Making the pilot's job harder

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Maxrobot1

Senior Airman
322
416
Sep 28, 2009
After watching Kermit Weeks get into his Douglas A-26 Invader, I wondered what other aircraft were difficult for the pilot to enter. At an airshow, I went into an Invader cockpit from the bomb bay. Kermit had to get a ladder, climb up onto the wing, open the canopy while kneeling on the plane's spine then slide in. I know the Douglas A-20 was another that looked tricky. Then I saw a video on the Handley-Page Hampton and that looked tricky too. The U.S. used rough black non-skid paint or something on the wing root of some planes to help pilot or crew chief from slipping. That appears to be an American thing.
 
After watching Kermit Weeks get into his Douglas A-26 Invader, I wondered what other aircraft were difficult for the pilot to enter. At an airshow, I went into an Invader cockpit from the bomb bay. Kermit had to get a ladder, climb up onto the wing, open the canopy while kneeling on the plane's spine then slide in. I know the Douglas A-20 was another that looked tricky. Then I saw a video on the Handley-Page Hampton and that looked tricky too. The U.S. used rough black non-skid paint or something on the wing root of some planes to help pilot or crew chief from slipping. That appears to be an American thing.
With the Hampden th navigator sat behind the pilot, he couldnt get out until the pilot got out, and then he folded the seat to escape.
 
I believe the navigator could just pop out the hatch above his position. No?
Not according to wiki
The slim and compact fuselage of the aircraft was quite cramped, being wide enough only for a single person. The navigator sat behind the pilot and access in the cockpit required folding down the seats. Once in place, the crew had almost no room to move and were typically uncomfortable during long missions.[14] Aircrews referred to the Hampden by various nicknames due to this, such as Flying Suitcase, Panhandle, and Flying Tadpole.[4]

 
5a468892736a0.jpg

4 men or 5 men?
Or one man has two parachutes depending on where he is sitting?
 
Jeff Ethell once wrote that his pilot Dad was startled when the material of the non-skid walkway came loose and was flapping making a horrible noise. Has anyone seen what they used?
 
Not according to wiki
The slim and compact fuselage of the aircraft was quite cramped, being wide enough only for a single person. The navigator sat behind the pilot and access in the cockpit required folding down the seats. Once in place, the crew had almost no room to move and were typically uncomfortable during long missions.[14] Aircrews referred to the Hampden by various nicknames due to this, such as Flying Suitcase, Panhandle, and Flying Tadpole.[4]
60f996f481f73244eae61594_Handley-Page-Hampden--Sgt--W-E--Bill-Norquay-wireless-operator-air-g...jpeg


Looks like he might be able to squeeze through in pinch.
 
The diagram above is very crude but does show two escape routes from the nose section. There is a much more detailed diagram on this page.

The Hampden initially had a crew of 4. Pilot, navigator/bomb aimer, radio operator/gunner and a gunner.

Note there was a position in the nose for the navigator/bomb aimer. It came with a drift sight (19) and a folding chart table (27) to allow him to navigate, as well as the bomb sight. There was also stowage for a parachute (36) and an escape hatch (33) in the lower side of the aircraft in this section.

There was a crawl space from the nose section, under the floor of the pilot's cockpit into the fuselage space behind the pilot. That provided a convenient if very narrow route to avoid him being in the nose during take off and landings in the event of an accident. And there was another escape hatch in the cabin roof of that section just ahead of the radio mast (51).

The interior photo is of a later modification when additional guns were fitted in beam positions, sometimes with an extra gunner being carried. That was just ahead of the great bulkhead (58), which can be seen in the photo.
 
The Arado 234 looks like it was tricky to get into also.
 

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