By Tommy H. Thomason

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Breaks of Naval Air

This is an eBook. If you don't have one of the eBook-devices (Kindle, Nook, etc.), the latest Apple operating system, Yosemite, allows you to download eBooks to a Mac via iBooks. If you aren't acquainted with Youthly Puresome, it's worth the modest price to become so. If you are, now you can have his entire oeuvre at your fingertips, including some material that hasn't been published. Note that this blurb is from iBooks; it is also available on Amazon (Google "Woodul Amazon").

Note that the correct title is The Breaks of Naval Air; you can see the actual cover and enjoy more from Youthly Puresome on Woodul's blog here:

I'd write a review but I can't do better than Barrett Tillman's on Amazon:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shoulder Harness

Although it seems hard to believe, carrier pilots were only restrained by a seat belt up until about mid 1942. One mark (literally) that might distinguish a carrier pilot before then was the impression of a dent in his forehead from striking the gunsight or instrument panel coming in a barrier crash or ditching. Probably as a result of increased incidents of that kind that wartime operations produced, at least one air group added upper-body restraints to the cockpits of their airplanes. BuAer subsequently made that official, as described in the 15 June 1943 issue of Naval Aviation News. Note for example that it lists a retrofit to the SBD-3/4s but not SBD-5s, which suggests that the latter (the first of which was delivered in April 1943) came off the production line with shoulder harness.

The gun sight statement suggests one reason why something so obviously beneficial in a crash wasn't implemented before then.  The prewar sight in both fighters and dive bombers required the pilot to lean forward.

And also to use his plotting board.