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Faro
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Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:55 am

For combat aircraft and in terms of all-round visibilty (360°, up & down), my money is on the Harrier II:


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Photo © Joseph L. McGovern



The pilot is sitting much higher up in the cockpit than in the F-16/22 and has helicopter-like visibility to the front while conserving some decent, neck stretching visibility to the rear. The A-6 is also in this very-high-seat class although forward visibility is compromised by the maze of windshield re-enforcement pillars. Soviet 1950's combat canopies seem to be the absolute worst in this respect, pilots' heads barely make it above the cockpit sill.

Any thoughts?

Faro
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:06 am

Speaking in regards to helicopters that I have flown, the H-60 is actually quite poor. Especially with the newer model, the dash takes up a large portion of my view. However, the H-6 has an amazing view, especially when the doors are off, it's as though I'm floating through the air.

And for Russian helicopters, the Mi-8 is probably the best. It's practically a wall of windows in front of you, with a very minimalistic instrument layout. While the Mi-24 was horrible. I felt as though I sitting in a tub (which I essentially was) with just my head poking out. The gunner's view is just atrocious.
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a380heavy
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:03 am

The F-22A - Raptor must take some beating - a single piece canopy wih no framework!
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Confuscius
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Blackburn

http://www.airmuseumsuk.org/airshow/2004/Shut040606/800/images/545%20Blackburn%20Monoplane%20Type%20D.jpg
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GST
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 1):
The gunner's view is just atrocious

That would seem to be a hell of a design error, okay, pilot viz could be reduced to the minimum required for safe flight in the pilots eye, but the gunner's view and firing arcs must surely have a higher priority than "atrocious" for a military chopper.

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 3):
Blackburn


You beat me to it, was going to suggest that it may be the SPAD A2. Between the pilot and the gunner you have pretty awesome view, but, yes, the gunner is more or loess screwed in any kind of crash scenario with that airscrew right behind him.
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur...6&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=123&ty=115

Sorry its a link, but the img code wouldn't work for some reason
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:23 am

Quoting faro (Thread starter):


The pilot is sitting much higher up in the cockpit than in the F-16/22 and has helicopter-like visibility to the front while conserving some decent, neck stretching visibility to the rear. The A-6 is also in this very-high-seat class although forward visibility is compromised by the maze of windshield re-enforcement pillars.

Problem here, though, is that the A-6 also had nopoor rear visibility

http://worldsairforce.webs.com/photos/-USA-Mlitary-jet-fighters/A-6E_Intruder_VA-52.JPEG

I'd wager the F-14 or F-15. In both cases, the pilot and RIO/WSO (on the F-15E) sit with their shoulders above the canopy rails and the bubble canopy gives a good 360 view. This image provides a good example:

http://www.check-6.com/gallery/img/carriers/f14_rio_twomey.jpg
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Geezer
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:59 am

I know a guy who tells me he has a pretty awesome view out of his F-22A; ( plus, with the hi-tech "gold", anyone on the outside can't hardly see in )


BTW..........take a look at a head-on shot of an F-16; the canopy looks like a fish bowl ! If you got your head against it, you could see straight down !
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highlander0
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:28 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 1):
And for Russian helicopters, the Mi-8 is probably the best. It's practically a wall of windows in front of you,

Since the news broke and the Op finished a few years ago, RAF crews flying said that the Mi-8/17 wasn't great. There are no window's above you're head reducing visibility if you're banking hard. They were quite un-nerved by the kerosene cabin heater next to the fuel tank too   :S
 
GST
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:52 am

Quoting geezer (Reply 6):

BTW..........take a look at a head-on shot of an F-16; the canopy looks like a fish bowl ! If you got your head against it, you could see straight down !

I doubt that the pilot whilst strapped into his seat could possibly get his head over to the canopy, and even if he did, the chines in front of the wings are starting to protrude from the fuselage below the pilot, so direct downward visibility would still probably be impossible.

[Edited 2011-03-20 04:52:27]
 
AirRyan
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:15 pm

In my opinion, if you have ever been up close with an F-16, the pilots view is as good as it gets. With the ejection seat tilted back 30°, the pilot can nearly look anywhere they can tilt their head and see what they need to see. With a GE F110 engine, JHMCS, and AIM-9X, an F-16 would be very difficult to beat 1v1.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/canon450d/2856829450/in/photostream/
 
MD-90
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:45 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 3):
Blackburn

The view directly downwards ain't so great, though.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:59 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 10):

The view directly downwards ain't so great, though.

I don't know if you consider Wonder Woman's jet as a combat aircraft. But you can look straight down in that plane.
http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/13/m...e-invisible-jet-from-wonder-woman/
  

bikerthai
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sonic67
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:49 am

Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star
http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?id=1677996

It not mush of a combat plane but it has a over sized canopy.

[Edited 2011-03-25 21:52:01]

[Edited 2011-03-25 21:54:02]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 am

Why do you need to see anything? The Ryan NYP didn't need it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spirit_Of_St_Louis2.jpg

        

[Edited 2011-03-27 17:08:22]
 
GST
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:36 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):

To be fair he had a periscope, give it a fisheye lens and all of a sudden the view becomes world beating :P
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:06 pm

Quoting GST (Reply 4):
That would seem to be a hell of a design error, okay, pilot viz could be reduced to the minimum required for safe flight in the pilots eye, but the gunner's view and firing arcs must surely have a higher priority than "atrocious" for a military chopper.

Many and many months ago, I actually posted about my opportunity to crawl all over an operational Hind. My general impression was that it was a piece of sh*t, it has been highly overrated.

One of the things I discussed was the horrible visiblity. The pilots sit in a virtual steal tub, on a very uncomfortable seat, in a very awkward cockpit living space. The structural frame of the aircraft severely restricts the view. And from a hover, you have a very difficult time seeing whats around/beneath you.

Anyway, I don't want to bore you with a rehash: here's the link:

Brazil Signs Air Force Deal For Mi-35 Helicopters (by Keesje Dec 2 2008 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Quoting highlander0 (Reply 7):
Since the news broke and the Op finished a few years ago, RAF crews flying said that the Mi-8/17 wasn't great. There are no window's above you're head reducing visibility if you're banking hard. They were quite un-nerved by the kerosene cabin heater next to the fuel tank too

I can understand the criticism about the lack of greenhouse windows... but then again, the Hip really isn't meant to be banked hard. It's a utility helicopter, and damn good one. It's really good at working in austere environments, moving a lot of men and materiel.

As for the cabin heater... that was the least of my fears. My biggest fear was seeing their maintenance standards! Good god!
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:43 am

Ok so I finally had some time to go back and dig through my photo archives.

Here check out this one of the Mi-25 Hind pilot seat:


...It's a freakin' coffin. You really have to be moving at a good pace, to get the nose to dip down far enough that you have a good forward view. The right side view was decent, but the left side was horrible! Your head barely pokes above that wall of ancient buttons and switches. Horrible, just horrible.

Here is one of the forward gunner's seat:




...First, you have slightly better side views, but the structural frame beams of the windows are so thick they really hamper your scan. And look at where your feet go! Your knees are practically in your chest! And that seat? Remember the old jump seats on the C-141, that just exhausted you even before you jumped? Yeah, it felt like I was sitting in one of those. It's just one incredibly uncomfortable aircraft. And don't even get started on the subject of pilot safety during a crash. HA! Don't even bother, you're dead.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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walter2222
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:05 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 16):
Here check out this one of the Mi-25 Hind pilot seat:



Thanks for sharing these inside cockpit shots! I had never seen/noticed this asymmetrical built-up, is this a special version of the Hind?
I took this shot of a Czech Republic Air Force Hind, and from this viewpoint, it seems this version (Mil Mi-24V) lacks the wall with the ancient switches:

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Photo © Walter Van Bel


This shot had me also thinking where the gunners legs/feet would be, but your inside shots made it very clear!

Best regards,

Walter
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spudh
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:38 pm

I'm going with this if you stretch the definition of combat to reconaissance:

http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/edgley_optica.php

OV 10 Bronco or OV 1 Mohawk for actual combat capable.

If we're sticking to jets then I think I'm with the OP and the AV8B Harrier, bar the windshield framing he's got pretty panoramic viewing.
 
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Faro
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:33 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
In my opinion, if you have ever been up close with an F-16, the pilots view is as good as it gets. With the ejection seat tilted back 30°, the pilot can nearly look anywhere they can tilt their head and see what they need to see. With a GE F110 engine, JHMCS, and AIM-9X, an F-16 would be very difficult to beat 1v1.

The point with the F-16, F-22 and the like is that the pilot is pretty low down in the cockpit; the cockpit sill is at best a little below shoulder height. With the Harrier II, the baseline of the forward windshield is almost below knee height. That gives you unparalleled downward visibility on top of the generally very good azimuthal visibility. That is why I think the Harrier II is exceptional...

Faro
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GST
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:28 pm

In a similar vein to the Edgley Optica, how about the BV141?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-2005-0725-526,_Aufkl%C3%A4rungsflugzeug_Blohm_-_Vo%C3%9F_BV_141.jpg

In this case you have a nacelle limiting the pilots visibility on the left, but equally you have a much smaller panel than the optica so your left of center forward vision is superior.
 
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par13del
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:59 pm

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 5):
I'd wager the F-14 or F-15. In both cases, the pilot and RIO/WSO (on the F-15E)

Are two sets of eyes looking around, as for the canopy.............. 
 
wn700driver
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:14 am

How about the OV-10 Bronco?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Soetkin Vandecandelaere



And why is there something in the cockpit (right up by the front/center portion of the glareshield) that says "Dog Treats"?
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best All-Round Canopy Visibility?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:15 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):

Are two sets of eyes looking around, as for the canopy..............

As for their canopies....what? I've never seen anything bad said about them, and every picture/video I've seen from an F-14 or F-15 cockpit has shown a wonderfully panoramic view.
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