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Author Topic: The Sutton Harness - the attachment drawings needed.  (Read 7927 times)
DominikS
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« on: March 10, 2009, 11:45:27 PM »

I've started building two Spitfire models - Mk.IX (No. 303 Sqn, ca. 1943) and Mk.XVI (1945) and I don't know how should I attach harness and any technical drawings would be very helpful.
I would be very grateful if someone could put here any drawings (I've checked SAM's Supermarine Spitfire Parts 1 and 2 but I haven't found anything)

Thank you.

Best regards

Dominik.
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Aleksander
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 07:42:26 PM »

Dominik - check the Spitfire Site (upper right corner of this page) - there are few informations about Sutton Harness in "Spitfire Variants & Technology". Regards
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DominikS
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 04:59:37 PM »

Hi!

Olek I have seen this article but the droawing shown there is not very clear (by the way - I have the same drawing in " Spitfire - The History" by Shacklady and Morgan). I need something more than that.

Regards

Dominik
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Editor
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 06:45:51 PM »

How about the attachment photos, I may have some
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DominikS
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 11:13:45 PM »

How about the attachment photos, I may have some

It would be great help. I cna't wait watching them.

Thank you in advance
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Editor
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 12:53:00 AM »



Caption form my forthcoming photo feature. Hope to finish it - eventually Smiley.

"The steel cables for Sutton harness disappear in the rear fuselage behind frame no. 12. The red object in this view is the antenna mast anchor point, and as can be seen, the cables are laid one each side of the mast foot, to an anchor point at frame 15."

Hope this helps,
/Martin


« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 02:38:33 PM by Editor » Logged
Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 06:52:03 PM »

The standard fit was for two straps, joined into a "Y" shape, to come over the backrest.  These were joined by another pair, coming through a slot in the fixed armour/headrest.  Two friction adjusters, shaped like a "0," held the two sets together, roughly on the pilot's shoulders.  The ends of the "Y" straps had the (5) holes for the retaining pin, while the two, which came through the bulkhead, each ended in small brass crosspiece, so the pilot could grasp them, and pull the whole lot tight.  Two lapstraps, with only two holes, were fixed underneath the seat, so that they came up about halfway along the pilot's thighs.  The righthand strap fed through the slot in the side of the seat bucket (presumably to ensure that it didn't foul the seat raising/lowering mechanism, while the lefthand strap tended to disappear, and had to be "fished" for (at least it could be seen through the open door.)  Initially, the "Y" strap bolted straight onto a crossbar at the bottom of the seat's bulkhead, but, in April, 1941,  the bottom few inches were replaced by a short length of cable, to give more freedom of movement.
  The straps were numbered; no.1 was the left shoulder strap, and there was a narrow strip of webbing, running underneath the holes, along which a "T"-shaped pin slid, so the the stalk of the T popped through (any) one of the holes.  The pin was tapered, rather like a drawing pin (thumb-tack, in some quarters, I believe,) and had a hole drilled through it.  No.2 was the right thighstrap, 3 the left thighstrap, and 4 was the right shoulderstrap.  To no. 4, a triangular pin was attached by a short length of cord.  The two ends of the triangle were splayed out, after they touched, and a third length of rod was fitted between them, attached to a crossbar just inside the triangle.  Each successive strap was laid over the tapered pin, and the central rod, of the triangle was pushed through the hole, to hold the whole lot together; the sides of the triangle acted as a spring to stop the rod from sliding out.  All the pilot had to do, in an emergency, was pull the triangle out, the straps fell away, and out he went.
The two cables, visible in the photo above, were, almost certainly, routed, and held, either side of the mast, because a pilot was killed, in K5054, when the aircraft overturned, pushing the mast down, and it pulled the straps back, breaking his neck.  The third cable, disappearing out of the top of the photo, was attached to the crossbar behind the headrest, presumably to stop the straps dropping down, and being a drag (literally) on the pilot.  The two retaining cables went down to a bolt, held closed by a strong spring.  On the right side of the cockpit, near the pilot's elbow, was a release (looking rather like a door bolt,) with a cable running back to the retaining bolt.  When the pilot turned the handle, it released the bolt, so he could lean forward; when he returned to the usual position, the spring snapped the bolt shut, and a clip held it in place.
To avoid chafing, the slot in the bulkhead had a Basil (made from sheepskin) leather lining.
Now it gets (more?) complicated.  It's possible to find the odd photo of, and reference to, the "Y" strap coming through the hole in the backrest.  This did happen, but only when the seat had been specially strengthened, and was, preferably, metal, as well.  The hole's original purpose was nothing more than a handhold, and, as far as I can find, the re-routing of the strap only occurred very late in the war.  On aircraft, like the Hurricane and Typhoon, with metal seats, it's possible to find drawings of the harness arrangement, and there's a positive "kink" where the belt goes though the backrest.  I have not been able to find any such "kink" in any Spitfire drawing.
All evidence, that I've found, points to the Sutton lasting until 1946, well after the war.  The National Archive holds a drawing (AD.15S.327) of the original (Type "M") Spitfire harness.  It's only an illustration of the straps, and doesn't have the fixings, but, if you'd like a copy, send me a PM, and I'll get a scan off to you.
Edgar
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