The RAF had it right all along when air-trooping in a VC10

#21
I recall reading, years ago, that backward facing seats were introduced after trials.
Apparently in bad landings or minor crashes, forward facing seats were found to shear the seat mounting bolts, with passengers then being sheared at the ankles as seats behind piled into them.
For some reason this didn't happen with rear facing seats.
 
#22
This was determined by experimentation in the 50s but airlines wouldn't implement it as passengers didn't like it. The RAF did because a live soldier is more valuable than a happy passenger. Cabin crew face backwards for take off and landing. I do by preference if in business class with the option.
If the RAF did it for any reason it's likely to be the cost.
 
#23
Even the 101 Sqn Tankers had backward seats in the forward cabins

 
#24
Changed times indeed, we flew from Brize in 1968 to bahrain in a vc10, ten hour flight back then, and I recall sitting that way and a table between seats so we were able to play cards and smoke all the way, and the RAF nancy boys were the trolley dollys then.
 
#26
I dont think so. The seats in the vc10s were removeable and bolted to fixings. No additional cost to fix them in facing forward. I believe they used to do so for vip flights.
Could they get an extra row in with them facing a different way?
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#28
I was air-trooped in a charter Hermes to Singapore in 1956 facing backwards. The Hermes flew noticeably nose up so then the original seats were refitted turned round, the fully relaxed position was nearly vertical. The trip took four days and the first night was spent in the air.

Other treats included a packed meal in a flimsy stiff(ish) paper box that collapsed across one's lap at the first poke with an eating utensil, and a glass of heavily salted orange squash after an OR collapsed with heat exhaustion. That may because we had to fly in plain clothes so the lad was enjoying the tropics in a teddyboy suit and crepe soled beetle crushers. At Karachi the plane (and us) was sprayed with DDT to ensure we brought no flies into Pakistan, where, I did observe, there was a local supply. At Calcutta the families were taken off the plane and we were all given a bollocking about behaviour, which was a bit unfair, but it turned out that on a previous flight T Atkins had manned the balcony of the hotel and expressed his appreciation of the Indian totty below, and the Indian men got wroth and the police and fire brigade had to be called. But I digress.

But point taken about the dangers of a crash - the bus from the terminal to the plane at Stansted took us past a recently crashed trooping York which cheered me up no end.
 
#32
For those of you who remember "Air-trooping" on VC10's, according to the latest "non-news", the Crabs had it right all along and the safest way to fly is sat facing backwards.
Couple of points:
1. I can't see Joe public experiencing the thrill of your guts doing a good imitation of "Alien" and trying to bust out of the front of your stomach during take-off and landing.
2. Given the size of the stomachs of some of the people who fly these days, surely such a large mass suddenly surging backwards would unbalance the plane.

Your plane seat would be safer if it faced backwards but airlines won't change it
This was news, once. Back then I had a full head of hair and all my own teeth, but TV was only available in black and white.
 
#33
I recall reading, years ago, that backward facing seats were introduced after trials.
Apparently in bad landings or minor crashes, forward facing seats were found to shear the seat mounting bolts, with passengers then being sheared at the ankles as seats behind piled into them.
For some reason this didn't happen with rear facing seats.
If you think where the pressure points are with a front facing seat during a high G deceleration (through the seat belt mounting points somewhere near the junction of the seat and back rest) compared to a rear facing seat where the pressure is being spread out over a much larger area and higher then one can understand why forward facing seats are more likely to shear at the mounting points. There might still be an argument that the rear facing seats might still shear their mounting points due to a turning moment being applied by the weight higher up but then if the seats are doing that then the matter is academic, death is inevitable. In any event, the seats are designed more for vertical load protection than horizontal.
 
#34
If I’m working I prefer a forward facing seat. =)

If I’m not I prefer a flat one. :sleepy:
 
#35
[QUOTE=" In any event, the seats are designed more for vertical load protection than horizontal.[/QUOTE]

Actually modern aircraft seats are designed for higher fore and aft stress than vertical ... up to 9G statically or 16G dynamically ... with numerous tests for occupant injury that must be passed at various seat pitches (distance between seats).

Currently the area I work in so have some knowledge of this (and the ballache of works required to pass said testing in order to gain certification)
 
#37
The C-130 is obviously a compromise between forward-facing and rearward-facing seats then.

Although I did once fly Dili to Darwin in a UN C-130 with forward-facing, airline-style seats.
 
#38
Rearward facing seats provide significantly greater protection for occupants than those in forward facing during landing accidents. Whiplash, back injuries, flailing and head injuries are all reduced.

For instance, the only personnel injured in this NATO E-3A take-off accident in Greece were in forward facing seats.

Similarly, there are numerous examples of civilian airliner incidents where injuries and in certain cases fatalities could've been avoided by rearward facing seats.




The only reason airlines don't adopt them is that the punters don't like the idea (the same goes for automatically locking overhead lockers, no duty free bottles in the cabin, and cabin baggage size/weight being enforced).

Ironically, cost is the only reason our Voyagers do NOT have rearward facing seats these days!

Regards,
MM
 
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#40
I was air-trooped in a charter Hermes to Singapore in 1956 facing backwards.
I came back from Cyprus at about the same time in a Hermes with my mum and dad. As far as I remember we were forward facing, but that may have been because we were right at the front so a carrycot could be strapped to the bulkhead for my brother.

Things I remember was that the engines took a lot of starting and the pilot seemed very reluctant to go out of sight of land! So a very roundabout course and a longer flight than scheduled.

Also, they had forgotten to pack any food so the Senior Officer in Charge made them land at Naples and feed everyone at a restaurant on the tarmac. I can remember the wails from the pilot over who was going to pay! Sure it wouldn't happen today, but I remember a lot of very happy squaddies and their families enjoying the treat. Ah happy days.
 

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