In Pictures: A Potted History Of Ejection SeatsTony Osborne
While the idea of the ejection seat can be dated back to 1920s and even as early as 1910, it was the Second World War when the first rudimentary ejection seats were developed by the Swedes and Germans for a new generation of high-performance piston-engined fighters, while spring-driven downward firing seats were even tested by the U.S. Army Air Force. But it was British firm, Martin Baker which has perhaps made some of the most significant contributions to ejection seat technology. Now 70 years since the first mid-flight ejections by flight test volunteer Bernard Lynch, the ejection seat has evolved to cope with higher-speeds, altitudes and attitudes and the huge variation on pilots from across the world. Tony Osborne looks at a potted early history of ejection seats.