Early RAF P-51, MK1a /B/C, Pilot seatbelts

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Senior Airman
Apr 26, 2005
At the moment my primary interest is in the MK1a but for future reference also in the B/C models. I would like to know which belts the RAF used and if there are any good pics and or drawings.
Thanks, Tim
I haven't got a pic of the installation in a Mustang, but below is a pic of the HGW fabri harness in my 1/32nd scale spitfire MkV, and a pic of the HGW set in 1/48th scale.
These are very nice, micro-fibre harness sets, and could easily be adapted for a Mustang.

DSCF0002 (4).JPG
Thanks Terry, I ordered the RAF early Sutton Harness which I would think would be correct for the time frame.
Was looking for pics for ya and found this. Though it doesn't show the harnesses (still looking) it does show a leather wear pad on the left side of the seat. Maybe we have a British seat as well?

Looks like he standard, NA seat, but with the pad fitted, to prevent wear / abrasion to the rip cord housing for the seat-type parachute pack..
American parachutes (back pack for the Mustang) had the ripcord 'D' ring on the left shoulder harness, with the cable tube running over the left shoulder to the pack.
What is interesting though, is the fitment of the British Dunlop grip on the control column - far as I know, and confirmed by a RAF pilot I knew (now deceased), the later P-51B/C and D/K retained the American 'pistol' grip in RAF service.
The picture u linked to a site but there is no description of what model it's from though it has the early canopy.

As for the seat I think I see the indentation under the pad as well.
Yep, I see that now. Perhaps NA fitted a 'modified' seat, specifically for the British seat-type parachute pack. What can be seen of the overall shape looks similar to the standard seat.
The cockpit photo posted at post #7 is a specially put together promotional photo that was done by NAA to show them what the final look and finish of the RAF NA-73 Mustang Mk.I order would look like. It shows the ring grip, as used on the RAF order for the Harvard 1, placed onto the top of the control column. As delivered by NAA, the Mustangs had the standard US style pistol grip. A very, underline, very, limited number of early RAF Mustang Mk.I aircraft were modified at unit level, usually at the request of a senior officer, to have the Harvard 1 style ring grip placed onto the control column. This was usually by a senior officer who from a long flying career with the RAF was more used to and comfortable with the RAF style ring grip. However, this practice soon died away due to the turnover of aircraft and to keep aircraft standardised. The seat shows the leather pad added to the seat bucket to accommodate the D-ring mechanism as used on RAF style seat bucket parachutes, to stop rubbing between the seat pan and the parachute mechanism. RAF used the early style Sutton seat harness, the basic arrangement was for the two shoulder harnesses to drape over the top centre section of the seat back, the 'Y' section and anchor point was located to a frame behind and below the seat back. A thing to watch out for if using the AM early Mustang models in 1/48th scale, is that they did not include the armour plate that sat behind the pilot's seat, so you will need to craft one out of thin plastic card. Couple of good threads on early RAF Mustang details over on Britmodeller, including this one: A Few Mustang Mk.i Questions
Mustang I & IA had Sutton harness. It's written in the Pilot's note

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