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Ejection seats

Old 24th Oct 2018, 13:17
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Doddy Hay would have been 39 or 40 when he did the Zero/Zero testing.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 16:50
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
According to the ballistics boffins at Boscombe, my parachute opened at 190ft agl and the seat was never travelling upwards with respect to the ground after ejection.

The aeroplane was travelling backwards with hardly any forward speed when it impacted and I landed about fifty yards from the fireball.
'kin 'ell that was a close call
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 16:58
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Certainly was and what's more two of us escaped. We reckoned we punched about a second apart and landed just under 100 yards from each other.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:03
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What seat was it? if you don't mind..
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:07
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Martin Baker Mk9 - see post #7.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:17
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When we arrived at Oakington we had our thighs measured. A couple were too lanky to fit in a Vampire with bang seats so they were sent off to the Meteor Flight.

Problem solved: Climb over the side.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:27
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
Martin Baker Mk9 - see post #7.
Ouch........
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:39
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When we arrived at Oakington we had our thighs measured.
'twas the same at Coltishall when a new WRAF officer arrived in the mess.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 07:40
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The initial thinking behind the rocket seat was primarily to keep the seat going on up post the gun firing, clearance of the tail assembly being one consideration.
The alternative solution with the early F. 104 was not found to be such a good idea!
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 08:23
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Not really.

An analysis by Martin Baker showed that most ejections were low and slow and in many cases descending.

This was the main design reason behind the advent of rocket-assisted escape systems.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 09:24
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I was very cautious in my wording dook .
The first production rocket seat was in the F102 in the 50's and if you look at the height of the fin you can see what the main consideration was in that case.
The" low and slow" requirement was a later driver , albeit an extremely relevant one as addressed by M.B My comment of "primarily to keep the seat going on up post the gun firing" was meant to embrace that, on the way to "Zero Zero" and the later ACES and Russian seats, as later publicly demonstrated by Anatoly Kvochur out of the MiG 29 at Paris in 1989..
Like many others I initially thought that the rocket was primarily to help spread the "g" load during ejection. A fallacy that I was quickly disabused of during study detachments to the R.A.F.Institute of Aviation Medicine in the late 60's and early 70's.

Last edited by Haraka; 8th Nov 2018 at 09:58.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 16:59
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
When we arrived at Oakington we had our thighs measured. A couple were too lanky to fit in a Vampire with bang seats so they were sent off to the Meteor Flight.
I understand this was because there was a tendency for your legs to be removed above the knee by the edge of the cockpit windscreen if your thighs were too long.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 17:09
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
According to the ballistics boffins at Boscombe, my parachute opened at 190ft agl and the seat was never travelling upwards with respect to the ground after ejection.

The aeroplane was travelling backwards with hardly any forward speed when it impacted and I landed about fifty yards from the fireball.

I remember landing like a sack of potatoes and never even had time to release the PSP.
When the fly-by-wire Hunter lost its engine just after liftoff at Farnborough, both pilots ejected and landed in the burning fuel on the runway where the aircraft had impacted, the remains of the aircraft then sliding into the arrestor barrier.
I didn't (quite) witness the occurence so I can't judge what height they ejected; I watched it taxy out and enter the runway from my car in the tower car park (it had been parked on the pan next to the tower) then I drove off, not knowing what was about to happen less than a minute later.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 08:32
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
When we arrived at Oakington we had our thighs measured. A couple were too lanky to fit in a Vampire with bang seats so they were sent off to the Meteor Flight.

Problem solved: Climb over the side.
While I was at Coningsby, 1956-7, a tall 57 Sqdn pilot was strapped in a seat of a Canberra B2, while the seat was winched out of the a/c.

When it reached the point where his knees would have been chopped off, the seat was lowered, he was unstrapped and he climbed out.

He was taken off Canberra's. Dunno what happened to him.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 09:06
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On 92 when we changed from the Hunter to the Lightning some of the taller pilots were measured and at least one of our pilots discovered he was the wrong dimensions to escape unscathed should he need to eject from the Lightning. His complaint was that his legs were 'too long for the cockpit of the biggest fighter the RAF ever had '.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 09:11
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Yes, but the cockpit was tiny. I am 5ft 11ins but one of my Lightning colleagues was a 6ft 3ins South African and he fitted OK.

Sitting thigh length was the criterion and we're all different.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 10:45
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dook,

I'm also 5' 11" and sitting thigh length is within spec, but when I sat in an F6, I couldn't see how I could eject with my knees intact. Were the seat rails inclined?

I was also impressed by how high up I was!
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 12:04
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My ejection height was 73 feet above ground level! I think my shoulders rotated down in the shoulder straps as I remember seeing the cockpit going away from me! From talking on the radio....the world goes very quiet! Checked the chute and dropped the PSP then landed like a sack of potatoes in a ploughed field! Lay on my back thinking about others who had damaged themselves! After a few seconds, I stood up to take off my helmet! Just then, my number two flew over to see if I had got out! Scared me to death! I was unscathed but sat down to write down all the parameters I could remember! Old tip from my squadron QFI!! Very useful at the subsequent BOI!
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 14:37
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Lack of Cushioning

Originally Posted by Rosevidney1 View Post
My recollections on the Vampire T11 are mainly on how uncomfortable the seating was. It was not unlike sitting on a rock!
I likened it to sitting on a new wooden church pew (MB 5 in an OV-1D Mohawk). The lack of cushioning was a feature in the event of an ejection. If there was any, the seat would accelerate upward when fired whereas your butt would still be stationary due to inertia. The result increased the shock loading on your spine. It was bad enough without the cushion. The seat qualification (pull the blind, go up the track) was with a reduced charge and my back still hurt for a few days.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 15:26
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The training setup that is sometimes seen in documentaries of a captive seat and compressed air pistonl lift of the seat - how realistic is that? Is simply about pulling the blind/handle or does it give more sense of how it will be? Looking back - was it helpful in preparing you?
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