K+W C-35 RECONNAISSANCE/ BOMBER PILOT
The so-called "Bückerkombi", a fabric lined, black leather flying suit, saw extensive military service in open and closed cockpit aircraft from the mid 1930's until the early 1970's, when the Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann trainers were finally phased out. It came as a complete flying suit (below, right) or as separate flying trousers with suspenders (below left) and a leather coat (no picture). The "Bückerkombi" proved also very popular among civilian
This is the "light" summer version of the "Bückerkombi", consisting of leather trousers, woolen sweater, the ubiquitous "Bückerhaube" and Luftwaffe style flying gauntlets. The airman (featuring definitely non-regulation facial hair…), wearing "inherited" American B-8 goggles, is checking flight data on his MEWA kneepad while his "Salvator" back parachute lies in front of him.
Detail pictures of the Salvator back parachute showing seal cover, open main lock and closed leg strap latch.
Our pilot is now wearing the complete flying suit featuring two thigh pockets and waist belt. An opening on either side near the hips allows access to the pockets of garments worn under the suit. A modified LKpW100 flying helmet and Swiss Aviatik W.M.42 goggles complete the outfit.
Getting dressed. The modified LKpW100 had its top oxygen strap hook removed and the large rubber/chamois cushions of the Aviatik goggles are shown to good advantage.
Detail pictures showing open leg strap latch, backside of the main lock and the parachute booklet.
Putting on the parachute, starting with the left, fixed shoulder strap.
Next steps are closing the main lock and engaging the right shoulder strap into the main lock. This particular parachute is missing the additional ripcord which was attached to the airframe by means of a snap-hook. This hook was normally stored on the right side of the main lock in a small sewn-on leather pocket.
Detail pictures showing the manufacturer's leather label, the release handle and the characteristic locking chain.
Attaching the leg straps. Noteworthy is the particular square shape of the early type back parachute (this specimen is dated 1939). The subsequent version had a rectangular, flat shape.
Detail pictures showing ripcord handle, ripcord attachment and ripcord seal.
Attaching the right leg strap. Note the zipper
on the flying suit leg.
Almost ready to go.
The Salvator back parachute was to be used with the following Swiss military aircraft: K+W C-35 (pilot), Fokker C-V (pilot), Junkers Ju-52 (crew and passengers), Morane D-3800/3801 (flat version for pilot), K+W C-3603/3604 (pilot and instructor).
The early model of the Salvator back parachute weighs 8,7 kg, has a diameter (open) of 5 meters and a sink rate of 6,5 m/s (near ground level with an attached weigh of 84 kg). In order to open the parachute the ripcord has to be pulled with a force of 12 kg.
Other versions of the Salvator used by the Swiss were the seat parachute for pilots (Bücker Bü 131/133/161, Me 109, N.A. AT-16, Pilatus P-2, Siebel Si-204, Nord 1203, FW-44 Stieglitz, Morane D-3800/3801) and observers/crew (C-3603/3604, Ju-52) , and the quick attachment ventral parachute for observers (Fokker C-V, K+W C-35).
Bücker 133 pilot and mechanic. Compare with picture on top left.
K+W C-35 crew at pre-flight, wearing Bückerkombi and Pilotenkombi 41 (?), respectively.
K+W C-35 pilots at briefing, wearing Bückerkombis. Note MEWA kneepad.
Manual for the K+W C-35 aircraft .
Me 109E pilot wearing a Salvator seat parachute .
1953 Swiss Army manual with directives concerning forced landings and parachute bail out .