posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by stikkinikki
IIRC the open cockpit was used because of the slow speeds, and to give the pilot access to the aircraft around him. The upper wing was where several
designs kept the fuel for the plane. There was a petcock above the cockpit that the pilot could reach, and on aircraft that were armed the pilot had
access to the guns to try to fix jams, etc.
When they went to the monoplane design, the speeds increased due to better aerodynamics and bigger engines. Several WWII fighters were lost after
going into steep dives, in what they believe were Mach tucks. This caused the controls to stop responding, and they crashed. This would have made
things extremely hard for the pilots if they had an open cockpit.
Of course the above post could be completely wrong, because I'm going from what I remember. I no longer have access to any of my books. My
succubus, I mean ex-wife caused me to lose everything I had in storage, which was where most of my books were.