# How are aircraft controlled that have no forward view out of the cockpit?

Modern aircraft tend to have quite reasonable cockpit visibility. But throughout history there were some that had literally no visibility directly forward.

The best known example is probably Ryan Spirit of St. Louis:

but there were others like Supermarine S6. Granted, they were all special purpose planes. But still, how did the pilot align with the intended runway and ensure the runway is clear? There was no ILS to help him, so it still had to be done visually. And how did he avoid obstacles and other aircraft?

• Really silly: Can't conceive how pilot can see and avoid!? - But it (Ryan Spirit of St. Louis) set historical record :-) – menjaraz Jul 24 '14 at 5:49
• @menjaraz either I do not understand your comment, or you have missed the 'no forward visibility' part. – Federico Jul 24 '14 at 6:54
• @federico: Indeed, it's about a partial visibility. Maybe I should phrase it: Can't conceive how pilot can see and avoid properly without appropriate forward visibility!? I think of the case of some low obstacle (e.g trees) in the landing phase. – menjaraz Jul 24 '14 at 7:27
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