PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Vulcans - rear crew disabling pilots ejector seats in flight
Old 8th Jan 2011, 17:39
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Northamptonshire
Posts: 1,256
Where were the seat pins stowed on the 'V's and were they in a place where the rear crew could get at them easily?

In the Vulcan it was a bit of a climb from the rear crew area to the pilots' seats and on the Victor they were about the same level. Can't remember the Valiant 'cause the last time I got in one 'twas April 1964!

There were a number of 'V' losses where only the co-pilot survived and this suggests that captains were reluctant, to the point of death, to leave their crew behind. That said, there were also a number of accidents where only the pilots survived and hence self preservation overcame any altruistic motives. An awful situation in which to place the pilots and one has to wonder from a distance of 60 years why all three 'V' s had no seats for the guys in the back or the crew chief. James Martin designed and tested an ejection system for the rear crew but why it was not adopted I cannot say.

Two points, however:

a. In WWI, pilots weren't given parachutes because it was thought they would not 'stay in the fight' and the brass would sooner have them dead, than have them saved to fight again.

b. Other aircraft did not have enough ejection seats to go around; eg; B(I)8 Canberras and some other marks B15(?), B16(?).

In addition, NF and T7 Meteors and F & FB Vampires didn't have any ejection seats, despite the speeds involved.

Some quite extraordinary decisions but the sobering statistics are that the RAF has lost 9300 aircraft and over 6000 fatal casualties since VE-Day, the largest single loss being the Pisa Hercules. Then there are three Dakotas from the same squadron in a single day, a pair of Shackletons likewise and so it went on.

Old Duffer (in sober mood at the senseless waste)
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