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.

Talk to us

More in Life

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

Kindergartener Robert, 5, imitates a turkeys actions as he answers questions about Thanksgiving outside Mt. Pilchuck Elementary on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Revisionist turkey talk: Kindergartners explain Thanksgiving

These Lake Stevens kids have holiday wisdom to impart, including what they’re grateful for — friends, family and paper swords.

Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." (Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc./TNS)
A stone-cold Lady Gaga brings down the ‘House of Gucci’

Ridley Scott’s movie dives into a luxury brand and a family laid low by greed and infighting.

This image released by Disney shows Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in a scene from the animated film "Encanto." (Disney via AP)
‘Encanto’ completes Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2021 musical hat trick

The absence of a hissable villain keeps it from being a great animated film, but it’s still a good one.

PHOTO (Photo credit to Kenny Randall):Additional photos available if requested.

 

Snowman_down.jpg: The hapless cast (l-r: Ingrid Buron, Dorothy Pierce, Jonathan Olson, Megan Bell, Britta Grass) of  "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol," running November 26-December 19 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.
Arts and entertainment calendar: Music, theater and more

“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol” opens Nov. 26 in Marysville.

Shannon Session's high school photo decorates a signal box at Alderwood Mall.     (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Lynnwood blue’ eyeshadow, ’80s glam shots adorn new landmark

A signal box by Alderwood mall is a throwback to an era of big hair, lampooned on local sketch show “Almost Live.”

Open-faced turkey sandwich.
Hot turkey sandwich may be the ultimate comfort food classic

Make this open-face sandwich with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or follow the instructions to make it any time of year.

How to make your own IKEA-inspired Swedish meatballs

You need not risk getting lost at the giant store to enjoy this iconic fall favorite.

Black body cladding and a radiator grille give the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain a look similar to an SUV. (Manufacturer photo)
Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain has a nostalgic third row

Modern features of the new wagon include a hybridized powertrain and the latest version of MBUX.

Get the china ready! Your holiday meal might come with a side of drama. (Jennifer Bardsley)
If Thanksgiving stresses us out then we’re doing it wrong

If Thanksgiving stresses us out then we’re doing it wrong

Ameé Quiriconi, Snohomish author, podcaster and entrepreneur.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish author’s handbook charts a course for female entrepreneurs

She’s invented sustainable concrete, run award-winning wedding venues and worked in business… Continue reading

Dylan Blaney, 3, talks with Santa about what she wants for Christmas at the Santa Magic experience at Alderwood Mall on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vaxxed and sanitized, Santa is no longer behind plexiglass

Local malls say he’s ready for a normal holiday, with kids on his knee. Want to stay ho-ho-home? Long-distance options remain.