armored glass headrest ("Galland Panzer") in latter-period Bf 109's - why not Fw 190?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by paradoxguy, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. paradoxguy

    paradoxguy Member

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    Admittedly this is a largely speculative question, nevertheless I am curious--why was the armored glass headrest ("Galland Panzer") that was part of latter-period production Messerschmitt Bf 109's (Bf 109G-6 and after) not adapted for the Fw 190? Was the Galland Panzer effective as head armor? Was the all-vision canopy of the Fw 190 considered sufficient for field of vision without using Galland Panzer? I realize this question likely has no hard-fact answers and will remain speculative, but I am interested in opinions of the forum members.

    Thanks much for your attention and any responses.

    Ken
     
  2. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    I wonder if it has something to do with that bullets would need to pass through the fuselage of the Me 109, seriously reducing their penetrative power due to tumbling etc, whereas on the Fw 190 bullets would hit the armored glass straight. I am almost certain that 60mm of armored glass would not offer the same protection level of a 10 mm armored plate.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that the all round vision was considered adequate. Tank wrote:

    "From my own flying experience I knew how important it was for a fighter pilot to have the best possible all round view and we decided to fit a frameless bubble canopy to the new fighter. Later these became very fashionable but in 1938 it was somewhat of an innovation."

    It was designed in from the beginning.

    A British Intelligence report of January 1941 noted:

    "The visibility of the pilot should be very good as the curved Plexiglass hood has no bracing struts."

    When not moaning about the engine pilots who flew the early versions sometimes mention that the view out was much better than the Bf 109, though that isn't saying much!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Ditto: looking at the shape of the Fw 190 armour and the perspex hood itself the pilot was better able to look over his shoulders, while 109 pilots were more restricted because of the narrow hood, and, until the introduction of the "Erla" hood, the frames, which could block some fairly wide angles unless the pilot moved his head around a fair bit. The blown hoods on many later 190s allowed the pilot to have more lateral and rearward visibility.
     
  5. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    #5 razor1uk, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
    The 190 was also designed with different seat/lap shoulder harnessing system(s) than the 109 - partially due to the slightly roomier cockpit of the 190 and upon K. Tanks opinions of the pilot being able to move (somewhat) and look about; in a 109 those harnesses with their adjustable freedom of movement would leave the pilot at best bruised if not winded or knocked out as he bounced off the more cramped interior fittings and canopy framings.

    So the 109 pilot is secured in a harness that doesn't have the option allow for near as much shoulder movement nor as much tapering (next to none I suspect) of the canopy that could both aide greater rear view coverage, hence the Galland Glass in the later hoods.

    In hind sight with thicker 109 canopy frames, you could've thought that a few aircraft could have had a long thin mirror (or mirrored chrome slat/plate) say simply mounted to provide some initial rearview-ness - then again I suppose that in those times could be thought of as distracting the pilot from looking around properly and often (akin to a 'lifesaver' look around) - as a car driver should.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Some came up with their own solution.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    How good were mirrors actually? They would certainly have vibration to deal with.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and according to RAF pilots who had them fitted as standard on many aircraft they only allowed you to scan a small fixed area of sky to the rear which could be dangerous in itself. It takes more effort to turn your head and look behind, but is more likely to save your life.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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