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on Oct 29, 2016

I was at Le Bourget when, on Saturday June 3rd 1961, 'Doddy' Hay demonstrated, by jumping off the ground (for the first time in front of a enormous public), the new zero-zero ejection seat capability.

on Oct 29, 2016

This article is billed as "SPONSORED."

As the brave and probably most experienced ejection seat rider in history Bernard Lynch i prominently feature and as Martin Baker ads keep flashing I take it the "sponsor is the firm founded by the great and noble Sir James Baker.

I just wonder why MB discriminates against short F-35 pilots?

on Oct 31, 2016

" Lancaster is said to be fortunate he was alone for the flight; the second crewman’s position was not fitted with an ejection seat."

Equipping only the pilot with an ejection seat was common practice in Britain in the 40s and 50s. Witness the V-Bombers Two seats up front, dead men in back.

A very British sort of class discrimination.

". . . but Martin-Baker’s work is the most prominent."

"As of now, the Navy, Marines and Air Force have to restrict access to pilots only weighing more than 136 pounds. The original design requirements were set to safely accommodate pilots weighing from 103 pounds to 245 pounds."
- Lara Seligman, Defense News, January 8, 2016

A small matter of the practice of "concurrency," which is rushing the airplane into service well before all testing is done. A practice also known as "Reckless Endangerment" for political gain.

on Oct 31, 2016

As usual, here we have the essence of the general NIH syndrome - no experiments and seats were ever done/made behind the Iron curtain. It is funny remembering the late Jiri Matejcek, chief designer of the VS-1 and VS-2 ejection seats (the first one needed some forward speed, the latter was a honest to goodness zero/zero) for the L-39/59/159 series of jet training and light attack aircraft, how at the Paris Air Shows in the sixties and seventies he and the chief designer at Martin Baker evaded the vary eyes of their assigned "eyes", and in a secluded place happily swapped ideas how to save human life better... And if I read the info well, the K-36 seat licence was officially bought by the US together with the Yak-141 blueprints. The F-35C's swivelling engine exhaust is a dead ringer to the Yak's one, if my eyes do not fail me...

on Oct 31, 2016

"A very British sort of class discrimination."

A ridiculous claim that is easily refuted by the fact that the aircrew without ejection seats could be higher ranks than the pilots and could even include the squadron CO because the RAF doesn't require a CO to be a pilot. You've been watching "Downton Abbey" too much.

on Nov 2, 2016

After the tragic loss of Vulcan B.1 XA897 at Heathrow in October 1958 the Daily Express headline asked "Were There Only Two Ejector Seats?"

Bill Gunston in "Bomber of the West" pages 62-63 notes the discontent within the V-Force over the lack of seats for the back enders and how tests were run with rearward facing Martin Baker seats in a Valiant ending with a successful ejection by W.T. Hay in July 1962 . "But nothing more was done along these lines."

Tony Blackman in "Vulcan Teat Pilot" on page ". . . the four rear crew members were killed; with the nose undercarriage down they had no chance of escape."

Much was made in the British press at the time of what many considered a crass attitude on the of the RAF towards non-pilots. Accusations of class discrimination appeared in some Labor papers.

on Oct 31, 2016

I understand Boeing`s call it, In service evaluation.

on Oct 31, 2016

Not so much "short" as "light", for a variety of reasons. Even "ordinary" parachuting has a lower weight limit, under which it's a "no go".

on Oct 31, 2016

The Soviet concept about how to survive the pilot in the emergency situation has been very lack. The Mig-15 version until 1957 hasn't the G-Suit, the tall pilots (more 6' were suicidal because when using the ejection loss the legs under the dash board, also the Mig-21's, according to my personal account much more the 75% pilot who used the ejection, were total catastrophes.
The Oxygen System was horrible and hard.
The Training Ejection System used the 47-53 G in 0.75-second creating severe backbone injuries in the pilot's bodies.
The Training Ejection System also were part of the pilot's enemies.

on Oct 31, 2016

@ Eprida Excuse me, Sir, your contribution is a pure hogwash, in the same vein as e.g. the 15:1 kill rate of F-86 vs. MiG-15 in Korea. Please refrain here, in a professional forum, from reheated Cold war propaganda. Or do you think it is needed again? Do you seriously think and mean that ANY air force, be it the most idiotic Soviet one, would allow to cripple a substantial proportion of its pilots already in the training?! Indeed, the telescope/barrel ejection of the seat (in MiGs it was the 37mm gun cartridge with doubled primers, pushing out the unhappy airman) firing from the aicraft without the benefit of a rocket motor giving the required additional push, was indeed pretty hard on one's spine. And frankly I have not heard of any Czechoslovak pilot losing his legs during ejection (and there were plenty of them from the MiG-15s). Yessir, compression injuries to spine were not too rare in those times, but most were cured and the pilots returned to flying. But, if I read the books well, the success rate of e.g. the ACES seats in the A-4 was something to ponder seriously...

on Oct 31, 2016

The run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and punctuation errors in the captions accompanying these photos are appalling. Anyone working as a journalist should view grammar and punctuation as tools of their trade, and learn to use them competently. Back to school for you (and your editor), Tony Osborne!

on Oct 31, 2016

amen. smartphone times...

on Oct 31, 2016

I fully concur. The lack of editing in the realm of internet journalism makes many articles nearly unreadable and almost drove me to quit reading this one. Were it not for the pictures, I probably would have done so.

on Oct 31, 2016

No story on the history of ejection seats would be complete without the mention of Yogi the supersonic Bear. On March 21,1960 Yogi was placed in an escape capsule made by Stanley Aircraft which was design for use in a Convair B-58. At 35,000 feet Yogi was ejected at a speed of 870 mph. The museum at Edwards Air Force Base has a monument and I believe one of the capsules used for the two experiments. Another Bear named Big John was ejected two weeks later from 45,000 feet at 1,000 mph. Both bears survived.

on Oct 31, 2016

… but they were not very happy about the experience!

on Oct 31, 2016

The very first Martin-Baker live ejectee 'Jo Lancaster' is still alive and well at 97 years old, he recently attended a Martin-Baker 7500 Lives Saved celebration event. There's a great video on their YouTube channel showing some early testing and development footage.

youtube.com/watch?v=FFAw76CIcq8

on Oct 31, 2016

Aside from all the science, bears in ejection seats is hard to beat for take off humor. Glad they survived.

on Oct 31, 2016

I became a member of the Martin-Baker Grasshopper Club after punching out of my A-4E after losing brakes taxiing out of the landing area after arrestmemt on the USS Shangri-la in July 1970 in Westpac. As my nose ran over the edge of the flight deck, I ejected. Luckily our planes had the zero-zero MB seat installed before our cruise began, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this comment!

on Oct 31, 2016

Years ago I read a book either about or by Bernard Lynch and his experiences testing ejection seats at Martin Baker. I think the title was "The Man in the Hot Seat" or something similar.

on Nov 1, 2016

@ JeffRL ... The book that you mentioned (Man in the Hot Seat) was written by Doddy Hay ...

on Oct 31, 2016

I ejected from an F-102 at about 200 feet and 160 knots in March, 1972. First successful survivor---the two previous resulted in one fatality and one serious back injury.
This was the first Zero-Zero system in the Deuce. There was a seat snubber none of the local troops knew about. They could not find the seat until they removed the fuselage wreckage. The seat, still snubbed to the aircraft was inderneath it.
Did not have back trouble for almost twenty years after the punch-out.
Also had a Rube Goldberg 'chute system, but that's a different story.

on Nov 1, 2016

Thanks for sharing you story makes a nice change from the arguments on this website. Was it a Martin Baker seat or someone else ?

on Nov 17, 2016

I think almost all the F-102 systems were provided by Weber Aircraft.

on Nov 17, 2016

I don't believe the F-102 ever had a real 0-0 system. I think their system was provided by Weber Aircraft. I know we had proposed a mod to the existing system to make it 0-0, but the USAF never bought it.

on Nov 1, 2016

The German Heinkel Company was one of the first aircraft companies to develop an ejection seat. It used a compressed air charge to get the pilot out of the aircraft. The first aircraft in which that seat was installed was Heinkel's He-280 twin-engine jet fighter which first flew on 2 April 1941. On 13 Jan 1942, one of the He-280s was being towed aloft by two Me-110s to test a new jet engine. It was a typical winter day for Germany with low clouds and blowing snow. The He-280 was being flown by test pilot Helmut Schenk and, as the tow planes and fighter got to 7,875 feet, Schenk found that snow and ice accumulation had frozen the control surfaces. He jettisoned the tow ropes and, as the jet went out of control, he ejected. That may have been the first operational use of an ejection seat. Subsequently Heinkel incorporated his ejection seats into the He-219
twin piston engine "Owl" night fighter which first flew in late 1942.

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