P-47 Pilot Preflight Check

P-47N pilot’s preflight check, from: Pilot Training Manual for the Thunderbolt P-47N, Headquarters, AAF Manual 51-127-4, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C., September 1945.


Pilot’s Preflight Check

The preflight check starts before you reach your airplane. Survey the proposed taxiing route for any possible future obstruction, such as a fuel truck about to move. Study the ramp area for stray equipment or rubbish and rags that might be blown into the airscoop or tail assembly by prop blast.

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P-61 Black Widow Cockpit

P-61 Black Widow cockpit instrument diagrams from the Pilot Training Manual for the Black Widow, P-61, Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff Training, Headquarters AAF, Washington, D.C.

p61-black-wido-cockpit-front-panelControls, Switches, Instruments (Front Panel)

1. Remote compass
2. Airspeed indicator
3. Rate of climb indicator
4. Altimeter
5. Turn and bank indicator
6. Gyro horizon
7. Dials of automatic pilot
8. Pilot’s gunsight
9. Manifold pressure indicator
10. Oil temperature indicator
11. Oil pressure indicator
12. Carburetor air temperature indicator
13. Lower cowl flaps control valves
14. Upper cowl flaps control valve
15. Clock
16. Tachometer
17. Cylinder head temperature indicator
18. Fuel pressure indicator
19. Wheel and flap position indicator
20. Fuel gage
21. Oil cooler flap indicator

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Mustang Pilot on Iwo Jima Figure

New resin, 75mm scale, figure announcement from A C Models in New Zealand: No. ACM75017-USAAF Pilot, 15th FG, Iwo Jima.



P-47 Pilot Equipment

Typical U.S. pilot’s personal equipment from Pilot Training Manual for the Thunderbolt P-47N, Headquarters, AAF Manual 51-127-4, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C., September 1945.

Personal Equipment

On all flights, wear:
1. Helmet
2. Goggles
3. Gloves
4. Life vest
5. Parachute
6. Oxygen mask
7. First aid and emergency kit
8. One-man life raft (when flying over water)
9. Knife

The mask is worn on all flights to accustom you to it and to protect your face in case of fire. You wear gloves as a fire protection and to prevent skinned knuckles, which are inevitable without gloves. Use your goggles when needed. Do not wear commercial polaroid glasses. Use only government issue. The knife is carried to puncture your dinghy should it accidentally be inflated. It must be worn where it can be reached easily, preferably on the calf of your leg.



SBD Dauntless Cockpit

Photographs of the Douglas SBD Dauntless cockpit from the Pilot’s Handbook Model SBD-3, Douglas Aircraft, 1942.

Douglas SBD Dauntless Front Cockpit and Instrument Panel

SBD Dauntless Pilot Seat and Cockpit

Identify when Approaching Allied Ships

Identify when Approaching Allied Ships

Note to Pilots: This could be YOU!
Identify when Approaching Allied Ships!

GO AHEAD! Fly over one of our ships without identifying. Test the crew’s quickness on recognition… if you want that plane you’re flying punctured like a hunk of swiss cheese! Then, should you live to add up the count–you undoubtably won’t!–you can flatter the AA crews on how accurate their lead is!

But it’s saner and safer, to identify. Remember, AA crews are plenty yough and trained to shoot. If you approach Allied ships and leave them doubtful as to whether you’re friend or foe, they won’t ask too many questions, wait too long…

Don’t expect crews to take chances. They’ve had ships blown from under them, seen shipmates machine-gunned to death because they were slow to act. And most of the unfortunate cases where friendly planes were shot out of the sky were the fault of pilots who failed to identify their planes as friendly.

So don’t you take chances. Ships will challenge, but don’t wait. It’s the pilot’s responsibility to identify first.

Ships will recognize, but don’t stake your social security on it. They may not be sure, there may be clouds, enemy planes…

In the final analysis, it’s that ship and its big complement against your plane and lonely little you. You’re valuable, but you know which counts more with the Fleet!

RECOMMENDED READING: (1) Recognition and Identification Sense, (2) Identify… or Else! reprint from Naval Aviation News.

Source: Naval Aviation News, August 1, 1944.

Low Banks Ain’t Healthy

Low Banks Aint Healthy (B-24D Liberator)

Good advice from the Consolidated B-24D Liberator Pilot’s Manual.

Flying Tigers Releases from King & Country

King & Country has an upcoming series of toy soldier releases of the “Flying Tigers” from World War II.

Flying Tigers P-40 with Sharks Teeth by King and CountryItem No.: AF018
Name: Curtiss P-40 Flying Tiger
Desc.: Originally intended to be part of very large order going to the Royal Air Force, one hundred of the planes were sent to the Flying Tigers in China. Still sporting British camouflage, the P-40s were then adorned with the famous “Shark’s Teeth” insignia and a cartoon flying tiger courtesy of Disney. This model aircraft is painted with the personal #88 markings of former USMC pilot Kenneth A. Jernstedt who shot down 10.5 Japanese aircraft while flying and fighting with the Flying Tigers. Planned Production Run: 250 aircraft.
Price: $229.00 (U.S.)
Status: Scheduled to be released in early December.
Flying Tigers Ace Pilot with Map, Toy SoldierItem No.: AF024
Name: Flying Tiger Pilot: David “Tex” Hill
Description: One of the most famous of Tiger pilots “Tex” Hill had a long and distinguished flying career. Beginning in the U.S. Navy he flew dive bombers before being recruited by Claire Cheunault to fly in China. He shot down 12 Japanese aircraft with the Flying Tigers before transferring over to the U.S. Army Air Corps. Eventually “Tex” Hill retired as a Brigadier General in the U.S.A.F. many years later. The figure shows him consulting his map and wearing the leather flight jacket with the famous “blood chit” on the back.
Price: $41.00 (U.S.)
Status: Scheduled to be released in early December.
Flying Tigers Pilot by King and Country Toy SoldiersItem No.: AF025
Name: Flying Tiger Pilot: Kenneth A. Jernstedt
Description: Ken Jernstedt was another “double-ace” while flying in China with the American Volunteer Group. Like “Tex” Hill he also transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 after America entered the war. The Ken Jernstedt figure is wearing the leather flight jacket with the “blood chit” and a flying helmet.
Price: $41.00 (U.S.)
Status: Scheduled to be released in early December.

B-24D Oxygen System

Diagram of the B-24D Liberator oxygen system from the B-24D pilot manual.

B-24D Oxygen System

( Click to Enlarge )


A-26 Crash Landing Procedure

Instructions for crash landing procedures for the Douglas A-26 Invader from the Pilot Training Manual for the A-26 Invader, Headquarters, AAF, Office of Flying Safety.


Douglas A-26 Invader Crash Landing Procedure


1. Call crew. “Prepare for crash landing.” (Have crew acknowledge.)

2. Switch on emergency IFF radio transmitter.

3. Release parachute by unbuckling.

4. Tighten safety belt and lock shoulder harness.

5. Salvo bombs. Close bomb bay doors.

6. Make a normal approach. Use up to 3/4 flaps. Always make a wheels-up landing.

7. Slide seat back but still keep rudder control. (Place cushion between chest and control column.)

8. Call rear gunner and warn of “final impact.”

9. Have bombardier pull emergency lever to release cockpit hatch when airplane is just off the ground.

10. Mixture controls to IDLE CUT-OFF.

11. Turn battery and master ignition switches to OFF.

12. Tank selector valves to OFF.

13. Exit through upper hatch opening.

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