Vintage Durango: World War II Inventions: Bird-proof glass

by Patty Templeton

The war effort throughout the 1940s brought forth a great number of inventions like duct tape, the Jeep, radar, and blood banks. A lesser-remembered WWII invention was bird-proof glass.

During early aviation, a pilot had no roof overhead and was exposed to the elements. By the 1930s, planes were reaching speeds too high to safely fly with the wind and elements in their face. Cockpit canopies became common.

Glass canopies were the starter invention. But that wasn’t going to work. If a bird hit your windshield you were effed in the A, or maybe it is more accurate to say effed in the face. By the time World War II hit, pilots could fly at speeds over 600 mph. Nobody wants a bird smashing through a flimsy, multi-piece glass canopy at any speed – let alone at 600-plus mph. Acrylic, one-piece canopies became the new norm, which were lighter in weight and gave an all-around better visibility to the pilot.

Sorry birds, you gotta be more clever than that to kill us and take over the world.

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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