Aviation Historian 32
P.Hobbins - Flying the "Bathfire"
The Bf 109 pilot’s seat was mounted close to the cockpit floor. The resulting semi-inclined seating posture gave the pilot good g-resistance
The FFS Mk III was deployed by the FAA mainly for use by British Pacific Fleet pilots of American types with larger cockpits than their British counterparts, including the roomy Vought Corsair. The FFS was not universally loved, however, with one pilot stating: ‘‘I hated the Franks suit. It was cold and clammy and always made me want to piddle after half an hour’s flying”
The top decking of Monty Cotton’s Hurricane IIC was torn off during vigorous trials of the Franks Flying Suit by No 17 Sqn in Ceylon in late 1943. Cotton said: “There is nothing more conducive to good moral[e] in a dogfight than being able to out-turn one’s opponent - up until now it has been impossible against the Jap[anese]”.
The Hurricane’s rudder pedals were fitted with an accessory bar allowing the pilot to raise his feet for higher g-resistance during manoeuvring
The prone-pilot position, i.e. lying forward, minimised the effects of g by keeping the brain, heart and feet on a similar level. It had drawbacks, however, being uncomfortable for prolonged periods
The Gladiator’s upright seating posture increased the vertical distance of the feet and the brain from the heart, resulting in a low g-resistance