Help identifying aircraft seat / parachute

Discussion in 'Technical Requests' started by steamdave, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. steamdave

    steamdave New Member

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    Hi everybody, I cant believe I have only just discovered this site. Wow. Definitely going to be spending time on here

    In my collection of aircraft bit and bobs I have this seat cushion or parachute seat that I have been trying to identify. I would be amazing if you could help. Its leather and canvas with various lasing eyes on the back and poppers to attach the two bits together I am certain it is from a WW2 aircraft but which one ???

    seat2.jpg seat1.jpg seat3.jpg
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Dave, welcome aboard.
     
  3. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great score mate!

    I suspect it may be from a bubble top bird, possibly US (P-47 maybe?), no doubt someone else will be able to positively identify it.

    Welcome to the forum too!
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #4 stona, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
    I doubt that it is from a single seater.
    They either had a back cushion,the pilot sitting on his parachute (Spitfire etc),or a seat cushion with the pilot wearing a back pack parachute which he leant on (Fw190 etc).They didn't have both.
    Having said that I have no idea what it might be from.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Good point Steve, had the back cushion of the P-51 in mind when I made my comment. head padding and colour don't match though.
    If you're right, be bloody fantastic if it was from a Wellington or something..!
     
  6. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Interesting
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Colour, design and materials suggest a post war aircraft, possibly multi-seat as already mentioned. Possibly something like a Percival Pembroke. As Steve mentioned, fighter types would normally have a 'dished' seat pan to accept a seat=type parachute, with a 'cushion' or padded 'slip' on the seat back, or use a seat with a 'dished' back rest to accept a back-pack parachute. For example, most British fighters utilised a seat-type parachute, as did bombers (although many bomber pilots preferred to us a chest pack 'chute, placing a cushion in the seat pan), whereas America types could be both - the P-51 had a seat for a back=pack 'chute, and the P-47 a seat for a seat-type 'chute.
    The padding you have suggests a type of aircraft where crew parachutes would not be standard equipment, therefore probably a transport or communications aircraft. The 'cut out' in the seat squab points at a pilot's or co-pilot's seat, although not definite, and the style and colours are similar to those seen in RAF aircraft of the 1950s to 1970s, such as the Pembroke, Varsity, Argosy and similar types.
     
  8. steamdave

    steamdave New Member

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    Thank you for all your replies. This really is a baffling one. I have been looking at lots of cockpit shots to find the answer but so far no luck. Do people think that the rows of lashing eyes along the back are for a parachute? The seat cushion is attached to the rest by only two poppers so is probably meant to be detached easily and has a small loop and popper on the bottom probably to attach it to the seat. I have had a another really close look at it today and there is not a single marking or text anywhere. I did pull some of the filler out of the cushion through a small hole and was very surprised to discover that it was hair, probably horse. In my mind this rules out post war. What do you lot think?
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Not a WW2 type of parachute. The pack and harness make one substantial unit including the webbing leading to the rigging of the parachute (risers). I'm not a parachutist,someone who is/was will be able to give a more expert answer,but I would imagine you'd want a more substantial attachment between you and the parachute.
    Steve
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No connection to a parachute whatsoever; a personal parachute, whether back-pack or seat-pack, has the pack itself firmly attached to the harness, with the lift webs (risers in American terminology) running from the shoulder harness attachments into the 'envelope' of the pack, where the rigging lines are packed in 'snake' fashion either across the back of the envelope, held in loops or elastic bungees, or in a similar fashion on the parachute canopy bag. This is all enclosed within the 'envelope' of the pack, tightly compressed, and closed with a pin or pins attached to the 'rip cord', which pass through steel cones or nylon loops.
    I suspect the eyelets on the seat cushion are to accept the lashings which would fasten it to the seat frame. Horse hair stuffing was still in common use up until the 1970s, when such things as EEC health safety regulations caused it to 'fall out of favour'.
    I really do think that this seat cover is post war, and from a transport, communications or other larger type, most likely British. Possibilities, other than those already mentioned, include Hastings, Beverley, Shackleton, Devon, Auster AOP 6 and 9, Beaver, and similar types, with the material and its colour being familiar, and a common sight on such aircraft.
     
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