ejection seat stories

scouse

War Hero
From 1965 Buccaneer mk2 .Had fully automated under water ejection seat systems fitted. :thumright:
 

slim

War Hero
scouse said:
From 1965 Buccaneer mk2 .Had fully automated under water ejection seat systems fitted. :thumright:
Knew my brain wasn't too addled Scouse :w00t:
Also remember command Ejection being fitted, some observers weren't too happy about that :w00t:
 
I too remember the underwater seats and if memory serves me right, was command ejection not brought in because of the Sea Vixen? Poor little bugger trapped in the glory hole?
 

slim

War Hero
higthepig said:
I too remember the underwater seats and if memory serves me right, was command ejection not brought in because of the Sea Vixen? Poor little bugger trapped in the glory hole?
I think you may be right on that one Higs. If the pilot used Command Ejection before pulling his own handle then he had done all that was possible to get his oppo out of the aircraft. Vixen pilots could get a guilt complex because if managed to eject but their oppo didn't
 

scouse

War Hero
slim said:
scouse said:
From 1965 Buccaneer mk2 .Had fully automated under water ejection seat systems fitted. :thumright:
Knew my brain wasn't too addled Scouse :w00t:
Also remember command Ejection being fitted, some observers weren't too happy about that :w00t:
:thumright: All the details here Slim :thumright: :thumright: Blackburn Buccaneer - The Last British Bomber /Ejector seats. Also :whew: :thumright: everything else for our fading memories
 

scouse

War Hero
higthepig said:
I too remember the underwater seats and if memory serves me right, was command ejection not brought in because of the Sea Vixen? Poor little bugger trapped in the glory hole?
:thumright: Bit naughty i know, cut and paste :w00t:

The lives saved were thanks to Martin Baker Ejection seats. The ejection seat industry was evolving during the Sea Vixen era and was in the early stages of technology. While these large Sea Vixens of 18 tons were being operated from small 20,000 ton aircraft carriers designed for WW2 aircraft in dangerous circumstances, Martin Baker were doing ther utmost to save lives. Such was the concern for Royal Navy Aviators, they invented an Underwater Escape system for accidents off the catapult launch. Air Bags as we now know from automobile safety systems would separate downed aircrew from their seats when the system sensed an sub surface situation. Indeed technology well in advance of its time.
The company had an amazing speed of technology upgrade to their seats fitted in worldwide military aircraft. The sacrifices of their "Real Human Dummies" during the seat developement trials were truely heroic. Bernard "Benny" Lynch was the first live experimental ejectee on the 24th July 1946. He later withstood 16 more live test ejections and was awarded the British Empire Medal.
The G forces limits of the human spine had to be tested to the limits. Sea Vixen ejectees inevitably suffered multiple compression fractures to the lower spine. Early seats were life savers. Later varients with rocket assist packs proved to a marshmallow ride and those who ejected in the morning would brush themselves down and be able to fly again in the afternoon.
Early seat derivatives had to have a forward airspeed of 120 knots to ensure a clear separation sequence for aircrew. Even so there were other limits of rate of descent to be considered. The aircrew had to be out of the aircraft and separated from the seat within one tenth ot the rate of descent. An aircraft hurtling towards the ground at 8000 feet per minute meant that the complete sequence had to be complete by 800 feet. Initiation would have had to made well before that height.
Clearly a majority of RN Aviation accidents in the Sea Vixen era were not within these limits of forward airspeed and rate of descent. As with all top pioneering companies Martin Baker went on to develop the zero zero (zero forward airspeed, zero rate of descent) rocket pack ejection seat. Later Aviators were lucky to have flown with these seats.
The Sea Vixen Mk1 was fitted with the 4 DSA Mk1/2/or3 seat.
 

scouse

War Hero
http://usera.ImageCave.com/scouse/scan0025a(1).jpg Lt King & Lt Gleadow Eject 800 SQDN Hms Eagle all okay :D
 

scouse

War Hero
http://usera.ImageCave.com/scouse/scan0028a(1).jpg L/T Markley Usn gone and L/T CDR Chase Usn just making up his mind too :wink: HMS Eagle 800 Sqdn 65 All okay :D
 
I remember shortly after joining RAF Leuchars in 1974 ( PTF ) myself Ron Black and Greame Forrest were going through our first seat removal.
Ron was on top as he was lifting the seat and a PO I think was in the cockpit to remove the seat pan.As the seat was lifted by Ron there was a wurring sound which was either the drouge gun or the BTRU,they both sound the same.
Ron went white and started to sweat so too did the person in the cockpit I know this as I was next to him on the engine intake.
The outcome was either a drouge gun going off or a face full of parachute pack.
The parachute won the day and Ron went for a drink.
This was an early lesson for us and one that was never repeated in my 4 years on Phantoms.
 
re:Ejection seat stories
posted by slim
Yes I was very lucky I was the one liftin onthe top.Not so lucky N.A M.[o] Rose the drogue enterd his eye and was embeded in his head.Dont remember the P.O loosing his rate but it was a long time ago 1963 or 64
 

slim

War Hero
re:Ejection seat stories
posted by slim
Yes I was very lucky I was the one liftin onthe top.Not so lucky N.A M.[o] Rose the drogue enterd his eye and was embeded in his head.Dont remember the P.O loosing his rate but it was a long time ago 1963 or 64
About 1968-69
I was a killick pinkie at the time on 764. The bang of the drogue woke ALL of us sleeping pinkies up in the Radio shack.
 
...The company had an amazing speed of technology upgrade to their seats fitted in worldwide military aircraft. The sacrifices of their "Real Human Dummies" during the seat developement trials were truely heroic. Bernard "Benny" Lynch was the first live experimental ejectee on the 24th July 1946. He later withstood 16 more live test ejections and was awarded the British Empire Medal...
I have resurrected this thread because I have just stumbled upon the following article in Vol 14 No.1 of the Royal Naval Diving Magazine published in the spring of 1967. Lt Cdr Jack Brian Gayton was an Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) officer in the Fleet Air Arm.

Lt Cdr J Gayton RN said:
Underwater Ejection from 100 feet in Malta

FOR many years in Naval Aviation, an aircraft on ditching, floated for some time and crews were often able to escape on the surface, some without getting wet. Nowadays the crews are not so fortunate. With the advent of the ejector seat, some successful underwater ejections were carried out and the aircrews recovered, not much worse for wear.

This sparked off an interest in ejection as a means of escape from a submerged aircraft. Many tests were carried out. Once more, progress in design had its disadvantages and with a later type of high energy cartridge, the blast effects underwater are dangerous and successful ejection unlikely. Work was started to develop separate underwater ejection systems operated by compressed air. These systems will be fitted to carrier-borne aircraft. Although most are automatic, operating when the aircraft reaches a given depth, there is a requirement that they should be capable of manual control to a depth of 100 feet.

It is the job of the R.A.E., Farnborough and the Institute of Aviation Medicine to test these systems throughout their development, culminating in tests of the complete system at 100 feet. For this, it is was necessary to have water clear enough to permit cine-recording, and reliable weather conditions. Thus it was that a trials party, led by Lt Cdr A Baldwin, left for Malta in August 1966, complete with a Gannet test fuselage. The trials were planned to last a fortnight and the object was to get three successful consecutive shots at 100 feet. For the trials we obtained the services of a fleet tender, F.T. Alness, on which to carry the fuselage out to the trials site in Marsaxlokk. This vessel is some 80 feet in length, steel built, with a single screw, and provides an excellent diving platform. The lifting and lowering of the fuselage was carried out very ably by H.M.S. Layburn.

Before attempting the 100 foot shots, it was decided that we would carry out a live ejection at 40 feet to check the procedure and the system, which had already been extensively tested down to 25 feet at Glen Fruin in Scotland. The subjects for the trials were to use compressed air breathing equipment since depth precluded the use of Oxygen. The equipment decided upon was the Army Tank Escape Apparatus. This consists of two 0.36 litre bottles joined by a manifold, supplying a 'Bibs' demand valve by way of a first stage reducer. The demand valve could also be supplied from external sources, in this case an 84 cubic foot bottle secured to the fuselage. This latter source of air to be used until the moment before ejection, when it was disconnected and two small bottles used. These gave sufficient air to allow for a hold-up and also for a few small breaths on the way to the surface.

We arrived in Malta on Sunday 14th August to find that the next day was a religious holiday, hence it was difficult to find the equipment which had preceded us, let alone draw it. However on the Tuesday, we were more successful, and managed to get the fuselage moved to Kalafrana. Alas, we were still without three tons of ballast weights, which had gone out by sea. Thanks to a dock strike, they were discovered on their way to Haifa. With no more ado, Alan Baldwin and Terry Montgomery, managed to beg (borrow or steal) some two tons of anchor cable and some 5 cwt sinkers which were draped around the fuselage like a Christmas tree. At last though, we were prepared and it was decided that the 40 foot shot would take place the next day and yours truly should be the subject.

Wednesday came and the fuselage was loaded onto the Alness, equipment was rechecked and we set sail for the rendezvous with H. M .S. Layburn. According to plan, I mounted the cockpit and was strapped in shortly after leaving Kalafrana. Unfortunately, we had not allowed for the difficulty of manoevering under the Layburn's bows hence half an hour was spent in the cockpit under the mid-day sun before I was lowered into the blissfully cool waters of Marsaxlokk. During the waiting period, however, Alan took pity on me and annointed my steaming brow with buckets of water delighting the spectators in the process.

From the surface the plunge to 40 feet was fairly rapid and we reached bottom with a heavy bump. I was soon comforted by Alan's familiar face peering at me in the cockpit. Whilst he was clearing away the lifting wire, I was surprised to see that I was surrounded, not only by underwater photographers, but also by spectators in the form of the Fleet Clearance Diving Team. Alan returned and gave the O.K. sign to start the countdown, first for the canopy jettison and then for the ejection.

Soon I was back on the surface again, the actual ejection having taken so short a time as to be only a fleeting memory, one second I was in the cockpit and the next I was suspended above it wondering why my life-jacket had not inflated.

Back to Kalafrana and the task of stripping the system and refurnishing it for the next test, which was to be the first 100 foot shot and was scheduled for Friday. This time, it was Terry's turn to take a ride and to be the first person to eject from that depth.

We had learnt several lessons on the first test and so we delayed manning the cockpit until the last minute. Standing on Layburn's bows, I watched as the cockpit with Terry in it and Alan astride the frame, disappeared in its rapid plunge to the sea-bed. However by now everyone was prepared and the expected stops to clear ears, etc., were not necessary. Throughout, I was in contact with Alan by D.U.C.S. [Divers' UNderwater Communications System] and was able to broadcast a fair picture of what was happening down below. It was no surprise therefore when Terry arrived on the surface, L.S.W. inflated, giving the O.K. signal.

By this time, the organisation was getting much smoother and the remaining shots (for we felt sure of success by now) were planned for the following Tuesday and Wednesday.

At Kalafrana, after unloading the fuselage onto the jetty, we prepared for a weekend trip to Xlendi in Gozo, where a number of people were anxious to dive. Stories of Roman wrecks added to the excitement. After a good day's diving, we spent the Saturday evening in the local Hilton, where the Gozo wine helped to keep the spirits high. But that day's aquatic activities had not yet been concluded as, arriving back at the Alness, we found that we were cut off from the watchman onboard and so Alan was elected to swim out for the Gemini.

Gamely he stripped off to his underpants entrusted his clothes to us and set out. Unfortunately, when he came back, there was some difficulty experienced in boarding the Gemini, and the cardboard box containing his clothes, disappeared over the side with a fully clothed member of the team. At last, however, we all returned safely to the Alness including the cardboard box. Xlendi had lived up to all our expectations.

On Monday, we were back at work preparing the systems for the next day's tests. The shots on Tuesday and Wednesday were as successful as we had expected, with Alan doing the first and Surg Cdr Davidson the second shot. Our trials were complete, except for packing up and the farewell party.

Throughout the fortnight, we had spent all our spare time diving on Beughisa Reef and Delunard, not only to enjoy ourselves, but also to give our photographers more experience as most of their diving is confined to the tanks at Glen Fruin and H.M.S. Vernon. If anyone tells you that Malta is fished out, don't believe them, it is probably their bad marksmanship. It was with genuine regret that we left Malta to return to our home base, the trials having been both enjoyable and successful. This was in no small way due to the help we received from the RN and RAF units out in Malta.

LT CDR J GAYTON
 
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JFP

Badgeman
Not sure whether the dit is true, but I worked with a CPOMA (stark staring bonkers incidentally, but then, aren't they all?) who worked for a short time in aviation medicine before joining me in FOST NBCD mobile training team.

We were idly chatting about this business of whether or not you physically shrunk upon ejecting and whether it was true that if you ejected twice, the pilot was effectively grounded.

He reckoned that he'd come across a FAA pilot that was still operational and was the only serving woo who had ejected twice & lived to tell the tale. He went on to say his Flying Logbook was an excellent read.

I had visions of an entry written: "Ah well, still no sign of the enemeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!" followed by a big diagonal line across the page.

Twice.
Ltd cdr Rod O'Connor ejected on two occasions from RN Phantoms. Probably the same person.
 

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