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

Hear new songs from Josh Clauson at Saturday release party

The producer of the Summer Meltdown music festival and Flowmotion band leader has a solo album out.

Get schooled on Texas BBQ at this Monroe restaurant in a bus

Brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken and the fixin’s all await you near the Reptile Zoo on U.S. 2.

Spy comedy ’Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is laugh-out-loud funny

It’s a superficial but energetic sequel to the 2014 film about a clandestine British secret service.

39th annual Arts of the Terrace attracts regional artists

The Mountlake Terrace juried show features paintings, drawings, photography, miniatures and more.

Ben Stiller was born to play title character in ‘Brad’s Status’

Writer-director Mike White’s script has plenty of Brad’s voiceover, so this movie feels like a novel.

See both versions of ‘The Odd Couple’ on Historic Everett stage

The Outcast Players perform Neil Simon’s classic comedy with alternating male and female casts.

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

‘Friend Request’ a horror flick about the dangers of Facebook

Though it’s a little behind the times, Simon Verhoeven’s film about social media is effectively done.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

Most Read