Aeroplane Monthly 1983-11
L.Coombs - Cockpits of the RAF (2)
The cockpit of a Sopwith Snipe.
Another shot of a Snipe cockpit shows protective leather-covered pads on the ends of the Vickers gun breeches.
The cockpit of the immaculately-restored De Havilland D.H.9A F1010 in the RAF Museum's Bomber Command Annexe at Hendon.
The D.H.9A was fitted with protective leather-covered pads on the ends of the Vickers gun breeches. The compass is the widely-used Type 5/17.
The view emphasises the ample width and the cramped length of a Spad cockpit. The wrap-around windscreen was probably a good feature, but the clock face with roman numerals on it most definitely was not.
Another RAF Museum aeroplane, this time the S.E.5a, displays its armament. The Vickers gun has its own ring-and-bead sight; the Aldis sight is mounted centrally, beneath the Lewis on its Foster-type overwing mounting.
This shot of Handley Page O/400 B8811 shows the cockpit area projecting out in front of the wings and propellers.
In this Bristol F.2B, the instruments were skewed round in their bezels so that the needles were vertical at normal values of r.p.m., airspeed etc. This common practice enabled pilots to check their gauges at a glance.
The Sopwith Dolphin was designed to give its pilot an excellent upward field of vision - but at the expense of downward view.
The pronounced back-stagger of the de Havilland D.H.5 gave its pilot an excellent view forwards and upwards. Unfortunately it also prevented him from seeing any pursuers diving from behind.
The cockpit of the Handley Page V/1500 had the conventional pilot-on-the-right layout. The control wheel had to have a diameter approaching two feet and a 2:1 gear ratio to make the vast ailerons manageable. The control column could be locked in position to give the pilot a rest on long missions - a very primitive autopilot. The two instruments visible in the forward gunner's/bomb aimer's cockpit were probably an altimeter and an ASI.
H.P. O/400 G-EAAE, just before departure for Paris from Cricklewood on September 2, 1919. The wooden structures are propeller guards.
The pilot of a civil O/400 is girding his loins against the sub-zero 100 m.p.h. breeze with the aid of a leather greatcoat and a leopardskin helmet.