United States Army Aviators’ Equipment, 1917–1945


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SKU: 9780786497379 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Seven decades after World War II, we now know that the margin between Allied victory and defeat was often narrower than many realized. The decisive actions of leaders, generals and war heroes have been well documented, but less well known are the technological developments that made victory possible and laid the groundwork for postwar progress.
Based on more than ten years of research, this book describes how American airmen became the best-outfitted aviators of the war, tracing the development of virtually every piece of personal equipment used by United States air forces. Drawing on original sources including formerly classified documents, the author details the myriad types of respirator equipment, parachutes, body armor, pressure suits and other flying and survival gear that were instrumental in making U.S. pilots and air crews effective. Personal anecdotes bring to life the design and testing of combat flight equipment. More than 160 photographs are included, most published here for the first time.

About the Author(s)

An Air Force veteran and consultant on flying clothing and personal equipment, C.G. Sweeting was the curator of flight material at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, for 15 years. He lives in Clinton, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

C.G. Sweeting
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 348
Bibliographic Info: 175 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9737-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1946-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 5

I. Human Engineering 7

II. Oxygen Equipment 38

III. Military Parachutes 106

IV. Armor for Aviators 175

V. ­Anti-G Garments and Pressure Suits 210

VI. Survival Equipment 261

VII. Miscellaneous Equipment 289

Abbreviations 309

Chapter Notes 315

Bibliography 327

Index 335

Book Reviews & Awards

Reviews of the first edition: “this specialized book will be of most interest to the collector, the historical researcher and to those few 8AFers who must have everything written, which is remotely related to the 8th AF experience”—The Eighth Air Force Historical Society; “a definitive reference”—New York Public Library New Technical Books; “a thorough and fascinating work”—Air Power History; “it takes more than a flight jacket to outfit an aviator. This book describes the development and characteristics of every item of personal equipment used by Army pilots from World War I through the end of World War II”—Air Force Magazine.