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Were WWII fighters' cockpits heated?

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  • Member since
    November, 2013
Were WWII fighters' cockpits heated?
Posted by Spitfire on Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:46 AM

Building a few of these had me wondering if the cockpits of WWII fighters were heated, and if not I wonder how cold it could get in there when flying at altitude?

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by pyrman64 on Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:49 AM

I believe some did and just an FYI, this type of query would be better asked in the a/c forum.

Greg H

"There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." Gen. Wm T. Sherman (11 April 1880, Columbus, Ohio)

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:32 AM

I do recall reading about some US fighters having some sort of heating system. That was one complaint about the P-38 having a poor layout and heating system.

 

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  • Member since
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  • From: Goffstown, NH
Posted by New Hampshire on Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:42 AM

The De Havilland Mosquito apparently did:

http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=126

Brian

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:42 PM

Yes although there are exceptions.

-55C at 35000 ft standard but of course varies a little.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Houston, Texas
Posted by panzerpilot on Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:14 PM

Most were heated. However, the vast majority were considered less than adequate and not very reliable.

Pressurized cockpits were a rarity (some later 109s had them), so I'd imagine it could get really cold with all the various air leaks, etc.

-Tom

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 26, 2014 1:34 AM

IIRC, aside from a couple Me-109 G variants, there were also a couple Spitfire Marks that had pressurized cockpits.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, January 26, 2014 9:14 AM

Ta-152H was pressurized.

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Spartanburg, SC
Posted by subfixer on Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:41 AM

With all of the heat being generated by a water cooled  engine, I don't see why a cockpit couldn't be heated. But also considering that the cockpit was also open to the rest of the fuselage it would also seem like it was a large area to try to keep heated. A vent opening towards the pilot would probably be all that was provided. A pressurized cockpit in a fighter aircraft? Better be prepared for quick depressurization when hit by an enemy round. And I am not sure about  radial engined aircraft of the era, but they could be heated, too, I suppose.

Automobile heaters in this era were only vented at the floor, there were no dashboard vents as in todays cars, just the floor heat and windshield defroster (maybe).

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  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, January 27, 2014 2:30 PM

subfixer

 And I am not sure about  radial engined aircraft of the era, but they could be heated, too, I suppose.

They certainly were. You wouldn't last too long at high altitude if they weren't or your flight suit and gloves weren't electrically heated, like a bomber gunner.

Other options were fuel-fired heaters or electric heaters, with ducting and fans.

Windshields needed defrosters too, Guns needed heaters, and so forth. It's a pretty cruel environment.

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