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MattS

Opening the Canopy for Landing?

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Hello all;

 

Does anyone know if it was a universal thing to open the canopy for landing (in planes where that is technically possible)?

 

Looking at our aircraft lineups in game, I see the following planes can technically open their canopies in flight (some at low speeds only):

 

US: All except P-38

 

UK: All

 

USSR: All

 

Germany: FW 190, HS129, Ju-87

 

Did the US/UK/USSR all open canopies on these models? Did the Germans open canopies on any of them?

 

Obviously a minor and inconsequential point, just interested in how it "should" be done.

 

 

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I do remember reading somewhere that all RAF Spitfire pilots were ordered to ensure that they open the canopy during landing and takeoff irrespective of the weather due to a few fatalities.

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17 minutes ago, Steambat said:

I do remember reading somewhere that all RAF Spitfire pilots were ordered to ensure that they open the canopy during landing and takeoff irrespective of the weather due to a few fatalities.

 

You mean because of increased fatlities?

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Most probably, the order was issued due to them continually closing it because of the rain!

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16 hours ago, egyadelzakhary said:

 

increased fatlities

 

This is my problem these days 🤣

 

16 hours ago, Steambat said:

Most probably, the order was issued due to them continually closing it because of the rain!

 

I can't imagine how much it would suck to just sit in the cockpit getting rained on...then fly a mission at 8km freezing my wet ass off. Increased chance of death on takeoff seems worth it!

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4 hours ago, MattS said:

 

This is my problem these days 🤣

 

 

I can't imagine how much it would suck to just sit in the cockpit getting rained on...then fly a mission at 8km freezing my wet ass off. Increased chance of death on takeoff seems worth it!

That is quite alright bro

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More discussion on this topic here.

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17 hours ago, MattS said:

 

This is my problem these days 🤣

 

 

I can't imagine how much it would suck to just sit in the cockpit getting rained on...then fly a mission at 8km freezing my wet ass off. Increased chance of death on takeoff seems worth it!

 

Oh yeah.  Sometimes I open the canopy on the Il-2 to help sighting while turning in towards the target.  BoM December missions means -23 degrees, snow or sleet, 300km/h of wind chill, weather so bad our escorts won't fly and the 109s are flying into the ground in all the soup.   OMG.  Those poor bastards who had to fly these things.  I start shivering as soon as I hear the wind noise, and I close the canopy again asap.

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Vorozheikin had it removed completely

 

 

Canopy.png

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Better visibility , and also in a ditching scenario, opening the canopy is part of the procedure.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, SCG_motoadve said:

Better visibility , and also in a ditching scenario, opening the canopy is part of the procedure.

 

Yes, thank you. What I'm really trying to figure out is in which planes would this actually be done or not done in WW2.

 

So far it seems:

 

Yes:

MiG/LaGG/La/Yak/Il-2

Spitfires/Tempest/Hurricane

P-40, P-47

Ju-87

 

No (due to canopy design):

BF-109/110/Macchi/Me262

P-38/P-51B&C

 

Not sure:

P-51D (edit: must be closed per manual)

FW-190?

HS-129?

 

 

 

Edited by MattS
Added info

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P-51D, canopy open for taxiing due to visibility issues and safety reasons.

Canopy 'must' be closed and locked for take off and landing... it's in the wartime manual.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Trooper117 said:

P-51D, canopy open for taxiing due to visibility issues and safety reasons.

Canopy 'must' be closed and locked for take off and landing... it's in the wartime manual.

 

Awesome, thank you.

 

I had also read somewhere that the FW190 would be closed to keep exhaust fumes out but if anyone knows more specifics, I'm all ears!

Edited by MattS

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I fly the 190 series a lot, and often open the canopy to increase drag and steepen my landing approach angle. This is best combined with a stable, crosscontrolled sideslip.

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Posted (edited)

I believe the Russians (and other allies) used to open the cockpits for landing and to improve visibility when landing on poor runways where there was a very serious risk of crashing and burning, maybe upside down with a jammed canopy! Certainly seen pics of Russian aircraft flying with canopy open, and allied pilots too, especially in the Desert Air Forces.

 

I think, additionally, the Russians often patrolled and searched with the canopy open because of the poor quality of their perspex. A problem that was IIRC only remedied when North American Aviation and ICI/Du Pont shared the technology with the Russians about 1943. It is said that Italian aircraft were designed with the ability to fly with canopies either open or closed at at any time during the flight including combat. 

Edited by Reggie_Mental

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2 hours ago, Reggie_Mental said:

It is said that Italian aircraft were designed with the ability to fly with canopies either open or closed at at any time during the flight including combat. 

 

Whomever said that obviously didn't look at any photos of the MC202.

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The main problem here is the problem of exiting in case of an accident and what it means to you if you end up lying upside down.

 

If the aircraft flies very well with the canopy open, like the Spitfire for instance, then you might choose to open it prior landing. In a hot summer, it will make things more comfortable for you plus you get better visiblity. In case of a ground loop and ending upside down, the Spit would come to rest on the Malcolm hood, making you leave the aircraft unassisted (lest in a hurry) impossible. This means if you feel something is fishy about your aircraft, you don't have to drop your canopy, you just can slide it back to be sure that you most likely will be able to quickly evacuate the aircraft.

 

If your aircraft is designed such that it is impssible to fly with open canopy (such as the Bf-109 or the Fw-190, then you drop the whole canopy in case  of suspected problems with your aircraft (or if the place where you have to put it down looks problematic). It is clear that dropping the canopy requires a slightly higher threshold of problems than merely sliding the hood back.

 

Regulations reflect that as well. You are less likely to end up upside down with the Mustang than the Spit and mechanisms for moving and locking the canopy are a bit different, hence it makes sense that it is recommended to close and lock the canopy all the time between takeoff and landing.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2020 at 4:55 PM, MattS said:

FW-190?

HS-129?

 

The Fw 190 manual makes no mention on canopy usage for normal takeoff and landing but says that incase of an emergency landing (specificly engine failure) the canopy is to be fully opened and that no danger of ripoff is given (this accounts for an airspeed of 300km/h).

 

- Fw 190 A-1 Bedienungsvorschrift-Fl May 1941, p.18

 

The Henschel manual mentiones that the canopy should stay closed for takeoff and opened only after landing. Incase of an emergency landing the canopy should be opened prior the landing.

 

- Hs 129 B1 und B2 Bedienungsvorschrift-Fl May 1943, p.49

Edited by 6./ZG26_5tuka
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I have never seen an original 190 with the canopy open during T/O or landing.

There is video of Flug Werk replicas doing so, though.

 

I'm fairly confident their canopies are similar, so if the FW canopy holds together in such conditions, the Fw canopy most probably does, too.

 

There's some anecdotal evidence that opening the canopy had exhaust-gasses enter the cabin and would cause turbulence on the tail. Hence opening the canopy was supposedly verboten. 5tuka's find in the POH is a very nice find and shows there's more shades of grey than what's usually anecdotally carried forward...

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5 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

Whomever said that obviously didn't look at any photos of the MC202.

But the canopy did have sliding window panels port and starboard.

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9 hours ago, Reggie_Mental said:

I believe the Russians (and other allies) used to open the cockpits for landing and to improve visibility when landing on poor runways where there was a very serious risk of crashing and burning, maybe upside down with a jammed canopy! Certainly seen pics of Russian aircraft flying with canopy open, and allied pilots too, especially in the Desert Air Forces.

 

I think, additionally, the Russians often patrolled and searched with the canopy open because of the poor quality of their perspex. A problem that was IIRC only remedied when North American Aviation and ICI/Du Pont shared the technology with the Russians about 1943. It is said that Italian aircraft were designed with the ability to fly with canopies either open or closed at at any time during the flight including combat. 

A lot of Russian planes couldn't get the canopy open at any kind of high speed, so if you needed to bail out above 300 km/h or so you were hosed. So a pilot might choose to fly with the canopy open to increase his ability to get out in ap inch.

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