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Lordflasheart
12th Jul 2021, 18:14
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Swiss Air Force Mk 58 Hunters - Ejector seats ?

Geeky question from our pub last night -

If they were delivered with Martin Baker Mk 4 ejection seats (Ground level - 90 kts) - Did the Swiss Air Force ever upgrade them to something rockety for zero zero ?

I wagered beer on an upgrade - does anyone out there have any accurate knowledge please, to save me serious LOF ?

LFH
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Self loading bear
12th Jul 2021, 20:18
Ask museum Altenrhein or perhaps Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation which recently bought a Swiss two seater from Altenrhein

LOMCEVAK
12th Jul 2021, 20:49
The single seat F58s had Mk 3 seats and to the best of my knowledge the two seat T 68s had Mk 4 seats. I am not aware of any Hunter ever being fitted with a zero-zero seat.

Lordflasheart
14th Jul 2021, 08:37
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VMT Chaps.

What a wonderful looking set up at Altenrhein. https://fliegermuseum.ch/ - or as my German is a bit rusty -
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https://fliegermuseum.ch/&prev=search&pto=aue

Lomcevak - my idea of Mk 3 seats was they were all 200 ft and 120kts - ie Vampire T11 ca. 1958. Do I misremember ? Perhaps MB could mod a Mk 3 to ground level and 90 kts.

I have asked the Museum the question and will report back.

LFH
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Lordflasheart
20th Jul 2021, 18:43
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I had a very helpful reply from the Altenrhein Museum.

They have been flying their Avon 200 series two-seater with 'Ops approved' ejection limits of Ground level - 160 km/h (ie 90 kts approx) which suggests that on retirement they were still fitted with the original Mk 4 seats. Additionally the seat occupant limits were Maximum occupant weight 100 kg, height 200 cm. Servicing is getting very expensive.

As to whether the single seaters had Mk 3 or Mk 4 seats on delivery there was no info, so my interest now would centre on whether the Swiss single seaters Mk 3 seats had (or ended up with) the same Mk 4 Ground level - 90 kts limits, or stayed with the earlier Mk 3 limits of 200 ft/120 kts.

The Mk 3 seats with 200 ft/120 kts resulted in some distressing accidents which resulted in RN Vampire T22s being retrofitted with ex Sea Venom Mk 4 seats in the mid 60s. So - it can be done. Good move too.

However - defo nothing rockety for the Swiss, so beers on me - but only in our pub.

LFH
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kenparry
21st Jul 2021, 09:32
LFH:

The Mk2/Mk3 seats had different limits depending on the cartridge fit, which gave varying seat ejection speeds.
You are right about the Vampire: I flew the T11 in training, and it had a 60ft/sec gun, with limits of 200ft/120kt. The story we were given was that the Vampire structure was not strong enough for the 80ft/sec gun. True or not, I don't know - but your comment on retrofit with other seats seems to contradict that.
Later I flew Hunter 6/7/8/9/10 with Mk2 or 3 seats in the single seaters, Mk4 in the 2-seaters, and all had the 80ft/sec gun with limits of 90kt ground level. AFAIK, all UK Hunters had that same capability.
I have no direct knowledge of the Swiss Hunters, but expect that they had the same seat fit as the UK aircraft.

KP

LOMCEVAK
21st Jul 2021, 21:34
LFH:

The Mk2/Mk3 seats had different limits depending on the cartridge fit, which gave varying seat ejection speeds.
You are right about the Vampire: I flew the T11 in training, and it had a 60ft/sec gun, with limits of 200ft/120kt. The story we were given was that the Vampire structure was not strong enough for the 80ft/sec gun. True or not, I don't know - but your comment on retrofit with other seats seems to contradict that.
Later I flew Hunter 6/7/8/9/10 with Mk2 or 3 seats in the single seaters, Mk4 in the 2-seaters, and all had the 80ft/sec gun with limits of 90kt ground level. AFAIK, all UK Hunters had that same capability.
I have no direct knowledge of the Swiss Hunters, but expect that they had the same seat fit as the UK aircraft.

KP

I agree with all above. The seats on the GA11 (cant remember whether they were Mk 2 or 3) were 0/90 also, as were all of those on the F58s that I have flown, and that dates back to when they first came over to the UK direct from the Swiss Air Force.

Lordflasheart
1st Sep 2021, 18:08
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After a bit more digging, and to confirm the learned observations above, it seems the Swiss Air Force got their two-seaters with Mk 4 seats (and 200 Series Avons) The single seaters had the original Mk 2 or Mk 3 seats, but with the 80 ft/sec gun, giving them the same ground level and 90 kts capability. I suspect the difference was the date of original manufacture of the airframe or the later new- or re-build as two seater.

The Swiss Air Force did not put rocket seats in their Hunters. Entirely separately, it appears Martin Baker said twenty years ago, that doing the job would be quite easy, but the R&D (and presumably approval) would be very expensive.

The Martin Baker Mk 2, 3 and 4 seats normally had two separate harnesses - one for the parachute, the other for the seat - both permanently secured to the seat.

The Swiss had their seats modified to take an American parachute and harness. I believe this is the torso harness with three connectors, two thigh and one chest, which you don before flight and walk around in. Apparently it is time consuming and difficult to put on, and it was not designed to accommodate a maewest. Thus it might have been tricky to find and release the chest connector under the inflated mae west, when in the water. ...

LFH
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2 TWU
2nd Sep 2021, 09:35
The Mk4 seat had a combined harness, not separate chute/seat harnesses. If we had to do up 2 harnesses, wed have had severe difficulty holding a 5 minute state on Battle Flight at Gutersloh from outside the cockpit! As it was, it was not unknown to get airborne not strapped in, that 5 min state was sacrosanct.