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Texas_Lonestar
09-22-2010, 10:38 AM
Hello All,

I was curious if anyone had any knowledge about Pilots who may have successfully bailed out more than once during WWII if their plane was crippled in combat?

I like to fly offline campaigns and my goal is to make it through all of the missions without dying.

At times, it is not uncommon for me to finish a 20-25 sortie campaign and have bailed out 3-4 times.

I am not the greatest pilot nor is this a ratio I am particularly proud of, but I am very grateful not to have been a WWII Pilot as I doubt if I would have survived many sorties.

Thanks for your responses.

Lonestar

berg417448
09-22-2010, 10:50 AM
Several Luftwaffe pilots were shot down multiple times. IIRC, Gunther Rall was shot down 8 times.

According to this Baer was downed 18 times:

http://www.fighteracesonline.com/heinz_baer.htm

Texas_Lonestar
09-22-2010, 11:11 AM
Hi berg,

Thank you for the link and very interesting to say the least.

Many times, I know that I am in trouble so I am able to bail out before my aircraft is totally destroyed.

Other times, a wing or the tail section has been blown off and I am somehow miraculously able to get out.

I wonder for actual WWII pilots, was it mainly the first scenario or did any manage to cheat death more than once in an airplane that had been decimated by enemy fire?

ytareh
09-22-2010, 12:11 PM
Must have been dreadful (as often happens) to be going too fast -eg in dive- to get out of cockpit

Romanator21
09-22-2010, 01:08 PM
Bailout in IL-2 is easy. The only limiting factors are speed and altitude. Too fast and the pilot won't jump, too low, and the chute won't slow him down enough.

However, any number of things can go wrong when bailing out. Your harness can become stuck, or your thick jacket could get caught on some corner. If your wing or tail was severed, the fast rotation could keep you pinned to your seat or side of the cockpit. Bf-109 canopies were extremely difficult to open as I recall, and Ki-84s did not even have a quick release as is modeled in game (you either had to pull it open, or turn a crank). Add to that disorientation due to smoke or fire (searing pain can do that to you) and scrambling out can take more than a few seconds. Finally, if you do manage to make it out, you have to hope that you don't break your back or hit your head against the side of the plane.

It's amazing that anyone managed a successful bail out at all under combat conditions.

I don't have the link, but there is an excellent video that demonstrates proper bailout procedures in some VVS planes - some involve getting out of the cockpit and sliding down the back of the plane and over the wing.

Texas_Lonestar
09-22-2010, 01:53 PM
Hi Romanator,

You put things in a very good perspective as far as IL-2 vs real life is concerned, thanks.

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

WTE_Galway
09-22-2010, 11:04 PM
http://www.merkki.com/caterpillarclub.htm

The Irvin Air Chute Co. started the Caterpillar Club in 1922 and the practice of awarding the tiny gold Caterpillar Pin to anyone who saved his life by parachuting from a disabled or flaming aircraft. Each recipient of the Caterpillar Pin is living testimony to the life saving ability of the Irvin Type Air Chute. The Caterpillar is symbolic of the silk worm, which lets itself descend gently to earth from heights by spinning a silky thread to hang from. Parachutes in the early days were made from pure silk.

In 1919 Leslie Irvin, a 24-year-old stunt man from California, demonstrated the first "free drop" parachute. He had made the chute himself on a borrowed sewing machine. Flying safety experts were so impressed that the American Air Force and British R.A.F. promptly adopted the parachute as standard equipment. Later the same year, Irvin established his first factory for the mass production of parachutes in Buffalo, New York. In 1926 the first European factory was established in Letchworth, England.

During the height of World War II, production of parachutes at the Irvin Air Chute Co. factory in Letchworth, England reached a peak of nearly 1,500 parachutes per week. By late 1945 there were 34,000 members of the Caterpillar Club.

It is estimated that at least 100,000 peoples lives have been saved by Irvin parachutes.

Erkki_M
09-23-2010, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by Romanator21:
Bf-109 canopies were extremely difficult to open as I recall, and Ki-84s did not even have a quick release as is modeled in game (you either had to pull it open, or turn a crank). Add to that disorientation due to smoke or fire (searing pain can do that to you) and scrambling out can take more than a few seconds. Finally, if you do manage to make it out, you have to hope that you don't break your back or hit your head against the side of the plane.

If I dont remember all wrong, Bf 109s all had canopy jettison handles at both sides of the cockpit, using springs... And Fw 190 used an explosive charge(at least in some models).

I think it was Spitfire that had (at first at least) the badly designed sliding canopy that resulted in lots of pilots who never made it out alive, or in time to avoid horrific burns. Aux fuel tank between cockpit and engine didnt help any.

I dont think P-39 was easy to get out of quickly and safely either... Let alone many bombers. Just think about Mosquito or most medium bombers, all sides'.

berg417448
09-23-2010, 09:01 AM
I've read comments from a couple of pilots who claim that the P-39 was not especially difficult to get out of. The entire door could be jettisoned and fell off into the slipstream allowing the pilot to roll out onto the wing. Of course, if the airplane is spinning or tumbling that is easier said than done.

horseback
09-27-2010, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Erkki_M:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Romanator21:
Bf-109 canopies were extremely difficult to open as I recall, and Ki-84s did not even have a quick release as is modeled in game (you either had to pull it open, or turn a crank). Add to that disorientation due to smoke or fire (searing pain can do that to you) and scrambling out can take more than a few seconds. Finally, if you do manage to make it out, you have to hope that you don't break your back or hit your head against the side of the plane.

If I dont remember all wrong, Bf 109s all had canopy jettison handles at both sides of the cockpit, using springs... And Fw 190 used an explosive charge(at least in some models).

I think it was Spitfire that had (at first at least) the badly designed sliding canopy that resulted in lots of pilots who never made it out alive, or in time to avoid horrific burns. Aux fuel tank between cockpit and engine didnt help any.

I dont think P-39 was easy to get out of quickly and safely either... Let alone many bombers. Just think about Mosquito or most medium bombers, all sides'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>There was a thread a while back where the 109's canopy jettison was described in a bit more detail...you had to pull two levers in a specific order, as I recall--not exactly condusive to pilot survival, IMHO, particularly given how deeply the pilot was buried in the cockpit with his butt right on the floor (and a reclined seat).

As for the Spit, that canopy jettison issue you refer to was on the prototype, and the problem was well fixed before the aircraft entered combat. The canopy had a single pull jettison that worked pretty reliably.

My recollection was that for about every five RAF fighters shot down in the BoB, three of the pilots survived (how many went directly back to operations may have been another matter). LW pilots over Germany suffered a worse ratio of shootdowns vs survivals--odd if you believe that the USAAF fighters and bombers that were doing most of the shooting at them were shooting 'lighter' guns than the 2x20mm + 2x7.9mm armament of the Bf 109E that shot down the majority of RAF fighters over Britain, unless the 109 was harder to get out of.

cheers

horseback

WTE_Galway
09-27-2010, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by horseback:

My recollection was that for about every five RAF fighters shot down in the BoB, three of the pilots survived (how many went directly back to operations may have been another matter)

Indeed, many of them would have survived only to spend several years in a severe burns ward having their face reconstructed.

http://www.historylearningsite.../guinea_pig_club.htm (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/guinea_pig_club.htm)


x

Kettenhunde
09-27-2010, 08:37 PM
109's canopy jettison was described in a bit more detail...you had to pull two levers in a specific order



Refering to the Spitfire:
The canopy had a single pull jettison that worked pretty reliably.

I don't see where pulling two levers is any more complicated than lowering the seat all the way down, then pulling the rubber knob while trying to push out on the lower portion of the canopy evenly with your elbows in order to widen it to get the wheel axles out of the canopy track.

You seem to think that one simply pulled the rubber knob and the Spitfire canopy came off.

This is not the case.

Of course in both aircraft you had to disconnect communications, oxygen, and harness as well. I don't think there is any real difference in the speed at which a pilot could bail out of either aircraft.

The safety feature of the Bf-109's canopy design was the lack of rails and a design which distortion could not cause the canopy to become stuck.

If the canopy rails get damaged or the canopy distorted, then it can become stuck sealing the pilot in a doomed aircraft.