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Spitfire addict

Japanese seat belts question

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Posted (edited)

As 

I ponder the application of the dreaded PE seat belts to my Zero, I was wondering which aircraft, or aircraft manufacturers e.g. Mitsubishi, Nakajima, Kawanishi, et al, applied particular set ups for their seats. The question mostly is in regard to lap belts vs lap and shoulder harness on mainstream Japanese fighters. I have noticed that for some Japanese aircraft a single belt across the chest was combined with the lap belts. Was this added after too many pilots whacked their forehead on the gun sights as was the case with the early US Navy Wildcats? There is probably a thread on this subject a mile long, but due to my technical ineptitude I couldn't find it. If anyone can link it my good friend Troy will probably find it for me. Otherwise, any help on this would be great.

Cheers

Edited by Spitfire addict
Clarification

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Chuck1945    97

See David Aiken's comments on Hyperscale, quoted in part here:

"It would have been dumb, as some suggest, for the Japanese to use only lap belts...on the Zero....they HAD to use a shoulder belt. I don't have the width measurement yet it had many grommets for the belt buckle. The shoulder belt came across the left shoulder as seen in the attached blue print and illustration. The connections to hard points within the cockpit is poorly defined. Japanese sensei H. Sugiyama added more about the seat and the Type 97 Zabuton/parachute seat pack with the attached published illustration."

Link http://www.clubhyper.com/forums/forum.htm You will have to scroll down to find his response under the question about A6M2 aileron mass balances

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Thanks Chuck, it seems the IJAAF aircraft tended to have the lap belts, which Fine Molds makes replicas for the Tony and Oscar. Still not positive on the bombers though. Eduard makes a set for fighters which is a mix of lap belts and shoulder harness. But, why just lap belts for some aircraft? They didn't feel they needed parachutes for their pilots either early on.

Cheers

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warhawk    80
Posted (edited)

If You look at IJN aircraft seats, there was indeed a third, or shoulder strap:

 

l_finna2.jpg

 

But the setup on Kawanishi fighters (N1K / N1K1-J / N1K2-J) intrigues me the most (those "Y belts" to the left).

 

49099.gif

 

How does that thing work? Does the head go trough there? Does some other part of you go through there?

 

Edited by warhawk

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Garry c    159

The Mitsubishi fighters had the lap and shoulder belt in the A5M (Claude), A6M (Zeke), and the J2M (jack).

 

 

 The  Soviet Union captured an A5M in 1939. The plane was dissembled, photographed, and test flown.

Mitsubishi-A5M-mix-5_zpsajjlt3gw.jpg

 

The shoulder belt would be mounted to the back of the seat  at the riveted plate on the upper left of the seat back.While this particular seat does not appear to have a belt, the belt can be seen in this picture.

 

A5M-Akagi-Prewar-13f-s_zpsfdpomwmp.jpg

 

This photo of an A6M (Zero) shows the lap belt and the lower portion of the shoulder belt mounted just ahead of it.

2ba28b08ce5c25fc9aa03dd2b3ce83cf_zpsour4

 

This a replica of the seat in the Planes of Fame A6M5 showing the seat belt mounting points. The lap belts seem high but the pilot would be sitting on his parachute.

zero-figher-airplane-seat_zpstdczl7qd.jp

The black frame at the bottom would not be found in a Zero, it is for mounting the seat in the hot rod in the background.B)

 

The J2M Raiden also has the belts attached to the seat. In this picture the seat belt mounting points can be seen, however the belt has been replaced by a American one. This is most likely the plane that now belongs to the Planes of Fame Museum.

9e5ab448e23ca7705d8dc256287bb2d7_zpsivze

 

Before I start a build, I obsessively pour over all the photographs that I can find. Since I have not yet started building other Japanese aircraft, I cannot help with the other belts.

 

Garry c

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Thanks guys, and a special thanks to Gerry who went above and beyond (as many of my Britmodeller compatriots often do) with the great pictures. I have an A5M that is in the stack so the info helps there too. I feel safe going with the setup pictured, now I just have to keep from gluing my fingers to the seat whilst I apply the belts! Now that I think of it it makes sense that naval aircraft would have the shoulder belt because of arrested carrier landings, which still doesn't explain the US Navy's lack of a shoulder harness on the early Wildcats, but I digress. I have not seen shoulder harnesses on the IJAAF fighter aircraft, perhaps the Japanese Army Airforce didn't see the need? Anyway, thanks again guys, all the best.

Cheers

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Garry c    159

Japanese seat belt information has been very hard to find, it is a pleasure to share it. The captured A5M would have been land based and probably had its arresting hook removed.

Perhaps they removed the shoulder belt at the same time?  Of course the J2M was never intended to be carrier based, I guess shoulder belts were standard by then.

 

Happy to be useful,

 

Garry c

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