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View Full Version : A look inside the Bf-109 and Spitfire cockpits



Metatron_123
09-19-2009, 05:53 PM
Spitfire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFj8NDqZhlc) and Bf-109 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9YVei2Yb_k&feature=related)

Puts some things into perspective. In both cases we're given an idea of the compromises made in aircraft design at the time.

AndyJWest
09-19-2009, 06:11 PM
Good stuff http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

The Bf 109 cockpit is tiny, even compared to a Spit...

Kurfurst__
09-20-2009, 01:40 AM
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e133/Kurfurst/109e_Spit_cpit_xsection.png
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e133/Kurfurst/109e_Spit_cpit_malcolm.png

Note: the bulged Malcolm hood (the circular 'blown' outer canopy section shown in blue for the Spitfire), as shown in the cross section above, was in the cross section above, was introduced sometime around late 1941/early 1942. Before that that canopy was of more limited size, shown by the inner section. The earliest Sitfire canopy did not have the top bulged section.

M_Gunz
09-20-2009, 02:31 AM
The difference of a handwidth or less does make a big difference in perception of 'tight'.

It's like shoes one or two sizes apart. Without a foot inside the difference looks almost nothing but you know it
without looking, the shoe that fits.

freakvollder
09-20-2009, 02:41 AM
very nice videos that you've found Matatron_123! Very interesting for me as a mainly 109flyer in the game and I also fly Spits very often.

Kurfürst; very nice grahic you've schown here! Thanks

~S~

csThor
09-20-2009, 02:45 AM
I once sat in a restored Bf 109 G-2 (rebuilt from Spanish Buchon, static display only) which is owned by the Messerschmitt Stiftung. My height is quite average (1,85m) but I'm quite bulky with broad shoulders. It would have been impossible for me to fly this crate since I felt like stuck in a benchwise. Being tall isn't a problem (a friend of mine who's taller than me sat in as well and was "quite comfortable"), but having broad shoulders is. The upper edge of the fuselage (where the canopy sits on it) was located directly under my shoulders and it really locked me in. I guess this may have been different if we could have adjusted the seat, but I don't know for sure.
The question of "tight" is most probably a question of personal build, but I always wonder how people like Hannes Trautloft or Friedrich Bekh (both well above 1,90m in height) managed to cram themselves into a 109.

Treetop64
09-20-2009, 02:48 AM
His initial reaction upon sitting inside the 109 is amusing.

major_setback
09-20-2009, 03:20 AM
Nice links.

I must say I always thought there was more room than that in the 109 cockpit. It looks like a tight fit.

So this is a bit inaccurate then!? - The 'Hollywood version':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...uzMM&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cgN1GEuzMM&feature=related)

csThor
09-20-2009, 03:22 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Either the pilot's a dwarf on a very thick seat cushion or the designer has no clue how small the cockpit of the 109 really is.

mmitch10
09-20-2009, 04:16 AM
Great links, thanks for posting. It brings home the reality of the cokcpits compared to us sitting in comfortable office chairs, plenty of room, maybe a beer on the desk http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

NuMcA_of_CS
09-20-2009, 08:21 AM
Nice post!! +1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

horseback
09-20-2009, 10:22 AM
Considering the 'fit' of the 109 at approximate shoulder level, I guess that it was a good thing that more German fighter pilots played soccer rather than rugby, or gymnastics, or swimming or a myriad of other sports that developed the shoulders...

Now we know the real reason that so many elite pilots opted for the Stuka or Zerstorer gruppe early in the war.

As for the semi-blown canopies of the Battle of Britain era Spits and early Mk Vs, they still provided more headroom, had no framing, and could be slid back in flight; all features vastly preferable to the 109's canopy. The Spit's canopy still provided more range of vision and less claustrophobia, pound for pound.

cheers

horseback

M_Gunz
09-20-2009, 11:11 AM
If the choice was to fit in the 109 or become a ground-pounder....

Kettenhunde
09-20-2009, 11:58 AM
To counterbalance the opinions:


Aircraft was confidence inspiring, one felt like being the king of the skies when sitting in the cockpit. All controls were in logical order and in the reach of the pilot.
The plane responded to your piloting like a dream, from takeoff to landing. It is still the plane of my dreams.



The Messerschmitt was good to fly and beautiful - I wish I could fly it one more time…



One thing that was absolutely good about it, was the wild performance of the aircraft. Other good points were the visibility during the flight, the sitting position, the cockpit wasn't unnecessary roomy, the impression of controlled flight and sturdy construction: no vibrations or shakings


Me109 was almost a dream come true for a pilot.


Along with its delightful flight characteristics, the visibility in this Messerschmitt is all that a fighter pilot could reasonably ask.


It is hard to find any negative things about the plane from pilot's perspective when taking the development of technology into account."



The 109 takes off and lands as easily as it flies."
- Charles Lindbergh


Weaponry was good, as well as the control systems and radio.


The cockpit arrangements were good, though close-fitting to a large man."



"For the pilot the plane was definitely a good package.


The performance and handling of the plane were excellent and all systems were in their correct place. Of all different planes I have flown the easiest to fly were the Pyry (advanced trainer) and the Messerschmitt."



It was a fine "pilot's airplane" and there was no big complaints about the technical side


The MT had a very clear cockpit. It was big enough for a normal man. You had a firm feeling about sitting in a robust plane.@



The cockpit was small, but one got used to it after a while. In the end it felt comfortable since you felt like part of the plane. The Spitfire's cockpit did not feel that much roomier to him either.

http://www.virtualpilots.fi/fe...e/articles/109myths/ (http://www.virtualpilots.fi/feature/articles/109myths/)

GBrutus
09-20-2009, 12:49 PM
Oh dear...

Warrington_Wolf
09-20-2009, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Considering the 'fit' of the 109 at approximate shoulder level, I guess that it was a good thing that more German fighter pilots played soccer rather than rugby, or gymnastics, or swimming or a myriad of other sports that developed the shoulders... That rules me out of trying to get in one then. I read somewhere that Goering would have the Luftwaffe in stitches when he tried to get his fat arse in and out of a Me-109.

RegRag1977
09-20-2009, 01:21 PM
At least the 109 cockpit glass (unlike the spitfires) is not distortive and does not limit the range "at which one can spot an ennemy AC".

Round glass=not so good...

Sooocool
09-20-2009, 04:54 PM
If I’m understanding S/Ldr Paul Day correctly, the flaps are either up or down, (no rough field takeoff or combat position)? In IL-2, any degree of flap in the flap axis is possible on the Spitfire with a slider on the joystick.
And;
The Spitfire has a variable pitch propeller (like the 109, not a constant speed propeller)? In IL-2, prop pitch is modeled differently on these two aircraft.

Viper2005_
09-20-2009, 05:54 PM
1) Spitfire flaps are either up or down with no intermediate position.

2) The Spitfire started with a 2 bladed wooden prop (basically a speed prop, because speed was specified; there was quite a row over K5054's prop when it under-performed). Then a 3 bladed metal prop with 2 positions (fine pitch and coarse pitch) was fitted. The era of the 2 position variable pitch prop resulted in some interesting additions to the lexicon, ("f***ing off in fine pitch" springing to mind as a beautifully descriptive example; the change in engine note being just as obvious as a flustered demeanour), and also caused some rather predictable accidents, as pilots attempted to take off in coarse pitch. The primary advantage of the new prop was that it improved low speed performance, especially takeoff distance required and climb rate.

Then a constant speed governor was fitted to make this prop genuinely constant speed, yielding a very useful performance improvement. This work was carried out during the Battle of Britain.

From the MkII onwards all Spitfires had a constant speed prop IIRC. In the video mention is made of the "excellent CSU". CSU = Constant Speed Unit. What he means by this is that the governor maintains rpm accurately, allowing the pilot to get on with flying the aeroplane rather than worrying about overspeeding the engine.

I believe he is sat in the BBMF's Spitfire II.

horseback
09-20-2009, 06:02 PM
Pre Battle of Britain, the 'frontline' Spit Mk Is had a two-pitch prop which was rapidly replaced with a constant speed prop unit during the late spring early summer of 1940, in some cases liberated from stocks intended for the Hurricanes (look for Spits with slightly oversized, bulbous spinners).

Like many other fighters designed in the middle 1930s, the Spitfire began its career with a two-bladed, fixed pitch prop and received progressively more improved pitch control systems as they became available.

cheers

horseback

Sooocool
09-20-2009, 06:07 PM
Thanks Viper, answered my questions completely.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

WTE_Galway
09-20-2009, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Viper2005_:


2) The Spitfire started with a 2 bladed wooden prop (basically a speed prop, because speed was specified; there was quite a row over K5054's prop when it under-performed).

Wooden two bladed Watts prop as fitted to early Spitfires (this one is a replica).


http://www.spitfirespares.com/SpitfireSpares.com/Website%20products%2086%20duxford/Spitfire-propeller-001.jpg

Close up of prop tip ...


http://www.spitfirespares.com/SpitfireSpares.com/Website%20products%2086%20duxford/Spitfire-propeller-006.jpg


The prop was actually laminated with the layers held together by glue and dowels as seen below ...


http://www.spitfirespares.com/SpitfireSpares.com/Website%20products%2086%20duxford/Spitfire-propeller-003.jpg

Treetop64
09-20-2009, 07:41 PM
Fairly high-tech stuff back in those days, if one has an appreciation of the finer aspects of prop design.

zxwings
09-20-2009, 09:13 PM
Comments saying that the cockpit of the Bf-109 is too small and therefore very uncomfortable have probably overlooked one important fact, that European people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height; it's something I noticed from the many WWII documentaries I've seen - many short soldiers and even more short officers. The same is seen in many other parts of the world, such as China and Japan.

WTE_Galway
09-20-2009, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by zxwings:
Comments saying that the cockpit of the Bf-109 is too small and therefore very uncomfortable have probably overlooked one important fact, that European people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height; it's something I noticed from the many WWII documentaries I've seen - many short soldiers and even more short officers. The same is seen in many other parts of the world, such as China and Japan.


Lack of food ... being a child in post WWI Europe and a teenager during the depression will do that for you.

M_Gunz
09-21-2009, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by zxwings:
Comments saying that the cockpit of the Bf-109 is too small and therefore very uncomfortable have probably overlooked one important fact, that European people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height; it's something I noticed from the many WWII documentaries I've seen - many short soldiers and even more short officers. The same is seen in many other parts of the world, such as China and Japan.


Lack of food ... being a child in post WWI Europe and a teenager during the depression will do that for you. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Due to the war reparations and the seizure of Alsace-Lorraine it was especially brutally hard on the German people, be sure!
Had it not been so insane (a suitcase full of money to buy a bag of grocery if you could find it) then Hitler would not have
come to power.

Before and during WWI the Hapsburgs controlled a lot of the wheat production (Prussia?) and kept the supply low to keep the
prices high. It really screwed things during the war, the sawdust in the bread had as much to do with Germany surrendering
as the Allied effort it seems. It's funny how wars are lost by greedy mo-fo's playing for bucks and from what I've seen the
lesson has yet to be learned by the ****s who make the decisions even now. Of course it's the poor who always lose the most
and in terms deeply beyond counted money.

Jabout
09-21-2009, 01:12 AM
The hyper inflation was in the 1920's.

Hitler came to power in the 1930's, due more to the wall street crash than the hyper inflation in the earlier period.

Gammelpreusse
09-21-2009, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by zxwings:
Comments saying that the cockpit of the Bf-109 is too small and therefore very uncomfortable have probably overlooked one important fact, that European people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height; it's something I noticed from the many WWII documentaries I've seen - many short soldiers and even more short officers. The same is seen in many other parts of the world, such as China and Japan.


Lack of food ... being a child in post WWI Europe and a teenager during the depression will do that for you. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Due to the war reparations and the seizure of Alsace-Lorraine it was especially brutally hard on the German people, be sure!
Had it not been so insane (a suitcase full of money to buy a bag of grocery if you could find it) then Hitler would not have
come to power.

Before and during WWI the Hapsburgs controlled a lot of the wheat production (Prussia?) and kept the supply low to keep the
prices high. It really screwed things during the war, the sawdust in the bread had as much to do with Germany surrendering
as the Allied effort it seems. It's funny how wars are lost by greedy mo-fo's playing for bucks and from what I've seen the
lesson has yet to be learned by the ****s who make the decisions even now. Of course it's the poor who always lose the most
and in terms deeply beyond counted money. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Eh, next year the last Reperation debt payments to the US will be finished, the rest in 2020. So it's over soon.

Waldo.Pepper
09-21-2009, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by zxwings:
... people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height;...

I believe I can confirm this, with an anecdotal story from the Pacific War and a peculiarity of Japanese culture of the time.

There was a distinct officer class to the Japanese Army. The officers came from the more well to do segment of their society. Consequently they were taller as their nutrition was better during their youth.

Sniper's would select the tall ones correctly reasoning that they were the officers. Sometimes privilege does not pay. This is told in James Dunnigan's Dirty LIttle Secrets - though I don't have page reference at the moment.

pogobbler
09-21-2009, 01:57 AM
With modern day accounts of these aircraft you do have to keep several things in mind. As someone stated before, people did tend to be significantly smaller back then than they do now. Obviously that'd make the cockpits a bit of a less tight fit, though they were still quite snug, I'm sure. Also, ergonomics have come quite a ways since the 30s and 40s and a pilot in ww2, while they might recognize that this or that aspect of the cockpit could be better, would be coming at things from the perspective of the contemporary aircraft they had experience with, not modern aircraft which benefit from all those years of advances in ergonomics, materials and design. Coming out of a modern jet aircraft, you would immediate be struck by the huge blindspot the engine in front of you makes and the huge blindspot the wings make, both of which are absent or minimized in most, if not all, modern jet fighter aircraft, with the pilot stting so far forward of the engines and wings. The bubble canopy, too, helps give great, unobstructed vision, which few ww2 aircraft could approach.

Still, though, very interesting video "reviews" of the cockpits. Munchkinland could use those 109s to great advantage in their airforce, I bet. A little booster seat and they'd fit right in.

One things that's always struck me about ww2 fighter pilots-- or, indeed, fighter pilots in any conflict-- is how for many there must have been very mixed feelings. On the surface, they'd do their duty even knowing how great their chances of death or injury were. On another level, though, despite the horrors of war, you know these young men relished the chance to get to fly the aircraft. I was lucky enough to know some pilots of that era and they would mostly get a bit wistful when recalling how there were those moments when they really did just enjoy these amazing, state of the art, high performance aircraft they got to fly. Fulfilling, for many, a dream in the midst of the terror and chaos of war.

Manu-6S
09-21-2009, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by zxwings:
Comments saying that the cockpit of the Bf-109 is too small and therefore very uncomfortable have probably overlooked one important fact, that European people in the time of WWII were shorter than today's. Well, I've got no hard data to prove my remark about people's increased height; it's something I noticed from the many WWII documentaries I've seen - many short soldiers and even more short officers. The same is seen in many other parts of the world, such as China and Japan.


Lack of food ... being a child in post WWI Europe and a teenager during the depression will do that for you. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Due to the war reparations and the seizure of Alsace-Lorraine it was especially brutally hard on the German people, be sure!
Had it not been so insane (a suitcase full of money to buy a bag of grocery if you could find it) then Hitler would not have
come to power.

Before and during WWI the Hapsburgs controlled a lot of the wheat production (Prussia?) and kept the supply low to keep the
prices high. It really screwed things during the war, the sawdust in the bread had as much to do with Germany surrendering
as the Allied effort it seems. It's funny how wars are lost by greedy mo-fo's playing for bucks and from what I've seen the
lesson has yet to be learned by the ****s who make the decisions even now. Of course it's the poor who always lose the most
and in terms deeply beyond counted money. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen, my friend. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Kurfurst__
09-21-2009, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
As for the semi-blown canopies of the Battle of Britain era Spits and early Mk Vs, they still provided more headroom,

Nope - BoB era Spits did not have the Malcolm hood yet (which was comparable in size to the 109 canopy) and provided considerably less headroom. This is not something to be debated, its simply there in the drawings. The early Spit canopy was considerably narrower.


had no framing,

The British had to say on this :

View. – Fig. 4 shows the general windscreen layout. The flat front panel is inclined at about 55 deg. to the horizontal when the aircraft is in flying attitude ; the large corner panels are also flat, in contrast to the curved panels of the Spitfire and Hurricane. The port corner panel is divided into two parts vertically, and the forward portion hinges inward about its leading edge, forming a direct vision opening about 9 in. high by 3 in. wide at the top and 6 in. wide at the bottom; this opening is inclined at 26 deg. to the direction of flight so that the width of forward vision is about 2 in.

The cockpit hood does not slide back. It is hinged at the starboard side for entry and exit, and cannot thus be opened in flight. Sliding windows are fitted, one in each side panel of the hood. The hood jettisoning arrangements for emergency exit are interesting. The hood is spring loaded, and on pushing the jettison lever the whole of the hood and the wireless mast behind it are flung clear backwards.

The view forward when taxying is very bad, partly owing to the high ground attitude of the aircraft, and partly because the hood cannot be slid back to enable the pilot to look round the edge of the windscreen.

When in flight, the view forward and sideways is normal, being similar to the Hurricane; the windscreen framework members are sufficiently narrow, and do not catch the pilot's eye nor create blind spots. Sideways and rearwards the view is about the same as the Spitfire and Hurricane, but the cramped position of the pilot in the cockpit makes it difficult to look downward or upward to the rear, and the tailplane can only be seen with an effort.

The direct vision opening gives a large field of view and is completely draught free at all speeds. A high speed can thus be maintained in'bad weather conditions, whereas on the Humcane or Spitfire the pilot must slide back the hood and look round the edge of the windscreen to obtain a view-forward in rain or cloud, and can only do this by flying at fairly low speed. The direct vision opening also assists landing, as the high position of the nose obstructs the view forward during the hold off, and the opening is in the correct position to give a view of the ground. The direct vision opening obviously satisfies a very real need, for the early Me.109s were not fitted with this device. The windscreen panels are clear and free from distortion, and do not oil up in flight. The hood sliding panels are difficult to open, particularly at high speeds.


109F, though the canopy was essentially the same as on the E)

The view forward is rather better than in the Me.109E, but is still poorer than in the Spitfire, altough the straight perspex panels on each side of the windscreen are preferable to the curved panels of the Spitfire.



and could be slid back in flight;

'and can only do this by flying at fairly low speed.'

A noteworthy difference is how to escape the aircraft if things go bad. On the 109, the whole canopy section could be jettisoned by a spring by pulling a lever. On the BoB era Spitfire, the canopy could not be jettisoned, and had to be slided back by hand force before bailing out. Good luck in that in a spinning plane, especially if the rails were damaged.

Furthermore, the canopy of the Spitfire could be only opened at moderately high speed with difficultly. The September 1936 Spitfire trials reported:

"At speeds over 300 mph ASI the cocpit cover is very difficult to open, altough it has been opened at 320 mph ASI and will stay open. Attention should be given to this question, as it is most important that the pilot should be able to get out of the aeroplane at the very highest speeds without difficulty. "


all features vastly preferable to the 109's canopy. The Spit's canopy still provided more range of vision and less claustrophobia, pound for pound.

'the view forward and sideways is normal, being similar to the Hurricane... Sideways and rearwards the view is about the same as the Spitfire and Hurricane'

Less claustrophobic, perhaps, but still, I would rather not prefer being trapped in an airplane going down, or having large distorive surfaces that limit the range at which aircraft can spotted.

major_setback
09-21-2009, 04:41 AM
Early Spit prop.

http://www.spitfiresite.com/photos/historic/uploaded_images/Spitfire-Mk.-I-ca.-1939-735770.jpg

http://www.spitfiresite.com/photos/historic/uploaded_images/spitfire-i-compass-swinging-721083.jpg

I thought that the accompanying text to these photos was interesting enough to post:

"Anonymous early Spitfire Mk. I on compass swing, location unknown. This view shows to advantage the dinstinctive features of the earliest production Spitfires Mk. I: wooden two-blade propeller, unarmoured windscreen, straight cockpit canopy, thin and tall aerial mast and (barely visible) rudder horn balance guard.

Compass swinging was a rather time-consuming task which could be simplified considerably by placing an aircraft on a rotating platform such as this. With a fitter sitting in the cockpit and the aircraft in flight-ready configuration, the engine was started and then the platform aligned so that the aircraft faced the 0 degree (north) heading. Then the fitter would check if the aircraft magnetic compass was in alignment with the magnetic north. If not, he would adjust the compensator screws with a non-magnetic screwdriver until the compass read 0 degrees. Then the procedure would be repeated for the 90-degree (east), 180 (south) and 270-degree (west) headings.

After these adjustments the compass was checked once again by turning it around stopping at each 30-degree heading and recording the compass readings, fine-tuning the compensator screws to ensure that there was no more than a few degrees difference between any of the indicated headings on the compass and the actual heading."

yuuppers
09-21-2009, 05:29 AM
Mod 324 introduced 20-11-40 was for canopy jettison gear.

Mod 283 fit Spit III windscreen and hood, 27-7,40

The 109 was not without it canopy jettison problems, despite those who believe the 109 was 110% perfection, as there is a report around about, iirc, problems on the 109G. Now since a 1936 report of Spit canopy problems is used to insinuate the there was a problem in 1940, one can then say since the the 109G had a problem the 109E and 109F also had a problem with jettisoning the canopy.

Kurfurst's drawing might be impressive to pencil pushers and bean counters but for a techie they leave very much to be desired.

RegRag1977
09-21-2009, 05:39 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

Less claustrophobic, perhaps, but still, I would rather not prefer being trapped in an airplane going down, or having large distorive surfaces that limit the range at which aircraft can spotted.

It is funny how the Me109 canopy is reknown for it's claustrophobic characteristics while the disadvantages of using distortive round glass (Allied canopies) is largely ignored or unknown.
It is true that in game (unlike real world) we have the same optical qualities for all canopies glass parts , (even for the La and MiG series, which were so bad that pilots prefered to fly with canopies always opened).

yuuppers
09-21-2009, 06:16 AM
Does one here complaints about optical distortion for the Fw190, especially the 190s with the blown hood?

julian265
09-21-2009, 07:56 AM
What about modern bubble canopies? They're going to be more scratch resistant, but it's still a bubble. IMO more important factors are surface defects and scratches, and discoloration.

Xiolablu3
09-21-2009, 08:17 AM
OF course you have to add all the equipment into the canopy before you can say whether its cramped or not...


Just using an outline of the frame is pretty useless.

M_Gunz
09-21-2009, 08:32 AM
Paul Day, a modern jet fighter pilot, sits in the old Spitfire and remarks that the curved plexiglass cuts down on the range
at which you will see (identify?) an enemy plane is good enough for me as an indicator though not the last word ever.

CUJO_1970
09-21-2009, 09:03 AM
The cockpit may have been cramped, but at least there's plenty of room on the rudder:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/bartels2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/grislawski2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/Me109-291f.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/hahnvon109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/kageneck2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/litjens2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/ostermann2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/schmidt2109.jpg

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/weiss_bazzi2109.jpg

Xiolablu3
09-21-2009, 10:23 AM
Individuals scoring high does not winneth a war

In fact personal score was frowned up on in the RAF. It becomes a selfish act. As a leader your job should be to get a many of your planes in position as possible, not to boost your personal 'score'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...txBo&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Z4Es4txBo&feature=related)

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUnznl9RiiU

danjama
09-21-2009, 11:21 AM
He's a fussy bugger!

AndyJWest
09-21-2009, 12:06 PM
The cockpit may have been cramped, but at least there's plenty of room on the rudder.
Given what we now know about overclaiming of kills (by both allied and axis pilots), the rudder could have been a lot smaller. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Bremspropeller
09-21-2009, 12:19 PM
Individuals scoring high does not winneth a war

Not shooting down anything neither does.
Friendly competition keeps the spirits high.

And there are always a**holes that think they're special for their medals - you can't stop that, it's entirely human.

The spirit of aggressiveness is what sets the victorious pilot apart.
Thus, he should be given enough room to act accordingly.

It shows, there have been lots of highscorers that WERE concerned about their wingmen.

Manu-6S
09-21-2009, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The cockpit may have been cramped, but at least there's plenty of room on the rudder.
Given what we now know about overclaiming of kills (by both allied and axis pilots), the rudder could have been a lot smaller. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not "difficult" to score so many kills when you're an ace flying a better warbird against many poor skilled pilots flying inferior planes... above all doing at least 4 missions every day.

WholeHawg
09-21-2009, 01:14 PM
So would you say the 6 DoF is over modeled at least from side to side?

It almost looks to me like you couldn't move your head from side to side more that a centimeter or two in either direction and rearward visibility would be very difficult especially in the 109 with the flat glass. I cant imagine going to war in those tiny aircraft.

Great Post!!

RegRag1977
09-21-2009, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Individuals scoring high does not winneth a war

In fact personal score was frowned up on in the RAF. It becomes a selfish act. As a leader your job should be to get a many of your planes in position as possible, not to boost your personal 'score'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...txBo&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Z4Es4txBo&feature=related)

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUnznl9RiiU


Nice Videos! i like "Sailor" Malan philosophy. Great man, great ace pilot.

Those veterans too are for sure good folks! Real gentlemen here...Courageous, gifted and so humble.

Impressive.

horseback
09-21-2009, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
As for the semi-blown canopies of the Battle of Britain era Spits and early Mk Vs, they still provided more headroom,
Nope - BoB era Spits did not have the Malcolm hood yet (which was comparable in size to the 109 canopy) and provided considerably less headroom. This is not something to be debated, its simply there in the drawings. The early Spit canopy was considerably narrower.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Au contraire, mon ami. ‘Headroom’ is a function of the distance from the bottom of the seat to the canopy, or the point at which one bumps one’s noggin on the glass (or Perspex). Nowhere in your lovely drawing do I see any indication of where the respective seat pans are located, or where they would place an average sized pilot’s head and (hopefully not too broad) shoulders. I see that you used the word 'era' rather than specifically saying 'Spit Mk Is and IIs in the southeast of England during the Battle'. No doubt this was an oversight on your part rather than a conscious attempt to conceal information that might refute your argument.</span>

had no framing,
The British had to say on this :

View. – Fig. 4 shows the general windscreen layout. The flat front panel is inclined at about 55 deg. to the horizontal when the aircraft is in flying attitude ; the large corner panels are also flat, in contrast to the curved panels of the Spitfire and Hurricane. The port corner panel is divided into two parts vertically, and the forward portion hinges inward about its leading edge, forming a direct vision opening about 9 in. high by 3 in. wide at the top and 6 in. wide at the bottom; this opening is inclined at 26 deg. to the direction of flight so that the width of forward vision is about 2 in.

The cockpit hood does not slide back. It is hinged at the starboard side for entry and exit, and cannot thus be opened in flight. Sliding windows are fitted, one in each side panel of the hood. The hood jettisoning arrangements for emergency exit are interesting. The hood is spring loaded, and on pushing the jettison lever the whole of the hood and the wireless mast behind it are flung clear backwards.

The view forward when taxying is very bad, partly owing to the high ground attitude of the aircraft, and partly because the hood cannot be slid back to enable the pilot to look round the edge of the windscreen.

When in flight, the view forward and sideways is normal, being similar to the Hurricane; the windscreen framework members are sufficiently narrow, and do not catch the pilot's eye nor create blind spots. Sideways and rearwards the view is about the same as the Spitfire and Hurricane, but the cramped position of the pilot in the cockpit makes it difficult to look downward or upward to the rear, and the tailplane can only be seen with an effort.

The direct vision opening gives a large field of view and is completely draught free at all speeds. A high speed can thus be maintained in 'bad’ weather conditions, whereas on the Hurricane or Spitfire the pilot must slide back the hood and look round the edge of the windscreen to obtain a view-forward in rain or cloud, and can only do this by flying at fairly low speed. The direct vision opening also assists landing, as the high position of the nose obstructs the view forward during the hold off, and the opening is in the correct position to give a view of the ground. The direct vision opening obviously satisfies a very real need, for the early Me.109s were not fitted with this device. The windscreen panels are clear and free from distortion, and do not oil up in flight. The hood sliding panels are difficult to open, particularly at high speeds.

109F, though the canopy was essentially the same as on the E) <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Given that this report was an appraisal ultimately intended for consumption by RAF and other Allied pilots, its primary intent was to prevent them from underestimating the enemy’s equipment. There are a number of contradictions, not least in the description of the framing as being “the windscreen framework members are sufficiently narrow, and do not catch the pilot's eye nor create blind spots” and then turning around and saying “but the cramped position of the pilot in the cockpit makes it difficult to look downward or upward to the rear”. Given that the pilot is sufficiently cramped that he cannot turn his torso to look up or down behind him, it seems to me that it would be difficult to move his head about to see around that framing.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">While distortion free panels are very nice and all, no direct comparison to the Spitfire’s clear vision canopy is made, so that the degree of distortion can only guessed at. Given the value the western Allies placed on their pilots’ and aircrews’ lives, the distortion was likely minimal, particularly compared to the disadvantages of the ‘birdcage’ effect of the Hurricane’s canopy (and any comparison of the Spit's canopy to the Hurri's definitely favored the Spit). The development of an optically ‘clean’ canopy that could be mass produced was a major development that the British apparently achieved ahead of the Germans. I recall that the so-called ‘Galland’ hood for the 109 appeared quite some time after the Malcolm hoods on Spits and the teardrop canopies started to spring up on Allied fighters like so many mushrooms after 1943…</span>


The view forward is rather better than in the Me.109E, but is still poorer than in the Spitfire, although the straight perspex panels on each side of the windscreen are preferable to the curved panels of the Spitfire. .
quote: and could be slid back in flight;
'and can only do this by flying at fairly low speed.'

A noteworthy difference is how to escape the aircraft if things go bad. On the 109, the whole canopy section could be jettisoned by a spring by pulling a lever. On the BoB era Spitfire, the canopy could not be jettisoned, and had to be slided back by hand force before bailing out. Good luck in that in a spinning plane, especially if the rails were damaged. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I note that you fail to mention when the canopy jettison mechanism was put into the 109; I also seem to recall that some pilot memoirs refer to the reliability of the device in a less than complementary manner. I recently read Caldwell and Muller's Luftwaffe Over Germany, and I got the very strong impression that Reich defense fatalities per aircraft lost in 1943-45 ran at a ratio of greater than 60%, which compares to something like 40% fatalities for Fighter Command during the ‘BoB era’. It would appear that the LW’s pilots failed to leave their aircraft safely less often than their Commonwealth counterparts of 3 years earlier. I would infer from this and the fact that most fighter aircraft of the time opted for a sliding canopy over a sideways hinged one that the sliding canopy turned out to be a superior system.</span>

Furthermore, the canopy of the Spitfire could be only opened at moderately high speed with difficultly. The September 1936 Spitfire trials reported:

"At speeds over 300 mph ASI the cockpit cover is very difficult to open, altough it has been opened at 320 mph ASI and will stay open. Attention should be given to this question, as it is most important that the pilot should be able to get out of the aeroplane at the very highest speeds without difficulty. "
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Again, I note that you are quoting a report from the prototype tests, which used a different canopy a full four years before the Battle of Britain. I see no documentation to indicate that the issue was not resolved before late summer 1940. I also seem to recall a canopy release mechanism involving pulling a handle that released the Spit’s canopy from the rails—I’m at work and cannot refer to my references, so it may have come later, but I think the canopy slides were very, very likely to have been improved markedly between 1936 and 1940. </span>
quote: all features vastly preferable to the 109's canopy. The Spit's canopy still provided more range of vision and less claustrophobia, pound for pound.
'the view forward and sideways is normal, being similar to the Hurricane... Sideways and rearwards the view is about the same as the Spitfire and Hurricane'

Less claustrophobic, perhaps, but still, I would rather not prefer being trapped in an airplane going down, or having large distortive surfaces that limit the range at which aircraft can spotted. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Pound for pound is an indication that the Spit’s canopy was also much lighter. Again, ‘sideways and rearward’ is not the same as ‘all-round’, and nowhere do I see any indication that the blown or semi-blown Perspex hoods had ‘large distortive’ surfaces—in fact, I am of the strong impression that the distortion, such as it was, was limited to the bottom corners and possibly within a centimeter or two of the much narrower framing than the 109 had.. Large distortive areas would have led to some comment along the lines of the condemnations of the early war Soviet cellophane canopies that yellowed and scratched within days of installation.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">We’ve already addressed the ‘trapped’ issue, I think.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">As usual, Kurfurst's responses, while technically correct in a general way, often require careful parsing. He can be a master of the subtle misimplication, rather than making subtle misstatements that can be directly contradicted. When things get shady, he will tend to generalizations that imply that a previously noted condition would continue to exist, as in the use of the prototype report.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A final point of reference: the average WWII US soldier was 5 foot eight and one half inches tall and weighed around 160 pounds (I remember this because when I first heard it as a teenager, I was 5 foot 8 and 3/4 inches tall and 125lbs). The average Japanese male of the time was five feet two inches tall, and weighed 120 lbs. It is my understanding that British and German soldiers were not apprecialy smaller than their American counterparts.</span>

cheers

horseback

ytareh
09-21-2009, 01:47 PM
Very good videos presented by an apparently VERY serious RAF officer.That gent (Sq Ldr Paul Day) had a real 'eye of the tiger' about him (I state that with respect)...Anybody know anything of his career ,I couldnt find anything .He spoke like someone who knows a lot of combat flying .All I could find is that he has been involved with the BOB memorial flight for years ...

yuuppers
09-21-2009, 02:47 PM
Thank you horseback for I couldn't be bothered to do a more detailed reply.

Here is another drawing which shows the Spit had more headroom.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1114844/spit-109cp3c2.gif.jpg

Rwulf__68
09-21-2009, 03:27 PM
Nice pair of videos. To add something not noted so far in discussion is one of Sqn.Ldr Day's comments about both aircraft's rear visibility. This illustrates perfectly the need for trusted wingmen to provide that extra set of eyes to cover you. This may go someway to help explain the Luftwaffe finger four adoption prior to the outbreak of war.

Agree with ytareh's "Very serious RAF officer"! Note the 3 miles of unknowns under the nose & how he instantly refers to the difference in visibility wrt the Griffon.

All good stuff!

Kurfurst__
09-21-2009, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by horseback:

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Au contraire, mon ami. ‘Headroom’ is a function of the distance from the bottom of the seat to the canopy, or the point at which one bumps one’s noggin on the glass (or Perspex). Nowhere in your lovely drawing do I see any indication of where the respective seat pans are located, or where they would place an average sized pilot’s head and (hopefully not too broad) shoulders. I see that you used the word 'era' rather than specifically saying 'Spit Mk Is and IIs in the southeast of England during the Battle'. No doubt this was an oversight on your part rather than a conscious attempt to conceal information that might refute your argument.</span>[/QUOTE]

Like... how? The Malcolm was not introduced long time after the Battle, and it did little more than providing the same space as the 109E canopy years before.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Given that this report was an appraisal ultimately intended for consumption by RAF and other Allied pilots, its primary intent was to prevent them from underestimating the enemy’s equipment. There are a number of contradictions, not least in the description of the framing as being “the windscreen framework members are sufficiently narrow, and do not catch the pilot's eye nor create blind spots” and then turning around and saying “but the cramped position of the pilot in the cockpit makes it difficult to look downward or upward to the rear”. Given that the pilot is sufficiently cramped that he cannot turn his torso to look up or down behind him, it seems to me that it would be difficult to move his head about to see around that framing.</span>

Nope, the 'cramped' seating position refers to the fact that the 109 pilot sit in his plane with his legs high and forward of him, and his back inclined to resist G-forces better. Obviously in this position it is more difficult to turn back your head/torso than in an upright position, as the pilots in Allied aircraft, but who also lacked a proper seating position for G-load resistance.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">While distortion free panels are very nice and all, no direct comparison to the Spitfire’s clear vision canopy is made, so that the degree of distortion can only guessed at. Given the value the western Allies placed on their pilots’ and aircrews’ lives, the distortion was likely minimal, particularly compared to the disadvantages of the ‘birdcage’ effect of the Hurricane’s canopy (and any comparison of the Spit's canopy to the Hurri's definitely favored the Spit).
</span>

Let me try a vague guess at the respective distortive levels - on the Spitfires it sucks, on the 109 it does not suck or it sucks so much less than people in Spitfires would like to have theirs.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The development of an optically ‘clean’ canopy that could be mass produced was a major development that the British apparently achieved ahead of the Germans.</span>

... undoubtedly, but then why it is the British who keep *****in' about their own plexis and the praise the distortion free of damned Krauts...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I recall that the so-called ‘Galland’ hood for the 109 appeared quite some time after the Malcolm hoods on Spits and the teardrop canopies started to spring up on Allied fighters like so many mushrooms after 1943…</span>

The Galland hood, the transparent armored glass behind the head appeared at the start of 43, and of course before that in 1941 on Gallands custom 109F plane (hence the name).
Erla hood if you mean the posh canopy. Yup they did appear around late 1943, but I do fail to see the relevance. It appeared before the Mustang started to have... well a blown one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I note that you fail to mention when the canopy jettison mechanism was put into the 109;</span>

I naiively thought that by quoting a September 1940 reportdescribing the cocpit jettison mechanism in detail of a Bf 109E captured in late 1939 by the French would make such comment rather redundant. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I also seem to recall that some pilot memoirs refer to the reliability of the device in a less than complementary manner.</span>

The only such investigation I've seen was a testing of the canopy jettisoning sometimes in 1943, IIRC they saw it a problem that if the pilot operated the levers in the opposite sequence then he was supposed to, it could lead to jam, coupled with the heavier Galland Panzer's weight. They changed to mechanism that it would even work if the pilot operates them in the wrong way.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I recently read Caldwell and Muller's Luftwaffe Over Germany, and I got the very strong impression that Reich defense fatalities per aircraft lost in 1943-45 ran at a ratio of greater than 60%, which compares to something like 40% fatalities for Fighter Command during the ‘BoB era’. It would appear that the LW’s pilots failed to leave their aircraft safely less often than their Commonwealth counterparts of 3 years earlier. I would infer from this and the fact that most fighter aircraft of the time opted for a sliding canopy over a sideways hinged one that the sliding canopy turned out to be a superior system.</span>

Personally I would prefer a pint of Captain Morgan's over a pint of gutted Bacardi Superior, but that's just me.


Furthermore, the canopy of the Spitfire could be only opened at moderately high speed with difficultly. The September 1936 Spitfire trials reported:

"At speeds over 300 mph ASI the cockpit cover is very difficult to open, altough it has been opened at 320 mph ASI and will stay open. Attention should be given to this question, as it is most important that the pilot should be able to get out of the aeroplane at the very highest speeds without difficulty. "

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Again, I note that you are quoting a report from the prototype tests, which used a different canopy a full four years before the Battle of Britain. I see no documentation to indicate that the issue was not resolved before late summer 1940.[color:YELLOW]

Well apart from the report I just quoted from September 1940 which notes that Spit/Hurri pilots have great trouble flying in bad wheater, because other than slow speeds opening the canopy is difficult and troublesome.

[color:YELLOW]I also seem to recall a canopy release mechanism involving pulling a handle that released the Spit’s canopy from the rails—I’m at work and cannot refer to my references, so it may have come later, but I think the canopy slides were very, very likely to have been improved markedly between 1936 and 1940. </span>

Well, even the modification number that provided the Spit pilot a magic rubber ball that permitted the Spit pilot to throw away the canopy - again by manual force, there was no explosive charge a la 190 or spring charge a la 109 - instead of trying to struggle to open the canopy in a 400 mph IAS dive is dated November 1940.

It probably helped somewhat, but it was still rather primitive. And I am not bringing up the finesse of putting a crowbar in cocpit...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Pound for pound is an indication that the Spit’s canopy was also much lighter.</span>

Thats a very useful feature... er, for what..?


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Again, ‘sideways and rearward’ is not the same as ‘all-round’, and nowhere do I see any indication that the blown or semi-blown Perspex hoods had ‘large distortive’ surfaces—in fact, I am of the strong impression that the distortion, such as it was, was limited to the bottom corners and possibly within a centimeter or two of the much narrower framing than the 109 had.. Large distortive areas would have led to some comment along the lines of the condemnations of the early war Soviet cellophane canopies that yellowed and scratched within days of installation.</span>

I recently viewed some very fine footage from the 2009 (Duxford?) Airshow, the usual Spitty chases a Buchon stuff, to make the crowds happy. Still, the distortion of the Malcolm was very noticable in the cocpit shots, perhaps the geometry just sucked. AFAIK, especially the front triangular panels were criticized, which were designed by the infinitive wisdom of somebody at Supermarine to be curved..

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">As usual, Kurfurst's responses, while technically correct in a general way, often require careful parsing. He can be a master of the subtle misimplication, rather than making subtle misstatements that can be directly contradicted. When things get shady, he will tend to generalizations that imply that a previously noted condition would continue to exist, as in the use of the prototype report.</span>

Absolutely. Glad to have you here for that. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

John_Wayne_
09-21-2009, 04:46 PM
Wow! There's a first. Kurfy owns himself! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

M_Gunz
09-21-2009, 07:49 PM
I see the reinforcements beginning to arrive, this might yet go major conflagration!

horseback
09-21-2009, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Au contraire, mon ami. ‘Headroom’ is a function of the distance from the bottom of the seat to the canopy, or the point at which one bumps one’s noggin on the glass (or Perspex). Nowhere in your lovely drawing do I see any indication of where the respective seat pans are located, or where they would place an average sized pilot’s head and (hopefully not too broad) shoulders. I see that you used the word 'era' rather than specifically saying 'Spit Mk Is and IIs in the southeast of England during the Battle'. No doubt this was an oversight on your part rather than a conscious attempt to conceal information that might refute your argument.</span>

Like... how? The Malcolm was not introduced long time after the Battle, and it did little more than providing the same space as the 109E canopy years before. </div></BLOCKQUOTE><span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Incorrect again. The Malcom, by the dimensions shown by your own drawing, gave more room overhead, and by virtue of its ‘blown’ sides, allowed the pilot to see behind and below much better—a big advantage in air combat.</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Given that this report was an appraisal ultimately intended for consumption by RAF and other Allied pilots, its primary intent was to prevent them from underestimating the enemy’s equipment. There are a number of contradictions, not least in the description of the framing as being “the windscreen framework members are sufficiently narrow, and do not catch the pilot's eye nor create blind spots” and then turning around and saying “but the cramped position of the pilot in the cockpit makes it difficult to look downward or upward to the rear”. Given that the pilot is sufficiently cramped that he cannot turn his torso to look up or down behind him, it seems to me that it would be difficult to move his head about to see around that framing.</span>

Nope, the 'cramped' seating position refers to the fact that the 109 pilot sit in his plane with his legs high and forward of him, and his back inclined to resist G-forces better. Obviously in this position it is more difficult to turn back your head/torso than in an upright position, as the pilots in Allied aircraft, but who also lacked a proper seating position for G-load resistance. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Not if your abdominal muscles are even slightly toned. The problem comes with that ‘tight across the shoulders’ issue pointed out on Page One. As for the ‘inclined seat’, my references don’t show all that great a difference in the seat back angle from the Spitfire’s. Somehow I doubt that Willi had G-forces in mind when he put the seat in that way—I think he was just shooting for the smallest and sleakest fuselage profile he could get—never mind the contortions the pilot would have to perform to fit inside, because he was only going to be in there for an hour or so. The Spitfire addressed the G-force issue by equipping the rudder pedals with two steps; by placing his feet on the upper steps, achieving similar results without folding himself up like an accordian. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">While distortion free panels are very nice and all, no direct comparison to the Spitfire’s clear vision canopy is made, so that the degree of distortion can only guessed at. Given the value the western Allies placed on their pilots’ and aircrews’ lives, the distortion was likely minimal, particularly compared to the disadvantages of the ‘birdcage’ effect of the Hurricane’s canopy (and any comparison of the Spit's canopy to the Hurri's definitely favored the Spit).
</span>

Let me try a vague guess at the respective distortive levels - on the Spitfires it sucks, on the 109 it does not suck or it sucks so much less than people in Spitfires would like to have theirs.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">And there we go with a guess again…look at the contemporary photos; I see little evidence of optical distortion, and certainly none that would be critical while looking of out it through goggles or sunglasses.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The development of an optically ‘clean’ canopy that could be mass produced was a major development that the British apparently achieved ahead of the Germans.</span>

... undoubtedly, but then why it is the British who keep *****in' about their own plexis and the praise the distortion free of damned Krauts... <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I have yet to see any evidence of *****in’ about any plexiglass during WWII except for the shattered splinters that got in a few chaps’ eyes. And by the way, the Brits didn’t refer to them as ‘Krauts’; I believe that the preferred term was ‘Huns’ or on their more charitable days, ‘Jerries’.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I recall that the so-called ‘Galland’ hood for the 109 appeared quite some time after the Malcolm hoods on Spits and the teardrop canopies started to spring up on Allied fighters like so many mushrooms after 1943…</span>

The Galland hood, the transparent armored glass behind the head appeared at the start of 43, and of course before that in 1941 on Gallands custom 109F plane (hence the name).
Erla hood if you mean the posh canopy. Yup they did appear around late 1943, but I do fail to see the relevance. It appeared before the Mustang started to have... well a blown one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Actually, the RAF were equipping their Mustang IIIs with Malcolm hoods at that time, and traded a few examples to the 354th FG for ‘lubricants’, probably of an alcoholic nature…</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I note that you fail to mention when the canopy jettison mechanism was put into the 109;</span>

I naiively thought that by quoting a September 1940 reportdescribing the cocpit jettison mechanism in detail of a Bf 109E captured in late 1939 by the French would make such comment rather redundant. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I didn’t notice that bit; I thought it was all about that 109F canopy…but how like you to mix and match.</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I also seem to recall that some pilot memoirs refer to the reliability of the device in a less than complementary manner.</span>

The only such investigation I've seen was a testing of the canopy jettisoning sometimes in 1943, IIRC they saw it a problem that if the pilot operated the levers in the opposite sequence then he was supposed to, it could lead to jam, coupled with the heavier Galland Panzer's weight. They changed to mechanism that it would even work if the pilot operates them in the wrong way. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Typical. Your life is on the line, and some technical bastage has designed a system that not only requires you to pull TWO levers, but expects you to pull Lever A BEFORE Lever B…</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I recently read Caldwell and Muller's Luftwaffe Over Germany, and I got the very strong impression that Reich defense fatalities per aircraft lost in 1943-45 ran at a ratio of greater than 60%, which compares to something like 40% fatalities for Fighter Command during the ‘BoB era’. It would appear that the LW’s pilots failed to leave their aircraft safely less often than their Commonwealth counterparts of 3 years earlier. I would infer from this and the fact that most fighter aircraft of the time opted for a sliding canopy over a sideways hinged one that the sliding canopy turned out to be a superior system.</span>

Personally I would prefer a pint of Captain Morgan's over a pint of gutted Bacardi Superior, but that's just me. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I’ll count that as a win for me. I prefer Jim Beam Number 8 myself. Rum belongs in drinks with little umberellas.</span>
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Furthermore, the canopy of the Spitfire could be only opened at moderately high speed with difficultly. The September 1936 Spitfire trials reported:

"At speeds over 300 mph ASI the cockpit cover is very difficult to open, altough it has been opened at 320 mph ASI and will stay open. Attention should be given to this question, as it is most important that the pilot should be able to get out of the aeroplane at the very highest speeds without difficulty. "

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Again, I note that you are quoting a report from the prototype tests, which used a different canopy a full four years before the Battle of Britain. I see no documentation to indicate that the issue was not resolved before late summer 1940.[color:YELLOW]

Well apart from the report I just quoted from September 1940 which notes that Spit/Hurri pilots have great trouble flying in bad wheater, because other than slow speeds opening the canopy is difficult and troublesome. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
[COLOR:YELLOW]Different section. You quoted the 1936 tests of the prototype, which I’ll repeat here in italics:</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Furthermore, the canopy of the Spitfire could be only opened at moderately high speed with difficultly. The September 1936 Spitfire trials reported:</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">"At speeds over 300 mph ASI the cockpit cover is very difficult to open, altough it has been opened at 320 mph ASI and will stay open. Attention should be given to this question, as it is most important that the pilot should be able to get out of the aeroplane at the very highest speeds without difficulty. " </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">But in response to your non sequitor: …and here I thought that flying in bad weather was difficult because of things like air turbulance, mist and rain. Personally, I’d still prefer to slow down in those conditions in the air just as I would driving through reduced visibility conditions. </span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">I also seem to recall a canopy release mechanism involving pulling a handle that released the Spit’s canopy from the rails—I’m at work and cannot refer to my references, so it may have come later, but I think the canopy slides were very, very likely to have been improved markedly between 1936 and 1940. </span>

Well, even the modification number that provided the Spit pilot a magic rubber ball that permitted the Spit pilot to throw away the canopy - again by manual force, there was no explosive charge a la 190 or spring charge a la 109 - instead of trying to struggle to open the canopy in a 400 mph IAS dive is dated November 1940.

It probably helped somewhat, but it was still rather primitive. And I am not bringing up the finesse of putting a crowbar in cocpit.. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ah yes. A single step exit. Pull ONE ball, release all the pins that hold the canopy in place at once –and get the hell out. Not nearly as elegent as your two lever system, but at least as reliable. The crowbar was for breaking the perspex when the ball failed. And the 109’s backup system was…?</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Pound for pound is an indication that the Spit’s canopy was also much lighter.</span>

Thats a very useful feature... er, for what..?
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Well, besides the fact that weight on a high performance aircraft was at a premium, one can only shudder at the numbers of experten who met an untimely end when that heavy lid was accidentally dropped on their heads by a clumsy ground crewman with fingers numb from the cold winds of the Russian steppes… seriously,it’s a common metaphor for something that is more or equally effective at a lower cost.</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Again, ‘sideways and rearward’ is not the same as ‘all-round’, and nowhere do I see any indication that the blown or semi-blown Perspex hoods had ‘large distortive’ surfaces—in fact, I am of the strong impression that the distortion, such as it was, was limited to the bottom corners and possibly within a centimeter or two of the much narrower framing than the 109 had.. Large distortive areas would have led to some comment along the lines of the condemnations of the early war Soviet cellophane canopies that yellowed and scratched within days of installation.</span>

I recently viewed some very fine footage from the 2009 (Duxford?) Airshow, the usual Spitty chases a Buchon stuff, to make the crowds happy. Still, the distortion of the Malcolm was very noticable in the cocpit shots, perhaps the geometry just sucked. AFAIK, especially the front triangular panels were criticized, which were designed by the infinitive wisdom of somebody at Supermarine to be curved... <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Can you certify that the Malcolm hood on that Spit was original issue, or built to original optical standards? Again, my photos of modern examples and wartime shots show little or no distortion away from the lower edges or rear edges, and I would happily exchange that little bit of distortion for the extra range of vision</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">As usual, Kurfurst's responses, while technically correct in a general way, often require careful parsing. He can be a master of the subtle misimplication, rather than making subtle misstatements that can be directly contradicted. When things get shady, he will tend to generalizations that imply that a previously noted condition would continue to exist, as in the use of the prototype report.</span>

Absolutely. Glad to have you here for that. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Happy to oblige. In spite of your intentions, you usually provide some interesting and worthwhile tidbits when properly provoked.</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">cheers</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">horseback</span>

yuuppers
09-21-2009, 08:31 PM
The Fw190 required a 20mm shell to blow the canopy because there was no way to get rid of it. Air pressure held the canopy in place.

Freiwillige
09-21-2009, 10:24 PM
Unlike the Spitfire which required an enemy's 20MM round to blow the canopy.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

M_Gunz
09-21-2009, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by Freiwillige:
Unlike the Spitfire which required an enemy's 20MM round to blow the canopy.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

With better aim you could save the pilot from having to bail out and worry about his chute or even getting up tomorrow.
Some guys are just nice that way and others go for making their targets suffer.

Gadje
09-22-2009, 03:26 AM
Nice link. S!

It rather shows up the usual excuse/argument here about settings that pit on is unrealistically difficult in IL-2. Looks like its easier in game. Checking your six in that 109 looks like a job for a contortionist. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

RegRag1977
09-22-2009, 04:02 AM
longer version:

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

RegRag1977
09-22-2009, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by Gadje:
Nice link. S!

It rather shows up the usual excuse/argument here about settings that pit on is unrealistically difficult in IL-2. Looks like its easier in game. Checking your six in that 109 looks like a job for a contortionist. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Yes, the Spitfire cockpit looks "much" more roomier than the 109 one! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif Especially when the spit's side door and canopy are open during the whole footage, unlike the part with the 109. I also the sarcasm in Paul Day speech, which questions his objectivity.

CUJO_1970
09-22-2009, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
I prefer Jim Beam Number 8 myself. Rum belongs in drinks with little umberellas.[/color]


Wise choice.

I'd add Woodford Reserve and some Basil Hayden to that list as well.

Gadje
09-22-2009, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by RegRag1977:
which questions his objectivity.

Eh!?

He is critical of both cockpits but points out some strengths too and seems as objective as you would want. Did you watch the videos?

How about your evenhandedness? Nice 109 in your sig I see http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
And my post was nothing to do with the deficiencies or not of the 109 but about those of virtual pilots who say its unrealistically hard to look about your cockpit in game in Full Real settings compared to RL.
My opinion is that video shows if anything the contrary is true.(Same for the Spit too!!)

M_Gunz
09-22-2009, 08:20 AM
That wasn't his first time in a Spit, he flies them on special occasions. If he was going to be one-sided then he wouldn't
have mentioned the view through the curved perspex and would have made less of the need to switch hands after takeoff which
he did say the 109 has right.

Worf101
09-22-2009, 08:26 AM
Back to the OP, I guess I couldn't fly the 109. I'm way too broad shouldered for that kite. "You don't fly the 109, you wear it!" Turer words were never spoke.

Da Worfster

RegRag1977
09-22-2009, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by Gadje:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RegRag1977:
which questions his objectivity.

Eh!?

He is critical of both cockpits but points out some strengths too and seems as objective as you would want. Did you watch the videos?

How about your evenhandedness? Nice 109 in your sig I see http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
And my post was nothing to do with the deficiencies or not of the 109 but about those of virtual pilots who say its unrealistically hard to look about your cockpit in game in Full Real settings compared to RL.
My opinion is that video shows if anything the contrary is true.(Same for the Spit too!!)

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Eh!?

He is critical of both cockpits but points out some strengths too and seems as objective as you would want. Did you watch the videos?[/QUOTE]



Eh!?

Look at this link carefully and find the one who posted a link to this video, a couple of months ago, in a thread about talented czech canopy designers!

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/foru...821009857#3821009857 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/5961027857?r=3821009857#3821009857)

[/QUOTE]
How about your evenhandedness? Nice 109 in your sig I see http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif [/QUOTE]

Just because i have a 109 pic as sig must i be a 109 fan?
Wrong, in fact i'm rather the pacific P51/P40 guy, nothing special alone but very good as wingman (squadmates say). But do not worry, i will change my sig to a mustang for you! (but then don't bash me with my evenhandedness next time i ask for smoke as realistic visual effect for impacting .50 when you browse the 50 cals thread!)


[/QUOTE]
And my post was nothing to do with the deficiencies or not of the 109 but about those of virtual pilots who say its unrealistically hard to look about your cockpit in game in Full Real settings compared to RL.[/QUOTE]

Ok it's clear now.
I actually agree with that statement: it is far too easy to check six in these cramped aircrafts, the ingame backwards view is too good, in reality it certainly wouldnt be so comfortable and clear. (In fact when looking over the shoulder like that, only one eye can see correctly rearwards)

Kettenhunde
09-22-2009, 10:43 AM
In fact when looking over the shoulder like that, only one eye can see correctly rearwards

Some pilots left their shoulder straps loose to get the freedom to look behind.

This was a trade off though. If the pilot was not securely strapped in the cockpit he risked being thrown around it in hard maneuvering. This is where a "tight fitting" cockpit like the BF-109 or the Spitfires would shine as you did not have that far to move and it would be easier to brace against. It is hard to fly the plane when you are pressed against the top of the canopy and your feet are pinned under the panel off the rudders.

Some the US planes had a very nice feature. The harness straps had quick release/tighten mechanism that the pilot could leave the harness loose to move around the cockpit. Pushing the lever down would tighten the straps for hard maneuvering.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
09-22-2009, 06:20 PM
I can't get this picture out of my mind now; pirates sailing along with umbrella drinks in hand....

horseback
09-22-2009, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
I can't get this picture out of my mind now; pirates sailing along with umbrella drinks in hand.... do they all look like Johnny Depp?

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

cheers

horseback

WTE_Galway
09-22-2009, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
I can't get this picture out of my mind now; pirates sailing along with umbrella drinks in hand.... do they all look like Johnny Depp?

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

... or more to the point Keith Richards http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

M_Gunz
09-22-2009, 09:01 PM
And singing Rolling Stones songs.........

I remember drinking a lot of Meyer's Rum and Coke with a bit of Rose's Lime Juice back in 81. No umbrellas there.

julian265
09-22-2009, 11:16 PM
Cap'n Morgan straight from the bottle for me


ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

RegRag1977
09-23-2009, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">In fact when looking over the shoulder like that, only one eye can see correctly rearwards

Some pilots left their shoulder straps loose to get the freedom to look behind.

This was a trade off though. If the pilot was not securely strapped in the cockpit he risked being thrown around it in hard maneuvering. This is where a "tight fitting" cockpit like the BF-109 or the Spitfires would shine as you did not have that far to move and it would be easier to brace against. It is hard to fly the plane when you are pressed against the top of the canopy and your feet are pinned under the panel off the rudders.

Some the US planes had a very nice feature. The harness straps had quick release/tighten mechanism that the pilot could leave the harness loose to move around the cockpit. Pushing the lever down would tighten the straps for hard maneuvering.

All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting what you wrote about tight fitting cockpits. And thank you for the info about US planes: i did not know about the harness straps feature! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

horseback
09-23-2009, 03:14 PM
Seems strange to think that no one used inertia locking shoulder belts (the sort that are loose until you pull on them sharply) back then, but I remember my first new car with shoulder strap belts (a 1973 Capri) lacked the inertia locks too. I could disconnect the shoulder strap from the assembly without taking off the lap belt if I wanted more freedom of movement.

Five years later, every new car had the inertia type belts.

I wonder how many more guys might have survived the war if the governemt had required shoulder and lap seat belts in 1935; the inertia belt might have been invented and made common a lot sooner.

cheers

horseback

M_Gunz
09-23-2009, 04:24 PM
Considering all those pile-ups I'd seen in Jersey in the first half of the 60's and what it took in highway fatalities
and court fights to make seatbelts mandatory (Ralph Nader still gets cr@pped on) it's no big surprise that it took so
long for conveniences to become features.

I knew a guy who didn't want to wear the shoulder belt part so he didn't. Then the car he was in got rear-ended by a
truck into the car in front at the red light. He was okay until the second impact which launched his upper body forward
until his face hit the dash. Good news is you can survive a broken neck. Bad news is living with a broken neck.
He wouldn't let anyone ride with him without full harness on. If he had died then his buddy who was driving would have
been held responsible for letting him compromise. His willful act also gave the insurance people something to fight
over which only delayed him getting compensation.

Those jerk-stop latches are okay for cars where if it comes down to it you're better off with a broken collarbone than
dead but take a look at what they equip Baja-buggies and the like with as well as major race cars. Being bounced around
in bad air in a sling that lets you go a few inches before coming up short may not leave you piloting so well afterwards.

There was a famous German WWI Ace who died in a prang he would otherwise have lived through because he hadn't strapped in.
Maybe they could have invented airbags while they were at it?

WTE_Galway
09-23-2009, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Maybe they could have invented airbags while they were at it?

LOL ... " OK sonny, bit of advice, forget aiming for the engine ... hit the airbag and set it off, way more effective. "

Kettenhunde
09-23-2009, 06:02 PM
And thank you for the info about US planes:

You are welcome. It seems I never get to talk about the US planes as much on these boards. They seem to have fewer silly comments and folks are better informed about them.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8421/harnesslever.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/i/harnesslever.jpg/)


All the best,

Crumpp

AndyJWest
09-23-2009, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
I can't get this picture out of my mind now; pirates sailing along with umbrella drinks in hand.... do they all look like Johnny Depp?

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Funnily enough, a few days back somebody asked what would make a good fighter - well armed, with a good rate of climb: I immediately thought of Johnny Depp scaling the side of a ship with a dagger in his teeth, a cutlass at his side, and two pistols tucked in his belt. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Viper2005_
09-23-2009, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Maybe they could have invented airbags while they were at it?

LOL ... " OK sonny, bit of advice, forget aiming for the engine ... hit the airbag and set it off, way more effective. " </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rather unlikely. If you shoot the airbag then it won't fire.

In any case, when packed up the whole thing is smaller than the pilot's head, which is obviously a far more attractive target...

In any case, many WWII aircraft actually had not-insignificant quantities of explosive material built in to their cockpits to destroy sensitive electronic equipment.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Waldo.Pepper
09-23-2009, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by Viper2005_:
In any case, many WWII aircraft actually had not-insignificant quantities of explosive material built in to their cockpits to destroy sensitive electronic equipment.http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The charges you speak of were usually not that much. A blasting cap or two. (just don't hold them in your hand.) Certainly not much when compared to the munitions and petrol aboard.

Additionally, they would be located where the equipment was installed. Which was not necessarily co-located with the cockpit.

A story to illustrate.

"The IFF equipment used to interrogate aircraft as to friendly or otherwise had an explosive charge to ensure its destruction if the aircraft crashed or landed on enemy territory. This charge could be set off by the pilot or automatically upon a crash. Crash detonation was activated by wiring the electrical circuit through a gravity switch. Setting this gravity switch required sensitive fingers to ensure that a swinging pendulum was seated in a concave fixed part of the switch. Any violent shock, such as a crash or rough landing would dislodge the pendulum and blow up the IFF. Checking the IFF after a rough grass landing required considerable caution and agile fingers. I'll never forget the time one of the radar techs had entered the rear hatch of a Beaufighter, seconds later out from the blast and smoke of an explosion appeared one disturbed airman. As he stood up he came face to face with F/O Brian Redfern, the Radar Officer on the Squadron. Quickly preferring the aircraft blast he ducked back into the hatchway amidst the clearing smoke."

RegRag1977
09-24-2009, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> And thank you for the info about US planes:

You are welcome. It seems I never get to talk about the US planes as much on these boards. They seem to have fewer silly comments and folks are better informed about them.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8421/harnesslever.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/i/harnesslever.jpg/)


All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you for the clear answers and for sharing the nice documentation! It is much appreciated http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

stalkervision
09-24-2009, 07:49 AM
I can tell you one clear advantage the 109 canopy had to the spitfire. "Bad weather flying" A british test pilot noted that one could always see clearly out of a 109 canopy in bad weather where with a spitfire or Hurricane one had to throttle back and open the canopy to see out.

Xiolablu3
09-24-2009, 12:56 PM
Thank goodness we have the man who knows it all to put us right on our 'silly' knowledge.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

major_setback
09-24-2009, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Thank goodness we have the man who knows it all to put us right on our 'silly' knowledge.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Me? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

hathu2009
09-24-2009, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Individuals scoring high does not winneth a war

In fact personal score was frowned up on in the RAF. It becomes a selfish act. As a leader your job should be to get a many of your planes in position as possible, not to boost your personal 'score'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...txBo&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Z4Es4txBo&feature=related)

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUnznl9RiiU

thank you very much indeed for posting this! what a superb show! when was this on tv (i.e, british tv)?