Armored ‘coffin seats’ protected B-25J pilots

The FHC’s B-25J is from block 25. Some 1,000 of them were built at the Fairfax Bomber Plant in Kansas City. One of the improvements to the block 25 airplanes was a new type of pilot’s seats. The flyers sat in what was, basically, an armored box with 3/8-inch “24-ST Dural burst plates” to the sides and front.

To top it off, the seats were made of more 3/8-inch hardened steel armor. Each seatback included an arched hood over the pilot’s head for extra protection. Quickly nicknamed “coffin seats” by flyers, the new protection weighed 145 pounds. Each seatback split in half and swung aft to allow pilots to climb into the cockpit.

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