odds and ends / books


On this page will appear book reviews, tips, trivia, and other things that don't appear on other pages.

Yet again I would love input from others!


ejector seats save lives. they can also kill if mishandled. is that seat safe?

has it been disarmed?

if in doubt- get it checked out

BOOKS on the subject

The following publications are dedicated to the subject or have a significant proportion dedicated to ejection seats and systems.

METEOR EJECT by Nick Carter, ISBN 1-873203-65-9, published by Woodfield Publishing, 2001.

MAN IN THE HOT SEAT, "Doddy" Hay,  Pub.Collins, London 1969.

PANIC TAKES TIME by T W "Dumbo" Willans Pub. Parrish, London 1956.

EJECT, EJECT by Bryan Philpott, ISBN0-7110-1804-9, Published by Ian Allan

EJECT- The complete history of US aircraft escape systems by Jim Tuttle, Pub. Motorbooks, 2002, ISBN 0760311854.

The Story of an Enterprise. Pub Martin Baker Aircraft Co Ltd 1955. This is a rare book which was given away by the company.

Engineering for Life- The story of Martin Baker by John Jewell. Pub by Martin Baker Aircraft Co Ltd.

United States Combat Aircrew Survival Equipment by Michael S Breuninger, pub. Schiffer Military History Books. Library of Congress No.93-90752

Bone Domes and Speed Jeans by Hans and Mike Halberstadt. Pub by Windrow and Green. ISBN 1 85915 081 0

No Escape Zone by Nick Richardson. Pub Little, Brown and Co London 2000. ISBN 0 316 85314 3

Jump For It, The story of the Caterpillar Club by Gerald Bowman. Pub by White lion. ISBN 85617 739 3.

Wild Blue by David Fisher and William Garvey. Pub by Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 1 84018 403 5

Sir James Martin, The authorised biography of the Martin Baker ejection seat pioneer.

by Sarah Sharman. Pub by Patrick Stephens Ltd 1996, ISBN 1 85260 551 0.

Test Pilots by Wolfgang Späte. Pub by Independent Books. ISBN 1-872836-20-8.

This book gives a long awaited insight into the research and development undertaken by the Germans during WW2. It is a matter of record that over 60 live ejections by Luftwaffe pilots took place during the conflict.

JUMP FOR IT by Gerald Bowman (Stories of the Caterpillar Club). Pub Great Pan Books 1957.

Contains a small part about early ejections.


by James J Halley MBE Pub. Air Britain Publications. ISBN 0 81530 290 4

M L Aviation Ltd (A Secret World)

by Graham Carter. Published by Keyham Books (ISBN 0 9527715 6 X) 2006.

Tells the story of M L Aviation who also built early ejection seats. Good coverage of the research and development in this field by the company.





Generations of Seat Designs

First Generation - (1940-1965) These seats were purely ballistic operation with a compressed air, mortar, or rocket cartridge providing a single force to remove the seat and occupant from the aircraft. In early generation 1 seats, the occupant had to deploy the parachute manually. In later seats this became an automatic function. Examples of first Generation seats would be the Saab Mk 1 and the Martin Baker Mk 1-5 seats.

Second Generation - (1965-1975) Accumulated information had shown that a catapult alone would put too much force/acceleration on the occupant to survive an ejection without significant injury. Also, the end users of the seats were looking for zero/zero performance and performance at high speed. To accomplish this, a rocket sustainer was added. The catapult would operate from 0.15 to 0.25 seconds to keep the initial acceleration under 10G. The rocket sustainer would then act for an additional 0.20 to 0.40 seconds. The Martin Baker Mk 7 and the Douglas Escapac seats would be examples of this generation.

Third Generation - (1975-present) Automated features had been added to seats such as drogue chutes, parachute deployment based on altitude, and automatic deployment of survival gear since the first generation. But the advances in electronics allowed a computer to be placed into the seat and control the functions based on readings from sensors. Pitot - static systems, gyroscopic stabilizers, and pilot weight indicators were added to give information to the seat computer, extending the ejection envelope and improving crew survivability. Representative examples of the third generation are the Martin Baker Mk 14, The McDonnell Douglas ACES II, and the Stencil S4S.

Fourth Generation - (present) Research continues on expanding the envelope for the systems. Martin - Baker Aircraft, Boeing (McDonnell Douglas), and the former Soviet Union have either tested or placed into service seats featuring vectored thrust, flow generators, or variable thrust rockets.