Pilots found P-47’s cockpit shockingly roomy

While the size of the average man stayed about the same, the size of the average fighter plane, and its cockpit, increased during World War II. This image shows the spacious working space in the Flying Heritage Collection’s P-47 Thunderbolt.

It’s not surprising that the interior of America’s biggest single engine fighter of the war would have the largest cockpit too. It was so commodious, in fact, that it caused pilots of all nations to take notice. Pilots who transitioned from flying Spitfires in RAF Eagle Squadrons were shocked by the size of the plane. Compared to flying in the cozy cockpit of the Supermarine’s bantam defensive fighter, the inside of the Jug seemed disturbingly roomy.

British observers wryly observed that one might slip off the seat, fall to the cockpit floor, and really hurt themselves. When a P-47 was captured, the Germans were equally puzzled by the Thunderbolt’s interior. Luftwaffe General Adolf Galland wrote that the cockpit was big enough to walk around in. Other German pilots, used to the comfy if-not-cramped cockpit of the Bf 109, felt that everything was out of reach. Another speculated that a pilot might be able to dodge bullets simply by loosening his shoulder straps and leaning to one side or the other as he flew.

More in Life

Gardening tools: Experts help through hotline, drop-in clinics

The WSU Extention program is meant to help gardeners with their plant and pest problems.

Here’s how to add your plant sale to the Herald’s yearly guide

We’re taking listings now for our annual list of sales in April, May and June. Don’t forget yours.

Another sign of spring: Fun facts about the Pacific tree frog

This time of year, chorus frogs can be heard singing for a mate in evenings and mornings.

Great Plant Pick: Abies koreana, Korean fir

What: Aristocratic in appearance and slow growing, Abies koreana, commonly called Korean… Continue reading

Here are 7 locally made beers to try for this St. Patrick’s Day

Sound to Summit in Snohomish made one of the brews especially for Shawn O’Donnell’s restaurants.

Walla Walla nearly as famous for its grapes as for its wines

More than 130 wineries call the valley home, making it a destination for wine tourists.

The customer is king at Tabby’s Coffee in Everett library

Starbucks barista-turned-coffee shop owner Tabitha “Tabby” Tarter is big on customer service.

Here are 8 ways celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Snohomish County

Local events include Shamrock concerts, leprechaun sightings and Celtic dancing, bagpipers and more.

Schack’s juried art show features 121 Northwest artists

The show’s two judges awarded Rick Holst with the grand prize for his U.S. map, a work titled “Avoca.”

Most Read