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Reading about the poor Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor pilot trapped in his cockpit for 5h when his canopy jammed, I couldn’t help wondering how aviation designers don’t learn from history. Sixty-five years ago, the Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires had simple canopy designs enabling Battle of Britain pilots to roll them back just before engaging the enemy to ensure that they could get out in a hurry if necessary once the fighting started – something the Messerschmitt 109 guys probably couldn’t do because of the German fighter’s different canopy design. Perhaps the design boffins at Lock-Mart need a history lesson on simplifying canopy opening mechanisms?
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