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Cockpit: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Interiors

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Overview

Creature comforts were non-existent. The only thing that seperated the pilot from the hostile environments at 30,000 feet was a thin sheet of aluminum and glass, and for many, the cold steel that surrounded them became a fiery coffin.

Cockpits shows us what we cannot see. The cluttered, claustrophobic cockpit was not designed for comfort. Riding behind an ear-shattering engine, with the power of a locomotive, proved to be an exhilirating and frightening experience. In contrast ...

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Overview

Creature comforts were non-existent. The only thing that seperated the pilot from the hostile environments at 30,000 feet was a thin sheet of aluminum and glass, and for many, the cold steel that surrounded them became a fiery coffin.

Cockpits shows us what we cannot see. The cluttered, claustrophobic cockpit was not designed for comfort. Riding behind an ear-shattering engine, with the power of a locomotive, proved to be an exhilirating and frightening experience. In contrast to the romantic image of the pilot, the cockpit was a cold and lonely place...

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Editorial Reviews

Historical American Aviation
Quality from front to back . . . a worthy addition to any aviation library. American Aviation Historical Society Newsletter
HyperScale.com - Al Bowie
A great title suited to the modeler but with enough information to appease the ardent enthusiast. It would even be a good coffee table type and to my eyes is presented a bit that way. Having said that I do not believe it detracts from it in any way. Recommended.
TMMI (Tamiya Model Magazine International)
[reviewed with Gunner] A plethora of wonderful colour images both original and modern ... of such high quality that they yield some excellent information ... The large format wartime colour photos are simply fantastic. Highly recommended for aircraft fanatics and modellers too.
Globe and Mail
[Globe and Mail 2006 Holiday Gift Book selection]
Air Pictorial
The writer [Donald Nijboer] and photographer Dan Patterson have triumphed in recording the "offices" of 37 front-line aircraft of World War II.
Pilot
The cockpit photographs are superb ... you can not only read every tiny placard, but see where a mechanic's screwdriver slipped in while tightening up an access panel.
Air and Space Smithsonian
As you thumb through this book, you'll swear you can smell oil and av-gas.
Pilot
The cockpit photographs are superb ... you can not only read every tiny placard, but see where a mechanic's screwdriver slipped in while tightening up an access panel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550462531
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 12.29 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Nijboer is a copywriter, screenwriter and longtime aviation enthusiast. He has worked for radio stations and advertising agencies in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. He currently teaches Radio Copywriting at Humber College in Toronto. A member of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, he has attended many of the world's major air shows and toured aviation museums in England, the United States and Canada.

Since 1988 pilot-photographer Dan Patterson has published ten books. His Cockpit: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Interiors, with Donald Nijboer, published in 1998 by Boston Mills Press has been translated into German and Japanese.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreward
Photographer's Preface
Introduction

United Kingdom

  • Gloster Gladiator
  • Fairey Swordfish
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Bristol Blenheim
  • Bristol Beaufighter
  • deHavilland Mosquito
  • Hawker Typhoon
  • Avro Lancaster
U.S.A
  • Seversky P-35
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • Bell P-39 Airacobra
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
  • North American P-51 Mustang
  • Bell P-59 Airacomet
  • Douglas A-20 Havoc
  • Boeing
    B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator
  • North American B-25 Mitchell
  • Martin B-26 Marauder
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress
  • Grumman F4F Wildcat
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat
  • Chance Vought F4U Corsair
  • Douglas SBD Dauntless
Japan
  • Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
  • Mitsubishi KI-46-111 "Dinah"
  • Kawanishi Shiden-Kai
  • Kawasaki KI-100
U.S.S.R
  • Yakovlev Yak-3
Germany
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109
  • Focke Wulf Fw 190
  • Junkers Ju 87
  • Messerschmitt Me 410
  • Messerschmitt Me 163
  • Messerschmitt Me 262

Bibliography
Index

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Preface

INTRODUCTION

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the biplane was obsolete and the idea of fighting in an open cockpit was a thing of the past. New innovations in aircraft construction and aircraft systems produced the enclosed cockpit. Flying these new aircraft was far more demanding and required a greater degree of training. The cluttered, claustrophobic cockpit was rarely designed for comfort, and more powerful engines, variable-pitch propellers, variable flaps, and retractable landing gear added to the number of controls. Riding behind an ear-shattering 2,000-horsepower engine proved to be an exhilarating and sometimes deadly experience. Developed before supersonic designs and computers, the cockpits in this book depict the last generation of aircraft in which the pilot could feel totally in control.

Cockpit reveals what very few of us ever get to see. It is also a tribute to the people who restore and preserve these wonderful aircraft. Without their dedication and hard work this book would not have been possible.

At the heart of this book is the wonderful photography of Dan Patterson. Dan's technique, attention to detail, and enthusiasm for the subject matter is self-evident. Dan's photograph of a B-17 cockpit, which I saw for the first time at the USAF Museum, proved to be the inspiration for this book. Working with Dan has been a great pleasure.

Additionally, both veteran pilots and pilots who fly some of these aircraft today have contributed to this book. Their wartime recollections and rich insights paint a vivid picture of what it was like to fly and fight in these cockpits.

Not all of the cockpits represented in this book are stock. Some are in various stages of restoration, while others are flying examples. In some cases instruments have been added, while others have been moved for safety and convenience. It was not always possible to track down and photograph the most ideal cockpit. Be that as it may, what we have managed to accomplish is something quite striking. Rare cockpits, including the Me 410, the Kawanishi Shiden, the Kawaski Ki-100, the Ju 87, the Seversy P-35, and the Hawker Typhoon, are illustrated here for the first time in one volume. This is your chance to sit in the cockpit. Enjoy.

- Donald Nijboer

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2008

    Nice Book

    Excellent photography though only one photograph is allocated per aircraft. Only one Soviet aircraft, the Yak-3, is covered while the Americans and British receive the best treatment (German and Japanese aircraft are also included, just not in quantity). Loved the insights from pilots that actually flew these machines. The illustrated accompanying legends help out in finding the basic flight instruments and controls. Great gift for the historical aviation buff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2002

    Good Book, But Could Have Been Great

    This is a very well put together book, the photography is very well done, with the details of the aircraft interiors very clear and recognizable. What could have made this book so much better however, would have been multiple photos from different angles, encompassing the entire cockpit and not just one view. For those that do not need such detial, though, this is a good reference source and one that I will be using often.

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