that your friend here forgot to mention) the spitfire was designed with engineering farts like a fuel tank behind the cockpit panel with no adequate firewall, which meant that many Commonwealth pilots suffered severe burns because of this "uh, whoopsie!"..

G Force. Thats another thing he didn't mention about the 109 cockpit which gives the pilot an advantage over a spitfires. In a 109 you sit with your legs almost horizontal which gives you a far better G tolerance.

robtek
03-04-2011, 08:09 AM
One thing in favor for the tighter cockpit is that even with the straps not tightened your position in the cockpit can be stayed by pressing your shoulders to the framework while the loosened straps gives the ability to turn your body and head if needed.
In a roomier cockpit one has to tighten the straps.

Sternjaeger
03-04-2011, 09:35 AM
G Force. Thats another thing he didn't mention about the 109 cockpit which gives the pilot an advantage over a spitfires. In a 109 you sit with your legs almost horizontal which gives you a far better G tolerance.

Another very important aspect indeed,but watch it when u say it,you might be called a Luftwhiner.. ;)

Baron
03-04-2011, 10:27 AM
As i understood it the seat wasnt even adjusted to its lowest settings when he sat in the cockpit and to make it look even worse/cramped he closed the canopy, wich he didnt when he tested the spit.

Commenting on the cannon breach is another thing thats not really necessary, the pilot keeps his feets on the rudder pedals at all times. I mean, if the cannon breach wasnt there what is he suppose to do with that space anyways?. The flightstick is there either way so its not like he can cross his legs and take a nap in the spit because there is no cannon there.

Chill31
03-04-2011, 12:28 PM
Interesting thoughts by you guys...

If your shoulders touch both sides of the cockpit as his do, its a tight spot so to speak. If your cranium touches the top of the canopy, its tighter still. Now trying to check 6 when youre pulling 5-6 Gs...its going to seem tiny.

Having been in a multitude of cockpits, I'd take his commentary at face value that the 109 is tiny inside and every inch I could get to move around would be valuable in combat.

In regard to pulling Gs, having your legs straight out vs dangling below you helps, but its not siginificant. For example, the F-16 seat is reclined at about 30 degrees. Even that doesnt contribute significantly to increasing your G tolerance...it takes something on the order of 60 degrees to get a noticeable increase in G tolerance. Something to be said for comfort though...

Heliocon
03-04-2011, 02:41 PM
Umm wtf - I thought he was very direct and honest with both his opinions and that he talked directly about issues that could be seen with the camera. I am 6,3 - I could never fit in the 109 :P

Moggy
03-04-2011, 03:29 PM
I'm sure I saw a documentary years ago explaining the size difference between the 2 cockpits. I thought it might of been Spitfire! Two seconds to kill but having seen it again it doesn't look like it. I'm sure it's in my video collection somewhere!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/battleofbritain/11405.shtml

If memory serves, the Spitfire had a slightly larger cockpit but the 109 had a better engine layout and was easier for ground crew to work on.

KG26_Alpha
03-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Interestingly from Two Seconds to Kill

Bader mentions the Spit wing "folding up",

I had also read about this when over stressing the aircraft due to the pilots having to be careful with the Spits in hard manoeuvres as they were able to go past the safe limits due to the control authority being very light on the stick less than 10lbs where as the Bf109 was more than 20lbs.

I hope someone will put those figures right for me but I'm going from memory.

Moggy
03-04-2011, 03:52 PM
Interestingly from Two Seconds to Kill

Bader mentions the Spit wing "folding up",

I had also read about this when over stressing the aircraft due to the pilots having to be careful with the Spits in hard manoeuvres as they were able to go past the safe limits due to the control authority being very light on the stick less than 10lbs where as the Bf109 was more than 20lbs.

I hope someone will put those figures right for me but I'm going from memory.

Dodge, wasn't that the part where Bader and Stanford-Tuck were talking about a German ace who had managed to tear off a wing or 2 and the story had got around the German squadrons causing their pilots to pull out of divers early?

yellonet
03-04-2011, 04:23 PM
Umm wtf - I thought he was very direct and honest with both his opinions and that he talked directly about issues that could be seen with the camera.
Yeah, I guess that most of us thought of it like that.
But Sternjaeger claims that he has met the pilot in person, so of course he can interpret what we see and what the man says much better than the rest of us.
Goes without saying really.

KG26_Alpha
03-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Dodge, wasn't that the part where Bader and Stanford-Tuck were talking about a German ace who had managed to tear off a wing or 2 and the story had got around the German squadrons causing their pilots to pull out of divers early?

Hi Moggy

No this is regarding Spit pilots having to take care due to the lighter stick forces, it was easy for them to overstress the aircraft and pull the wings off it.

Don't want to get too off topic :)


Spit II pilots notes

Voyager
03-04-2011, 06:05 PM
Dodge, wasn't that the part where Bader and Stanford-Tuck were talking about a German ace who had managed to tear off a wing or 2 and the story had got around the German squadrons causing their pilots to pull out of divers early?

My understanding is that it was the Bf-108 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_108), which was one of the ancestors of the Bf-109 was the source of most of the doubt about 109 wing strength.

I believe it was one of my folks aircraft books that related the story of an acrobatics pilot who did a very impressive routine in the 108 for some major air event, and when he'd landed, it was discovered that the leading edges had separated by a couple inches at the wing roots.

I'll have to dig it out next time I'm down there. I'm pretty sure it was that Smithsonian Coffetable book of aircraft, with all full color foldouts of aircraft that I poured over through most of my youth.

Remo
03-05-2011, 10:59 AM
He loved the 109 instruments and control layout. What he was freaked out about was the really cramped quarters, the heavy canopy, and the cannon sitting right between the legs.

Anyways, a couple other articles on flying aircraft from the era:
The Legendary Zero (Part 1) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185354-1.html)
The Legendary Zero (Part 2) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185520-1.html)
Hurricane (Part 1) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185674-1.html)
Hurricane (Part 2) (http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/185849-1.html)

Those were very interesting articles. The feeling I had from the existing Hurris in IL2 is quite a bit diff from the one he formed from his real bird.

But all in all , you have to give to the man , he has some balls to fly those old birds..

Moggy
03-05-2011, 11:16 AM
Ahh ok lads, I didn't know about the Spitfire wing problems, makes sense though. Do you think the story about the BF-108 got around the German squadrons and somewhere along the line it was altered to a BF-109?

Triggaaar
03-05-2011, 02:32 PM
If you actually listen to what he says ,they are facts.You're suggesting that forum members with zero flying experience listen to the facts given by an expert on the matter? I think you've got the wrong forum.

Modern era western civilians, used to have everything at their disposal judge war machines from an old era......:rolleyes:Paul Day is not just a civilian used to sitting in an armchair watching these birds on the discovery channel.

Comfort don't mean crap in war.It's not just about comfort. It's how easy it is to keep turning and looking over your shoulders, trying to spot the enemy. Most WWII reports state that the victor was usually the one that saw the enemy first, so cockpit view and room to turn are very important.

KG26_Alpha
03-05-2011, 02:35 PM
To keep this thread from ending in the gutter
some posts have been removed to keep on topic
and make for easier reading.

Krt_Bong
03-06-2011, 05:51 AM
If you can glean anything from the video is the apparrent size of his head within the canopy, something that others have commented on when looking at game screenshots of the pilots in the same airplanes looking to be smaller than the scale that they should look.

Jebus23
03-07-2011, 01:31 AM
I felt claustraphobic just looking at the video of the messerschmitt, but there might be advantages to that. A smaller area would make you feel like the plane is in your control more, like an extension of yourself. Useful when landing and needing to be precise.

Skoshi Tiger
03-07-2011, 04:04 AM
It's not just about comfort. It's how easy it is to keep turning and looking over your shoulders, trying to spot the enemy. Most WWII reports state that the victor was usually the one that saw the enemy first, so cockpit view and room to turn are very important.

+1
Also discomfort increases fatigue. Fatigue increases the chance of errors when operating in stressful situations.


Cheers!