Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Replacement for Aircrew cutter Mk1

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Replacement for Aircrew cutter Mk1

Old 28th Jul 2014, 17:49
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Shropshire
Posts: 4
Replacement for Aircrew cutter Mk1

Hi all,
I'm looking into replacing the current issue aircrew cutter (j type) with the american Aircrew Survival Egress Knife (as seen in the picture). What are peoples thoughts? Im doing this as a university project and would be grateful for any and all responses. Thanks in advance.

basilsear is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 06:31
  #2 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
I take it you mean the smaller of the 2 knives in the picture...although I know some guys who have the larger strapped to their legs.
Old 29th Jul 2014, 06:56
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Over the hill (and far away)
Posts: 396
That looks downright dangerous - remember the Wilkinson knife? Self -inflicted injury writ large... The little one looks more like a can opener.

Mister B
HTB is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 08:12
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: bristol
Age: 53
Posts: 1,051
What purpose do you see the replacement having.
If you are looking for something to cut harnesses (to stop crew burning to death and making nasty screamy noises) then forget the knife.
It is large, cumbersome and has a pointed tip which is REALLY stupid.
Crew may need to use an escape tool when they have just crashed (so a little un nerved), it may be very dark or under water, they may be using their non writing hand and will be working in a confined space and very close to their pink fleshy parts.

Is that really the place for a double edged pointed weapon?

The J cutter is slim and will naturally slide into position and will automatically find its target. It takes less mechanical movement to cut a harness and won't cut anything else.

If however you are looking for the knife to perform other functions then consider this:
The crew may have side arms for personal protection.

People tend to shy away from sticking pointy metal objects into other humans even if they are carrying a blade.

There are other places to store weapons and equipment for use after a crash that are not directly strapped to crew and so cannot injure them during a crash.

There is also another option that many people overlook for various reasons.
If you were to look at people who cut harnesses and seat belts on a regular basis they would use first aid shears. Shears will easily cut through a harness and will also cut through thin metal (they will cut through a coin such as a two pence piece). The shears are way more effective and safer than a bladed knife, but are not as easy to use as the J cutter.

Last of all there is a reason why air crews were really glad to ditch knives (both straight and curved bladed) in favour of J cutters
barnstormer1968 is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 08:46
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 65
Posts: 4,626
I am sure that most aircrew would favour the following design as it achieves the functionality of the current cutter in a more efficient manner:

Wensleydale is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 09:16
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 631
Picking up on Barnstormer's points, an agreed requirement should dictate the solution. However, if you stray into having a device that is also used on a regular basis as a 'tool' then it needs to have eng regulations and will need to be controlled, which is a real pain!!! Top-tip keep the requirement simple and don't make it too 'shiny' as everyman and his dog will want one!
Could be the last? is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 09:31
  #7 (permalink)  
Hippopotomonstrosesquipidelian title
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: is everything
Posts: 1,823
OP, didn't you do this topic previously last November in http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...nife-help.html, where at one point you stated "The subject matter is actually of very little importance, the important part is how I go about doing research, and then how i present that information."?

I would imagine you should be finished by now, and not starting a second thread where you have equally little investment in the topic.
Bushfiva is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 11:39
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Next door.
Posts: 690
Some good replies. If you keep the design to a J type knife, then can you just make sure there are no moving parts as the MK.1 Cutters 'piercer' can be a FOD hazard if not maintained well. I've seen a few where the screw has fallen out of the button...and no one knew where it ended up...seats out + unhappy armorers

CoffmanStarter image from post linked above above
Stitchbitch is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 22:02
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mid-central South of England
Posts: 199
Which replacement

IMHO, for what it's worth,

The old aircrew knife and the less seen version with a normal blade I have used for May things in over 30 years from opening tins and bottles to spreading Rat Pack Pate or Marg on Biscuits Brown (the curved blade strap cutter blade wasn't so good as a spreading tool) I also used the real original winch and J knife for cutting ropes, harness straps and even sheet aluminium once....

If you want an egress tool a better version of the crappy black plastic one would be great, the J shaped strap cutter however works best when there are 2 separate and cross angled blades forming the J.

This of course has limited uses...it's great as a strap cutter but for anything else...... Now this is where you need to have a survival pack containing other tools for chopping, skinning, cutting etc etc....the list goes on. And of course never forget the kit you have is only any good if you get away from the aircraft with it on your person or in your grubby MIT. The bergens full of kit the Chinny guys had is of course perfect as long as it goes with them... The strap cutter therefore needs a separate and supplementary knife/blade/axe/tool included in the jacket or flight suit contents... Actually though I still like it. The US one does look better and maybe more effective than ours which means they probably didn't take the cheapest option.....
Axel-Flo is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2014, 22:26
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uranus
Posts: 876
How about this - it would satisfy everyone's needs?

The B Word is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 05:35
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 2,994
an agreed requirement should dictate the solution.
A entirely sensible idea. Pity MoD ditched it for "we don't state requirements and haven't a clue about any solution. Go away and don't bother us".
tucumseh is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 05:40
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Over the hill (and far away)
Posts: 396

Where's the thingy for getting stones out of horses' hooves..?

Mister B
HTB is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 06:32
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,925
HTB wrote:
Where's the thingy for getting stones out of horses' hooves..?
Or more especially, the thingy for getting flight commanders out of the boss's ar$ehole?
BEagle is online now  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 07:26
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 65
Posts: 4,626
"Or more especially, the thingy for getting flight commanders out of the boss's ar$ehole?"

We once had a flt cdr whose head was so far up that he could see the Stn Cdr's shoes!
Wensleydale is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 07:54
  #15 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 78
Posts: 16,750
Originally Posted by HTB View Post

Where's the thingy for getting stones out of horses' hooves..?

Mister B
As a boy scout I had one of those vicious knives with the spike on it. Black plastic handle IIRC.

However, what happened to the survival equivalent? Shiny metal and a blade so sharp you could shave with it? Highly prized and only in the survival packs - guarded with their lives by the like of StitchBitch - and almost needed a pair of pliers to get the blade out?

A Leatherman is better than a Suise Army knife.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 09:13
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 37
As far as I recall, the reasons for carrying an aircrew knife in my era (60s-90s) were to deal with entanglements in harnesses/rigging lines and also to deflate a dinghy or lifejacket inflated inadvertently inside the aircraft/cockpit. The design aimed to minimise the risk of injury or other collateral damage during emergency use.

When I first started flying in the early 60s, the aircrew knife had a sharp point. Experience showed this to be less than ideal and it was replaced by the blunter-ended knife some time later.
xtp is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 09:27
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,489

This replaced the dinghy knife and does the job. It got derided when it appeared and many were sceptical about its ability to cut straps. One of the stations I was at demonstrated it on dry drill sessions cutting old straps like the proverbial a knife through butter. There is a slidey button on the side which moves the blade forward to provide the point needed for puncturing the dinghy or life jacket should they inflate in flight. It is not supposed to be a survival knife.

As for the OP's project, presumably to argue the case for a replacement, I guess we don't know much about your suggested item. I wasn't aware of the loose-article issue but that would be a strong argument if you can show that the other one is better. Other than that, I fear that cost would, sadly, remain the biggest driver.
Background Noise is online now  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 11:20
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 20,027
Anyone not considered one of the millions of car emergency hammers designed for breaking windscreens and containing a strap cutter, Google car emergency hammers

Red Car Glass Break Emergency Hammer Car Seatbelt Cutter Hammer
NutLoose is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 11:23
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Age: 52
Posts: 1,481
I can't see a role for the US knife in your average survival situation.
The aircrew knife is essentially intended to cut straps and lines and nothing more. The old knife with the bent blade carried until I know not when was hopeless. Perpetually blunt and resisted all efforts to sharpen it. Despite this I know of least one downed bod who managed to slice his dinghy canopy with it as he tried to sever rigging lines which were entangling him. I shudder to think of the carnage he would've caused with a really sharp pointy thing!
Stick with a well designed J knife. In the dark in the oggin it would be much, much easier to use than a single edged knife.
Tashengurt is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2014, 12:00
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,958
I believe the OP was referring to the smaller "J" cutter in the picture rather than the (confusingly) placed survival knife beside it
ShotOne is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.