Which fighters did pilots feel safest in for crash landing?

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Sal Monella

Airman 1st Class
Apr 20, 2005
Redwood City
I think I read that the scoop under the P-51 could make for a nasty crash-landing. Is that true?

Which fighters were safest for a pilot in a crash-landing sitiuation and which ones were the most dangerous and why?
The P-47 had a "bonus" feature for crash landing. The duct work for the turbosupercharger ran along the underside of the fuselage and created a crumple zone that helped to protect the pilot's legs in the event of a wheels up landing. I had not heard about the scoop causing problems, but I could see where it might.
The Hurricane because it had a low landing speed and was easily handled in almost any situation.
plan_D said:
The Hurricane because it had a low landing speed and was easily handled in almost any situation.

I would also add that any aircraft with a "turtleback" provided that extra protection. Welded steel tube fuselage structure would also act as a "Roll Cage." Although a robust plane like a P-47 is desirable, the Hurricane would probably be my choice based on the these facts.

Photo from "The Hurricane Site."


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Here's a picture of a remarkable crash landing done in a Hurricane :


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I think a lot of that strength can be attributed to the welded steel tube construction. there was a special on the history channel last night that showed the recovery of a Hurricane that sheared off the tail of a DO 17 that was heading toward Buckingham Palace during the height of the Battle of Britain. The pilot that knocked down the DO 17 also stated how strong the Hurricane was.

Just a side note: A Mooney (General Aviation aircraft for you folks who don't know bug smashers) has a welded cage around the cockpit. This aircraft is known as the most "crash survivable" GA aircraft, providing you don't fly straight into a mountain which many GA pilots tend to do!
cheddar cheese said:
I know.

Surely twin engined planes would be effective in crash landings?

Not all the time. When engines fail on multi engine aircraft, its a real pain to get the thing to fly straight and to get the aircraft trimmed. This could really be a bummer when you're trying to crash :(
no more effective than single engine types for example, as the engines are wither side of you and in most cases the same height as you, they will offer no protection from the ground, you in your cockpit will still hit the ground, had, atleast in a single engine you've got your wing and sometimes undercarriage under the cockpit and so you get more protection in your cockpit...........

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