Jump to content

Co-pilots and the option to share controls


charon

Recommended Posts

Most Douglas airplanes, including the A-20 and the SBD, which I expect you'll model, had some some basic flight controls for the gunner in the rear seat.

Quote

The gunner’s cockpit has a stick, rudder pedals, and a throttle, but there’s no instrument panel, and the forward view is blocked by a massive armor plate meant to protect the pilot.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2011/january/pilot/flying-a-national-treasure-the-sbd-dauntless

I hope you'll consider making these functional in Combat Pilot. It would be unbelievably cool if, in multiplayer, a human gunner could take over and fly their plane back to the carrier after the pilot is killed, rather than just bailing out.

Having the technical ability for multiple players to command the plane would also be good future-proofing for when you do implement your first plane with a co-pilot (the PBY, or the G4M?).

Edited by charon
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Is there a documented incident of that ever happening, a successful trap by a gunner with a dead pilot? That’s not a challenge against your request, but in fifty years I’ve just either never read about that happening or don’t remember reading about that happening. Considering it, any gunner who did would have to have had some pilot training to fly and land on a carrier.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The goal wasn't to land it on the carrier. Just get it back to the fleet or to a friendly shore and ditch.

Quote

Even giving the gunner a little “stick time” in case push came to shove and the pilot was incapacitated enough to have the gunner take control of the aircraft. The gunner, besides the radio and twin .30 caliber machine guns, only had a throttle, stick and rudder controls. No chance to lower the landing gear, nothing to guide our elevation, speed or direction. The best a gunner could have done in the direst emergency would be to belly-flop the plane. The landing gear would have actually been a detriment. Other than a perfect landing (fat chance) the landing gear would probably cause us to nose-over or worse. (No braking facilities either.)

Sid Zimmerman, Memoirs of a WWII Marine Dive Bomber Gunner

https://www.wwiiexperience.com/pacific-theater/ewExternalFiles/Sid_zimman.pdf

I'm also aware of (unfortunately anonymous) second-hand accounts of bf 110 radio operators crawling forward to fly the plane:

Quote

In the beginning, when we were flying over Britain, the plane’s cockpit was very empty. There was not a lot of equipment between me and the pilot. If your pilot got shot, you could crawl over the console and maybe sit on the lap of that guy and [fly] the plane. I could never do that because I was too big – but it happened.

https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/the-messerschmitt-bf-110-from-under-the-canopy/3/

Edited by charon
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also from https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2013/may/rear-seat-gunners-midway: "Moore had never heard of a rear gunner attempting to belly-land or water-ditch an SBD, but thinks it could have been done." And "He said he always paid attention to the course heading, because if Carter was disabled, he wanted to be able to fly back to the carrier.

 

Edit: Another mention of these controls:

Quote

While flying a boring 4 hours on anti-sub patrol, some of the SBD pilots would let the radioman fly from the back seat. We had a removable stick and rudder pedals, throttle, and only the most basic instruments, i.e. altimeter, airspeed, and turn and bank indicators. We always had 4 airplanes flying in the 4 quadrants of the carrier. Well, one day I was flying from the back seat trying to maintain altitude and airspeed when suddenly the stick was yanked out of my hand and we nosed over abruptly. A second later another SBD skimmed over the top of us, barely missing us. I obviously was not maintaining our assigned quadrant, and I could not see forward very well. Thanks to my pilot being alert, I am still here to tell about it.

Lloyd Edens, https://airgroup4.com/edens.htm

Edited by charon
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cliffs had a dual-control Tiger Moth that came very much handy when trying to teach new pilots how to fly. The ability to pass controls back and forth was operated with a toggle switch, enjoyed using it and would love to see more functionality between crew positions here in Combat Pilot as the game evolves.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...