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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 7th June 2005, 17:22
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Armored windscreens?

Is it just my imagination, bad vision, or lack of sources, but it appears that most USSR WWII fighters did not have armored glass windscreens. Is this true? If so was it lack of materials or just not important to them?

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Old 7th June 2005, 19:56
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

I don't actually know for sure, but the USSR was very safety conscious, for example using exhaust gases to fill the space in fuel tanks to remove the chance of explosions. It seems reasonable to assume that the flat windscreen was armoured as on other WW2 fighters. What makes you think it was not, and how would you tell from photographs?
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Old 8th June 2005, 02:25
Leon Leon is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

But many types did't have any protection- i.e. fighters of generation '40 - MiG-1/3, LaGG-3 and Yak-1. Even in 1942 Yak-7As and Bs lacked the armoured windscreen protection - it appeared on late Yak-7s or on early Yak-9s. Yak-3 also had only curved plate of plastic. The same with La-5.
If you have the close photo of canopy and windscreen taken from a side it's quite easy to recognize if armoured glass is present.

It may be the lack of materials - but I think more important were drawbacks of technology. Soviets had problems even with keeping good quality of unarmoured canopies - they used to become yellowish and started to crack. That's why many pilots of MiGs (the very important factor in this case was the impossibility of opening the canopy at high speed) and LaGGs, or even some Yaks later in the war were flying without canopies. And this was the reason of changing the windscreen in MiG-3 - 3 plates - in MiG-1 it was made of one plate.
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Old 8th June 2005, 15:56
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak
What makes you think it was not, and how would you tell from photographs?
Hi Graham: In distant photos one cannot tell much of anything. But, in close shots it just appears that there is just glass or plastic, no thick glass like one sees on Western fighters. It may be that it is just too subtle to see.
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  #5  
Old 8th June 2005, 18:33
Dick Powers Dick Powers is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

The Il-2 incorporated armored windscreens from the initial concept. So the technology was available.



No all flat windscreens are armored. Some are flat for the optical advantages.



Remember that fighters are performance-driven designs. All unnecessary weight must be eliminated. Also, in a fighter the threat from directly ahead seems to be quite small. Most head-on gunfire may be absorbed by the engine .The additional protection gained by adding ½ square foot of armored glass may be minimal. (assuming a single-engine fighter). When armored windscreens were necessary it may have been the result of attacking bombers or other aircraft with rear-facing defensive armament. In this instance, the additional front armor was necessary for pilot survivability.



Soviet designers may have considered armored windscreens unnecessary.
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Old 11th June 2005, 16:41
kurlannaiskos kurlannaiskos is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

Hello,
the soviets put the armored glass BEHIND the pilot.
up to late 1942/early 1943 they had armored steel plates before switching to armored glass.
for example:
Yak-1 armored steel
Yak-1b armored glass
Yak-3 armored glass
Yak-7 armored steel
Yak-9 armored steel in first (3?) series then switching to glass.

there is a nice little explanation of the windscreen of the MiG-3 here:
http://vvs.hobbyvista.com/Workbench/...MiG3/index.php

it is near the end of the article (Sep 28 2004) but you should find the whole article interesting also.

P.F.
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  #7  
Old 11th June 2005, 16:56
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Juha Juha is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

Yes, kurlannaiskos and Germans copied that practice rather soon.
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Old 11th June 2005, 20:27
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Re: Armored windscreens?

Hi again
one more point on armored windscreens. Late La-5s had a 55mm thick armored windscreens. And later production batches of La-5FN had the armored windscreens thickened to 57mm. That according to La 5/7 Fighters in Action.
On the other hand a quick glance to Gordon's & Khazanov's Soviet Combat Aircraft of the SWW Vol 1 on La-5 family produced only the following quote on La-5F "...in spite of pilots' wishes the windshield was not armoured..."
So, conflicting info once more.

Juha
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Old 12th June 2005, 01:46
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Juha Juha is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

Hello again
according to Gordon's & Khazanov's Soviet Combat Aircraft of the SWW Vol 1 Yak-1b had armoured windscreen. Also in Lipfert's memories or at least in the Finnish translations of it there is a photo on a Yak-1b which Ofw Heino Sachsenberg forced to land to Bagerovo airfield and it seems to have an armoured windscreen.

Juha
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  #10  
Old 13th June 2005, 01:46
Leon Leon is offline
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Re: Armored windscreens?

I didn't find the photo of La-5 with armored windscreen - all are without (i.e. photo). But all La-5FNs (I guess) an availiable photos have it.... Drawings in "Samoliety Lavotchina" by N. Iakubovitch show armored windscreens on La-5F.
You're right about Yak-1b - a lot of tham had "broniesklo" in front of the cockpit - but this plane was in production till half of 1944 (from"Pierviy Yak" by Kuznietzov)

Last edited by Leon; 13th June 2005 at 01:55.
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