The B-8 back type parachute answered the problem of the uncomfortably rigid and awkward B-7. Originally designed by the Pioneer Parachute Company as their Model B-3-B, the USAAF’s copy (B-8) was standardized on October 16, 1942. The new pack contained special bow stiffeners which increased flexibility and molded around the wearer’s back, with side wings holding the assembly close to the back. The standard B-8 had snap hook connections, while late war examples utilized bayonet hardware. The B-8 saw operational use in the ETO around late 1943, replacing the rigid B-7 and serving well into the postwar era of the 50's. It was the standard rig for bomber pilots as well as operational fighter pilots of the P-38 and P-51.
Although popular belief holds that the seat pack was the standard parachute of fighter pilots, records show this is not correct for combat pilots during the most intense years of action. From April 1943 to September 1944, back type parachutes accounted for 98% of parachutes used by fighter pilots of the P-38’s & P-51’s and 20% of the P-47 pilots. On bombers such as the B-26, B-17, and B-24, back types accounted for 16% of all types used (AAF records). See also the AAF Bailout Stats page.
Our reproductions are built exactly like the originals. The pack has the correct WWII style bow stiffeners. The harness comes with either the standard snap hook/V-ring closures or the late war bayonet hardware. Optional life raft rings in accordance with T.O. 13-5-37; early models did not have these. Complete with the 4-pin ripcord and ripcord housing on the wearer's left side, and characteristic cushion tacked under the chest strap.
Standard Price: $891 (Email us to order)