Feb 2011 – I have finally acquired a WW2 era RAAF/RAF parachute for heritage displays.
It is a Irvin seat type S-2 parachute with QRB on chest.
PACK TYPE S MK2 made by IRVIN GREAT BRITAIN LTD, ICKNIELD WAY LETCHWORTH
Issue 39, Drg No 1AC ?, Date of manufacture 1938
This parachute when displayed with relevant RAAF or RAF WW2 warbird such as Spitfire, Beaufort, Beaufighter, Mosquito or Kittyhawk – will enable me to show people just what the pilot wore in flying these aircraft.
Photo below show the front side and back side. The parachute weighs in around 25kg fully packed. Irvin was famous for parachutes and this seat type was highly sought after in the early stages of WW2.
The USAAF used a similar seat design – which can be found on my previous article http://heritageflightgear.blogspot.com/2010/04/ww2-seat-usaaf-parachute-acquired.html – i acquired this S-2 USAAF seat parachute last year.
I now own 6 parachutes from WW2 to Vietnam era.
The backpad has the typical snap locks for the harness to fit onto.
The parachute canopy is packed away into the seat pack as shown. The black cord is connected to the wasit harness and is designed to ensure it is not tangled up in a confined environment of a small cockpit.
The QRB is shown in a close up. The pilot had to turn the handle and then hit hard the centre of the bang buckle to release the harness.
This parachute may be missing the later war modification of the safety clip which locked the turn handle in place so no accidental parachute harness release would happen.
Parachutes saved many aircrew lives in WW2 and continue to do so in 21 Century with ejection seats parachutes.