American WW2 chutes

Discussion in 'Aircrew equipment' started by Jerry W. Loper, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Jerry W. Loper

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    About how many different types of parachutes were used by American combat aircrew during World War II, and which were considered the best? I supposed that most fighter pilots wore fanny packs since the fighters had bucket seats, but were aircrew of bigger planes (like multi-engine bombers) given either belly or fanny packs based on their crew position (waist gunner, bombardier, tail gunner, etc.)? Were chutes worn by aircrew different from main and reserve chutes worn by paratroopers?
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I can't really speak for WW-II, and not many on the board can. BUT...
    having flown in a lot of multi-engine WW-II type aircraft. What type
    of chute probably varies by the service. In the tail position of a B-36
    I wore a fanny pack, but in the radioman's position I only wore a harness,
    with chutes hanging are various stations, for an easy clip on. In the C-119
    all crew members were required to wear a chute harness at
    all times. And, most of the guys I flew with had the chest pack already
    clipped on. When we landed the chest packs were hung back up in their
    stations.

    The crews of C-130's, flying with the rear cargo door open either wear a
    chute, or a teethered. Some of the B-26's and A-20's I rode in didn't
    even have a chute on board !

    Of course, single seat aircraft would be different.

    Charles
     
  3. billjohn

    billjohn New Member

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    I don't have an answer, I have a question:

    Did WWII bomber crews ever wear a TAN colored chest pack chute?
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #4 drgondog, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    To name a few - T-5 and T-7 fo0r airborne,

    For Army Air Force A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4

    For Army and Naval Air; An-6613-1 and -1A, An-6514-1 and 1-A, B-8

    To name a few.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    To answer billjohn's question. The majority of parachute packs, and harnesses, used by the Allies, were mainly manufactured from similar materials. These were strong, cotton-based webbing material, in varying grades, depending on the requriement.
    The 'pack' for the canopy (and type) of each 'chute was generally made from similar material, the bulk of which was a strong weave normally a mid 'buff' colour. I realise that this description for the USA means little - rather like 'tan' to anyone in Europe, the latter being a mid to almost dark brown. The pack colour, depending on manufacturer, could vary between a 'biscuit' shade, rather like the colour of a 'Manilla' envelope, to a slightly darker shade, more towards the paint colour known as 'Dark earth' in RAF colour specs.
    These colours did not vary (due to materials in use, manufacturing processes etc) until the mid to late 1950s, when synthetic materials became more prevalent, which then saw the introduction of greys, grey-olive, and olive greens for parachute packs.
    If there is anything specific you'd like to know, this being a subject in itself then, if I can help, let me know.
    Meanwhile, hope this hasn't confused the issue !!
     
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