A Conversation for The V-Bomber Ejector Seat Story

Safety Pins

Post 1

Al Johnston

In order that ejector seats are safe while ground crews are working in the aircraft, there are a number of safety pins (thick steel bars rather than flimsy wrapped wire things) that prevent the explosive parts of the seat from operating, which need to be removed before take-off. Apparently it wasn't entirely unknown for "back-seaters" to ensure that some of those pins stayed put so that the whole crew were in the same boat, escape-wise...


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Post 2

Vestboy

Now that would have been a nasty surprise at 30,000 feet if there had been a high level problem wouldn't it.
"Right, all the back seat boys have bailed out safely now it's our turn."
*noise of ejector seat level being pulled*


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Post 3

Vestboy

I meant lever not level!


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Post 4

Al Johnston

The makers of the B-52 solved a similar problem by giving the lower deck personnel seats that ejected downwards. During the Vietnam missions flown from Guam, those guys had a nervous half-hour or so at the start of every sortie until the overloaded bomber could struggle to a height where it was safe for them to eject...


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Post 5

Vestboy

Dead and buried in one swift move, eh?


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