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What's With Backwards Windscreens?

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#1 Chino Kid

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 01:28 PM

I've always been curious why many aircraft that were designed in the 1930s, just when aviation was transitioning from open cockpits to enclosed, had windscreens with a forward slant. 


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I've never seen it explained anywhere so I thought I'd try the collective wisdom of this learned group :)


I have never seen an example of a forward slanting windscreen on any open cockpit aircraft prior to this period.


The only sense it makes to me is maybe the designers thought it would provide more headroom for visibility? Perhaps pilots were accustomed to being able to look over the side and wouldn't be able to do so in an enclosed cockpit? But then again, the windscreens weren't slanted to the sides, just the front in all the examples I've seen.


But this phase only lasted a while and soon all designs adopted the more sensible (IMHO) rearward slant we've seen ever since.


Any idea what the thinking was behind backwards windscreens?

#2 Kutscha


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Posted 01 September 2016 - 03:26 PM

Maybe to keep the windshield clear in bad weather.



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Posted 01 September 2016 - 06:49 PM

Added sun shielding is my best guess. :unsure:  :rolleyes:

#4 Ricky



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Posted 02 September 2016 - 07:00 AM

Maybe it is to help with visibility on the ground?

Or possibly as a primitive sun shade for the cockpit?

CMP trucks for desert use had inward sloping windscreens, to stop the sun blinding on them and making them visible

#5 Chino Kid

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 02:47 AM

I think I found it...


"The cockpit windshield of the first 247s was angled forward, instead of the conventional aft sweep. This was the design solution (similar to that adopted by other contemporary aircraft that used a forward-raked windscreen) to the problem of lighted control panel instruments reflecting off the windshield at night, but it turned out that the forward-sloping windshield would reflect ground lights instead, especially during landings and it also increased drag slightly.[13][14] By the introduction of the 247D, the windshield was sloped aft in the usual way, and the night-glare problem was resolved by installing an extension (the glarescreen) over the control panel.[15]"

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#6 Armand


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Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:44 AM

I even thought of the use on military trucks/lorries, wich was to avoid reflexes upwards to get the attention of enemy aircraft, but failed to bring the reflex inside the cockpit :-(
Funny to think that the reflexes of instruments are used actively in the HUD's in modern fighter aircraft!

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