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View Full Version : Did Betty crew have parachutes?



F19_Orheim
10-23-2008, 08:16 AM
.. at all, and if so did they have it in 1942 back @ Rabaul?

Any IJN/IJA specialist? ..or similar? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

F19_Orheim
10-23-2008, 08:16 AM
.. at all, and if so did they have it in 1942 back @ Rabaul?

Any IJN/IJA specialist? ..or similar? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Feathered_IV
10-23-2008, 08:55 AM
Not sure. Can't recall any early combat reports that mention Rikko crews bailing out. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

LEBillfish
10-23-2008, 09:14 AM
I've seen photographs both with and without on the ground....The Japanese navy in general had parachutes long before 1942, and in kind you'll note that life preservers are very prevalent. I even have photos showing G4M life rafts....

However.....

A look at action photos and "seat" designs somewhat argues the fact that they were worn once in the aircraft....I see men wearing life preservers and harnesses, some just life preservers, some just heavy coats, still some in just shirt sleves......Yet I have none that shows personel wearing the chute.

In kind the seats all seem to have cusions vs. the fighter norm of an empty shell to sit upon ones chute....

In the end i'm given the impression that crews inside the G4M did "not" wear chutes....As to whether their intention was to ditch, or put them on if going down (doubtful), or quite simply give up the ghost I cannot say.

Your best bet for a firm answer would be asking at www.j-aircraft.com (http://www.j-aircraft.com)

K2

F19_Orheim
10-23-2008, 10:01 AM
hmm it all comes up to a screenshot art project I am planning... if they didn't I guess I can claim "artists' freedom" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

thanx alot http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

stalkervision
10-23-2008, 12:31 PM
Japanese navy fliers in general didn't believe in Parachutes. They believed the weight savings justified this approach.

Instead they were trained in extream high diving.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Army fliers were trained in using their rice bag lunch kits as "deceleration devices" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

DuxCorvan
10-23-2008, 12:57 PM
Even if they had, I don't think they'd be of much use most of the times, in a plane that prone to be a fireball in a few seconds, and that doesn't look easy to get out.

zardozid
10-23-2008, 03:13 PM
As "Billfish" said... its very likely that some pilots did have parachutes and some didn't.
Not to change the topic, but the thing that always puzzled me was why bomber pilots didn't use oxygen? My Dad says that during the war it was common to see bomber pilots walking around "spaced-out" (a symptom of spending time in a low oxygen environment)... I guess they would fly some missions, then they would take some time off to recuperate, then they would go back into rotation.

This is information from my fathers recollections (and not from a line of research)...he was in collage & in the Navy reserves (science/research assistant & glider training) so he was in daily(?) contact with pilots & aeroplane related people... he has told me a few interesting anecdotes of a very popular professor at his university, Hideo Itokawa...(sorry about the sidetracking ramble)

The issue of parachutes seems to have been (somewhat) an issue of personal preference (in the Navy)...although their was "peer pressure" to give ones all (the idea being that anything the increased performance was good). It does seem that parachutes where more popular (?) in the Army Air core... It could be that use of "chutes" increased in popularity as the war went on... Anyway

Wildnoob
10-23-2008, 03:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by zardozid:
Abut the thing that always puzzled me was why bomber pilots didn't use oxygen? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

it's rare to see in pictures or footage from Japanese airman whearing oxygen masks.

I've hear by a VVS Yak-9 pilot that I posted a interview some time ago that they only use oxygen masks above 5000 meters. but in IL2 from 3000 meters up the pilots are showed whearing masks.

in a animation that I saw about the combat of saburo sakai against pug sutherland both pilot's have masks, but do not use them.

sorry for not posted the animation's and interview links, because I lost them. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

so remain the question for me, oxygen should start to be used use at 3000 or above 5000 meters ?

zardozid
10-23-2008, 03:55 PM
One issue with parachutes and Navy pilots is: where you do you land once you bail-out?... Japanese planes didn't carry rubber rafts (often) and J-Navy recovery resources where slim to non-existent. The A6M Reisen had flotation bladders built-into the wings, so if your fighter was going down over the water you might want to stay with your aeroplane...

TgD Thunderbolt56
10-23-2008, 04:10 PM
This doesn't necessarily address the G4M question, but I'm almost finished reading an absolutely fantastic book about the USAAF's daylight bombing campaign over Europe. The book is titled Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer.

In this book (which is a revision given new information uncovered since its first publishing in 1980 I believe), there are many personal accounts of air crews NOT wearing their chutes until they thought they might be needed. In fact, there are so many references in the book, that it seems not wearing them by default was more the norm than not.

MB_Avro_UK
10-23-2008, 04:23 PM
The RAF Bomber crews had the same attitude.

Indeed, the rear gunner of a Lancaster or Halifax didn't have room to wear a parachute. Their parachute was stored abot 8 feet away from the turret and required opening the turret doors before clipping-on.

ImMoreBetter
10-23-2008, 06:17 PM
In the American bombers, most personnel didn't like to wear their chutes. They felt it only added more large, heavy things on an already large, heavy flight suit that was already a mess of heating wires and oxygen tubes.

Whether or not to carry a chute was all about personal preference. Some liked to keep their chute nearby, others liked having one strap on, and a few liked it ready at all times.

Crikey2008
10-23-2008, 06:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by F19_Orheim:
hmm it all comes up to a screenshot art project I am planning... if they didn't I guess I can claim "artists' freedom" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

thanx alot http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Caution is needed on this subject. It seems Japanese pilots wanted parachutes (sanity) but their availability was poor.
Statements such as '...many Japanese airmen preferred not to fly with parachutes...' should be taken with a grain of salt lest it be mistaken for 'bravado'.
For example, Saburu Sakai exclaimed on video that the kamikaze tactic was stupid and inhuman and most of the pilots of that force were forced into it.

Great thing about the G4M which shocked the first of the allies to encounter it was its radius of action. It was common to see them operating in pairs against ships and other targets...like the Vals did.

Ernst_Rohr
10-23-2008, 08:47 PM
I do have some stuff sitting around about parachutes and the IJN and IJA, but mostly from a fighter perspective.

The IJN and IJA did have parachutes, and did issue, but early in the war many airman disdained the use of chutes as cowardly. This was more of a macho thing according than any service issued directive. As the war progressed, the services did make more of a concentrated effort to convince their flyers to use chutes, especially as senior aviators became harder and harder to come by.

Bomber crews (and not just the japanese) tended to use them less, since they were heavy, akward, and often interfered with operating the cramped positions on the bomber. The tail gunner position on the Betty was only accessable through a narrow slot cut through the rear bulkhead of the aircraft, which made getting into it with a chute difficult.

I had the pleasure of interviewing several vets for a state history project in college, and several of the aircrew I interviewed all talked about not wearing chutes. Some claimed they never did, some said they wore them all the time, and the others said they didnt wear them in calm areas, but they put them on when they got over a hot target.

Two of them were gunners, one a ball turret gunner on a 17, and the other a tail gunner on a B-26. Both of them hated the chutes, due to how cramped their compartments were, and that the chutes were uncomfortable. The gentleman who was in the ball turret said you had to be "a starving midget" to get in the turret with a chute on, and that they often slid down and got in the way over their view out of the windows, and that he was far more afraid of getting caught out by some German pilot sneaking up on him then he was about having to bail out.