Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 month ago

Exactly why did old fighter planes "drive" from the back seat?

I get that maybe the gunner sat in front but wouldn't it be hard to see from the back?

9 Answers

Relevance
  • M.
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    "Fly" from the rear seat?

    WWI biplanes had a machine gunner.

    I think the front seat was a better place to put him, since he shot forward only.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Often front seat was observer. Pilot could see well enough in an open cockpit. 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 weeks ago

    Fighter planes have always had one seat. The planes with two seats were reconnaissance aircraft. And even then the pilot in the front.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    "Fighter Planes" don't have gunners, observers or multiple seats. The vast majority in history have had only one seat, so the pilot neither sits in the front nor the back. They sit in THE seat provided, the location of which is primarily a matter of optimal weight and balance. In tractor (front engine) propeller-driven aircraft with heavy engines, that puts the pilot somewhere between 1/3 to 2/3 of the way back on the fuselage. 

    .

    On modern rear-engine fighters, they are placed in the front for a similar reason of weight distribution, and it of course provides superior visibility in all phases of flight. It's easy with a jet, but very difficult with a propeller design to arrange rear propulsion. 

    .

    Obviously, training planes, observation and reconnaissance planes, bombers and transports are another story with their multiple seats and pilot placement depends on a lot of factors.  

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 month ago

    A few fighter/bombers were designed like that, with a pusher engine and the observer/gunner right up front for a good field of view and a wide field of fire from a flexibly mounted gun.  It's just the way they were designed, thought to be the best way at the time. The pilot had to look around the front seater.  It's not difficult. Even today some tandem two-seaters are always flown from the rear cockpit, solo or two up.  That's for weight and balance purposes.  You can't fly 'em solo from the front seat. 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Look at most biplanes and you will observe the lower wing is beside the front seat and the top wing blocks the view upwards.

    Sitting in the back seat allows the pilot to see up and down. It also helps balance the aircraft when nobody in occupying the front seat.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    I am at a loss to think of any fighter plane that where the pilot was in the second seat. I know of a few bombers where there was a gunner forward of the pilot and also recon aircraft. Now if you could mention which fighter or fighters you are thinking of it might help.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    The engine was very heavy, but had to be ahead of the wings for the prop to spin.  To counter this weight, the pilot had to be as far back as possible.  As far as view went, they had to be able to look down more than ahead.

    • Road warrior
      Lv 4
      4 weeks agoReport

      Engine very Light on a rotary  engine plane. 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    First of all, there were quite few twin seat biplanes, so the 'issue' was not as widespread as you could think.

    But for those who had two seats and where the pilot was sitting behind, a quick glance at the layout would tell you why: the person in front could not see above and below to their side because that was where the wing was; the pilot behind the wing had therefore actually a better field of view. Danger can come from ANY direction in the air.

    Also, with the pilot closer to the rear of the plane meant that the control cables for the elevator and rudder could be shorter.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.