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Author Topic: Spitfire Bail Out Procedure.  (Read 6479 times)
Copper
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« on: May 21, 2010, 07:03:03 PM »

Hi,

Is there a specific bail out procedure for the Spitfire?

Regards,

Jon
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Spits
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 11:20:07 PM »

Undo seat harness,unplug oxygen hose,pull out mike lead,reach up and release canopy,unlatch cockpit door,invert or push stick forward,climb up out of seat and dive out behind trailing edge of wing,hoping you miss tail assembly on way out.
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Copper
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 11:57:41 PM »

Hi,

Thanks that solves a riddle!

Cheers,

Jon
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Editor
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 10:59:32 PM »

Bail out procedure was specified for each mark in Pilot's Notes.

I can add that on Spitfire Mk. I, the pilot was expected to raise the seat to maximum position before bailing out. To leave the aircraft, it was advised to either push the stick forward or roll the a/c upside down.

In early Spitfire marks the canopy had to be slid back on rails. Later marks introduced a Martin-Baker emergency canopy release with a red knob at the top of the windscreen frame.

Hope this helps.
/M.
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2010, 12:16:13 AM »

It was something of a surprise (thinking that it was designed for an overturned landing) to find that the February,1941 addition of the crowbar was to assist in the removal of the canopy during bail-out.  Initially, it was not fitted if the canopy had the Martin-Baker system, but was eventually made into a universal fitting.  The first oxygen hoses were attached to the facemask, and plugged into a bayonet fitting in the right-hand corner of the cockpit; the change to it being fitted to the cockpit wall, then plugged into the facemask, was probably caused by so many pilots forgetting it, on the early Marks, and garrotting themselves, when they left.
Edgar
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 10:00:29 AM »

Edgar,

I once heard from a reliable Spitfire "expert" that the oval side perspex panel introduced on Mk. II (?) had something to do with bail-out procedure and crowbar - smashing it would equalize the pressure in the cockpit, making it possible open the canopy. Do you have any more knowledge about it?

Regards,
/M.
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 08:41:03 AM »

I also had this told to me, but I've since been told that it was to enable a flow of air to come in, and clear any fogging of the canopy/instruments that might have occurred.  With a bit of thought, I suppose that it sounds a lot more plausible, after all, in an unsealed cockpit, would there be any need to equalise the pressure?  The VI & VII didn't have it, but had a small "window" in the left windshield quadrant.  I haven't found any modification to introduce the "knock out panel," but its attachment was improved, on the I & II, from 13-6-40, so I'd doubt that it was introduced on the II, and it was deleted, during V production, 3-11-41.
Edgar
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 09:34:30 AM »

I've just found this, in a "Spitfire Manual 1940," edited by Dilip Sarkar; it's taken from "Forget-me-nots for Fghters," and was originally written by the AOC 13 Group.
"First, lift your seat to the full up position, slide back your hood, and lock it fully open.  Undo your harness, take hold of the parachute rip cord, and then either stand up on the seat and put the stick forward, or roll on to your back.  Our old friends gravity and centrifugal force will have done the rest before you know they have started.  If the aircraft is spinning, go out on the inside of the spin.  If you are on fire DON'T open the hood until the last moment, as it will draw flames into the cock-pit.  If your clothes are soaked in petrol, switch off the engine switches, and leave the throttle open, otherwise as you get out the sparks from the exhaust may act like the flint in your cigarette lighter.  Keep hold of the rip-cord as you leave the aircraft, but if you are very high there is no need to pull it for the time being.  Pilots who have pulled the rip-cord immediately after getting out in a high speed dive have been badly injured.  You will fall more slowly out of your aeroplane than in it, so do a delayed drop whenever you can.  The "109" will also find you harder to hit with the umbrella shut than open.  You only fall 1,000 feet in 5 seconds so there is really plenty of time.  If you fail to keep hold of the rip-cord as you left the aircraft, it is quite easy to look down and find it.  If for any reason you cannot see, pass your right hand down the centre of your chest till you come to the quick release knob, then move it left along the wide strap and you will find the rip-cord.  Flying boots, leather gloves and goggles will protect you if your clothing or the cock-pit should catch fire.  Your gloves are most important, as if your right hand is burnt you would not be able to feel the rip-cord."
Edgar
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greatgonzo
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 11:25:39 AM »

Edgar,

I once heard from a reliable Spitfire "expert" that the oval side perspex panel introduced on Mk. II (?) had something to do with bail-out procedure and crowbar - smashing it would equalize the pressure in the cockpit, making it possible open the canopy. Do you have any more knowledge about it?

Regards,
/M.

The knockout panel was supposed to solve icing (fogging) problem of the canopy. The Spitfire MkII manual states that very clearly:
'On a port side of the sliding hood is an oval knock-out panel, secured by studs and spring clips, for use in the event of windscreen becoming iced over.'
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