|J Type Cutter|
A curious arrangement made by Joseph Rogers of Sheffield since the 1960s and standard aircrew issue until recently. These flat profile gravity knives have a composite handle, stainless steel blade and are worn in a scabbard patch, stitched upside-down on the flying coverall leg.
This enables easier withdrawal whilst seated and also allows the knife to drop on its integral lanyard when the spring loaded release grips are activated whilst dangling from a parachute or whilst mincing about at an airshow - the knife dragging along the ground unbeknownst to the hapless mong in the growbag trying to look good amongst the thronging masses.
This is over-engineering gone mad - for what is essentially just a bloody knife. But because it's aircrew-related and there are flight safety issues to be taken in to consideration, the designers had a field day. Meanwhile, the spams simply have their knives on their survival vest.
There are two distinct variants: the MkII and MkIII - the former having a full and capable blade, primarily designed to enable the rapid deflation of flotation devices in the event of accidental deployment inside the cockpit. The latter mark has a curved blade that is designed for cutting lines and straps rather than stabbing. A peculiar policy decision was made in the mid-80s to have the edge removed from the blade by the Safety Equipment Fitters (Squippers, in crab-speak). Never known to have been used in anger.
These knives have since been replaced by the unpopular J Type cutting tool which is widely regarded as being totally gay and about as much use as tits on a fish and is totally unsuitable for that essential aircrew function: opening beer bottles.
The MkIII knives are pretty useless for anything other than posing, but the MkIIs are quite nifty with a top quality blade. They are increasingly hard-to-find. These knives are also very ebayable due to them being on issue to Special Forces.
These knives were stitched to the black overalls used by them during the Iranian Embassy Siege to enable rapid release from fouled abseiling rig. Fat lot of good it did Fiji Bob after he got his arse barbecued on the rear balcony. Of consequence, there's a high walt factor appended to these tools.
Section Reference Nos.
- 22C/2201996 – MkII
- 22C/1278106 - MkIII
- 22C/2202 - Scabbard