The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2015, 19:15
by lamoey
How it Works: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Image

Long'ish article about the ejection seat at the link.

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/how-it- ... 10046950=1

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2015, 19:24
by spazsinbad

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2015, 11:51
by spazsinbad
I wonder what the recommendation is for 'underwater ejection' for the F-35s?


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2015, 13:39
by sferrin
spazsinbad wrote:I wonder what the recommendation is for 'underwater ejection' for the F-35s?



Or an F-16 for that matter. Slamming into the canopy would not be fun. :|

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2015, 13:59
by Dragon029
Keep in mind the F-35 canopy shatters during ejection, so it'll be less slamming into the canopy and more slamming into a deluge / ceiling of water.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2015, 17:19
by smitty14
Inverted underwater ejection sounds horrifying.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2015, 18:17
by spazsinbad
Safer Ejection Seats
Sep 2015 Keith Button

"Ejecting from a warplane has always been hazardous, but many pilots face more danger than ever. That’s because their ejection seats weren’t designed to accommodate modern helmets and displays. Keith Button looks at ideas for solving the problem...."

Source: AEROSPACE AMERICA/SEPTEMBER 2015

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 03:29
by spazsinbad
75 Years Ago - who'da thunk. Testing An Aircraft Ejection Seat (1940)


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2015, 16:40
by spazsinbad
From the 'basement dweller' thread today via 'sferrin': viewtopic.php?f=22&t=25623&p=303396&hilit=document#p303396
Public Affairs Guidance F-35A
14 Sep 2015 USAF PR

Q11: I hear that there is a new weight restriction for the pilots who fly the F-35, and some pilots are now grounded. Is that true?
A11: On 27 August 2015, the U.S. Services restricted F-35 pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from operating the aircraft due to an increased risk of injury that could occur in a low speed ejection. This is an ejection seat issue and is not related to the differences between the Gen II and Gen III helmets. The weight restriction currently affects at least one F-35 pilot. All F-35s use the same Martin Baker US16E ejection seat system. The safety of our pilots is paramount and the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, and Martin Baker continue to work this issue with the US Services and International Partners to reach a solution as quickly as possible.

Source: http://cdn.warisboring.com/images/F-35- ... idance.pdf (150Kb)

Graphic from 19 Nov 2010 http://www.lockheedmartinuk.co.uk/data/ ... Arev16.pdf (2.5Mb)

QUOTE BELOW FROM THE PDF IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THIS POST.
Safer ejection seats
Sep 2015 Keith Button

"...According to Air Force figures, from 1995 to 2014, there were 203 ejections using ACES 2, 93 percent of which occurred at speeds of 518 miles per hour or less, which is considered the safe envelope for ACES 2 ejections. Of the 189 ejections within the envelope, 12 percent resulted in fatalities or other injuries from windblast, ejection shock, parachute landing, hitting the ground or objects during ejection and from burns or hypothermia.

Nevetheless, the March Pentagon report concluded that the helmet-mounted cueing system and night-vision goggles don’t significantly increase the risk of injury during ejection, so long as the aircrew members follow proper ejection procedures detailed in their flight manuals.

They should remove night vision goggles before ejection and properly wear their helmet at all times. The Navy, according to the report, restricts air crew members who weigh 136 pound or less from wearing certain helmet-mounted devices because of the increased risk of injury...."

Source: AEROSPACE AMERICA/SEPTEMBER 2015 [available above: download/file.php?id=21586 ]

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2015, 17:29
by spazsinbad
A repeat but worth repeatin'.
Bang Seat Battle
16 Sep 2010 Bill Sweetman

“...The JSF ejection system design is challenging in several ways. The seat has to deliver high performance because a STOVL landing problem could mean ejecting at low altitude from a descending aircraft that is also yawed or pitched out of level flight.

The JSF is also the first fighter designed to accommodate 95 percent of the potential US pilot population, with body weights from 103 to 245 pounds. Together, these two requirements mean that the lightest pilots experience most acceleration....

...an airbag system stowed in the headrest, which deploys to either side of the pilot's head, preventing lateral movement, and then controls the slam-back by deflating at a fixed rate....”

Source: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 16:08
by spazsinbad
Exclusive: F-35 Ejection Seat Fears Ground Lightweight Pilots
01 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman and Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON — Concerns about increased risk of injury to F-35 pilots during low-speed ejections have prompted the US military services to temporarily restrict pilots who weigh less than 136 pounds from flying the aircraft, Defense News has learned.

During August tests of the ejection seat, built by Martin-Baker, testers discovered an increased risk of neck injury when a lightweight pilot is flying at slower speeds. Until the problem is fixed, the services decided to restrict pilots weighing under 136 pounds from operating the plane, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, F-35 integration office director, told Defense News in a Tuesday interview.

“The bottom line is, they have to get into the realm where the seat allows that weight of a pilot less than 136 pounds [to] safely eject out of the airplane,” Harrigian said. “They found some areas that particularly at slower speeds they were concerned about, so that drove the restriction that we have right now.”

At least one F-35 pilot is affected by the weight restriction, according to Joint Program Office spokesman Joe DellaVedova, who added that the rule was announced Aug. 27. The issue does not affect the first and only female F-35 pilot, Lt. Col. Christina Mau, 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, he noted.

The ejection seat issue is not related to the new Generation 3 helmet, built by Rockwell Collins and delivered to the JPO in August, DellaVedova said.

In August, testers discovered that when a lighter pilot is flying the aircraft, the ejection seat slightly over-rotates, Col. Todd Canterbury, who was commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing until June, told Defense News on Wednesday. The team is concerned that when the parachute opens, a lightweight pilot may not be in the optimal body position to eject out of the plane, he said.

“It’s that light pilot and the center of gravity of the seat,” said Canterbury, who flew F-35 software versions 1B, 2A, 3i and 2B. “It all has to do with getting that center of gravity kind of located within the window, we call it, for safe seat-man separation.”


Canterbury stressed that the weight restriction is an interim fix, and the JPO is working closely with aircraft builder Lockheed Martin and Martin-Baker on a permanent solution.

Pilot safety is the services’ top priority, officials stressed.

“Safety is our No. 1 concern and we want to make sure that we give the warfighter the safest ejection seat capable out there,” Canterbury, now the chief of the F-35 Integration Office Operations Division, said on Tuesday. “As we discover things, we can weigh the risk of what’s acceptable and what’s not, and right now, until we fully understand the implication of the seat, safety is our No. 1 priority.”

The JPO, Martin-Baker and Lockheed Martin are working “seven days a week, 24 hours a day” to lift the restriction, DellaVedova said. Like most modern fighter jets, the F-35's ejection seat is meant to accommodate pilots who weigh 103 pounds to 245 pounds.

“That’s our plan, that’s the requirement, and that’s what were working with the program office on,” Harrigian said.

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /73102528/






Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 17:55
by SpudmanWP
Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 18:01
by spazsinbad
:devil: :mrgreen: Yeah a bit of depleted uranium bobweight around the brain box cogs will do wonders for their IQ also. :mrgreen: :devil:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:04
by SpudmanWP
Would that qualify as an armored cockpit?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:05
by neptune
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


Another perfectly good reason why "WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE FIGHTER PILOTS". they are too small. If you don't think so, ask a Marine! :poke: :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:09
by archeman
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


STOVL Weight Attack Team, or SWAT was offering bonus $$$ for those who came up with ideas to lower the 'B' weight

http://www.airspacemag.com/military-avi ... 83/?page=1

I wonder how much that same group would $$$ penalize you if you put forward that 'Add Lump of Weight' idea???

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:19
by tritonprime
neptune wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


Another perfectly good reason why "WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE FIGHTER PILOTS". they are too small. If you don't think so, ask a Marine! :poke: :D


Now that's trolling.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:21
by spazsinbad
neptune wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


Another perfectly good reason why "WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE FIGHTER PILOTS". they are too small. If you don't think so, ask a Marine! :poke: :D

RONG! Women will be well suited as F-35 'brainpower pilots' - MENTAL MIDGETS need not apply.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 20:38
by SpudmanWP
On the women as pilots issue, the one pilot that has been temporary kept from flying is a man.

On the weight issue, it would be a temporary counterweight that would change based on who is the pilot. It (pilot + counterweight) would never exceed the max weight allowed for a pilot so SWAT issues do not come into play. In other words, if the pilot weighs 116 then add a 20lb weight to the headrest to total 136, the current minimum. If a pilot weighs more than 136, no counterweight is needed.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2015, 22:46
by lookieloo
spazsinbad wrote:
neptune wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


Another perfectly good reason why "WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE FIGHTER PILOTS". they are too small. If you don't think so, ask a Marine! :poke: :D

RONG! Women will be well suited as F-35 'brainpower pilots' - MENTAL MIDGETS need not apply.
Not seeing the problem here. Most American women haven't weighed 135 pounds since since age-12.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 02 Oct 2015, 11:27
by treebeard
Lookieloo is right;

The issue does not affect the first and only female F-35 pilot, Lt. Col. Christina Mau, 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, he noted.

Still in doubt whether this statement constitutes a faux pas on other fronts though... :wink:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Oct 2015, 00:52
by thepointblank
The 136lb minimum weight limit of the F-35's ejection seat is FYI, the exact same as the minimum weight limit for the F/A-18's NACES limit as well. The NACES seat nude body weight limits are 136 lb minimum and 213 lb maximum.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Oct 2015, 02:38
by count_to_10
archeman wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?


STOVL Weight Attack Team, or SWAT was offering bonus $$$ for those who came up with ideas to lower the 'B' weight

http://www.airspacemag.com/military-avi ... 83/?page=1

I wonder how much that same group would $$$ penalize you if you put forward that 'Add Lump of Weight' idea???

Well, we are talking about pilots that are saving that weight anyway...

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Oct 2015, 03:16
by spazsinbad
I'll look for the Hornet/Super NACES info also so bear with - meanwhile here is some old info about the NACES ejection seat in the T-45A from 1999 PDF which is attached because the download URL is dangerous: AND... WTF is a CNO? This info is not in the PDF and may be elsewhere but WTF? :mrgreen: Chief of Naval Operations? :mrgreen: So I'll guess it is the even older ejection seat? :mrgreen:

Some good facts here such as:
The Ejection Site Fascinating Facts

"...At least one woman pilot has successfully ejected using an ACES II ejection seat. The exact number of female ejectees is changing as more women are involved in military aviation. Women are known to have ejected from a T-45A using a Mk. 14 NACES seat..."

Source: http://www.ejectionsite.com/ffacts.htm


https://www.cnatra.navy.mil/ebrief/docu ... TS%20(.167)/LINKS/NACES%20SEAT.PDF

T-45A NACES Ejection Seat 1999
"Seat performance, weight limits, and envelope for optimum ejection 1.3.5.1.3
A. Seat performance
1. +Gz Delivered a. Sustained - 12-18 +Gz acceleration
NOTE: These values are for the 98 percentile and 3 percentile aviators.
2. Human tolerances a. Sustained - 20-25 +Gz acceleration

3. “Zero-Zero” ejection
a. Ground level with no forward airspeed
b. Will travel approximately 155 ft in the vertical direction for the 98 percentile aviator and 200 ft for the 3 percentile aviator
c. Use “Zero-Zero” as a last resort only
B. Seat weight limits
1. The NACES nude body weight limits are 136 lb minimum and 213 lb maximum
2. The CNO nude body weight limits are 100 lb minimum and 235 lb maximum

NOTE: Being underweight puts one at increased risk of acceleration injury, and being overweight puts one at risk of inadequate ejection.

C. Envelope for optimum ejection
1. Altitude - above 2,000 ft
2. Attitude - straight and level (the NACES is NOT a vertical seeking seat)
3. Airspeed - 325 KIAS or below
NOTE: These values are for “optimum” ejection only. They are not required for a successful ejection."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Oct 2015, 03:59
by spazsinbad
SupaDupaHornet Ejection Seat details (will attach NATOPS 24 PDF pages for just this part) from:
NATOPS FLIGHT MANUAL NAVY MODEL F/A-18E/F 165533 AND UP AIRCRAFT
15 Sep 2008 USN

"...17.1.1 Ejection Seat Restrictions. During ejection seat development and testing, the SJU-17(V) 1/A, 2/A, and 9/A NACES seats were qualified for use by aviators with nude weights from 136 to 213 pounds, while the SJU-17A (V)1/A, 2/A, and 9/A NACES seats were qualified for use by aviators with nude body weights from 136 to 245 pounds. The minimum and maximum nude body weights allowed by OPNAVINST 3710.7 Series for those on aviation duty are 100 pounds and 235 pounds, respectively.

Therefore, a gap exists between the ejection seat certified weight range and the weights of the current aviator population.

WARNING
• Operation of the ejection seat by personnel weighing less than the qualified minimum nude weight, or more than the maximum qualified weight (noted above), subjects the occupant to increased risk of injury.
• An increased risk of severe injury or death during parachute landing fall (PLF) exists with surface winds exceeding 25 knots. High surface winds contribute directly to total landing velocity. When time permits, select parachute steering and turn into the wind to reduce landing velocity.
• Pilots should be trained in additional ejection risks associated with JHMCS. Ejection with JHMCS may cause severe or fatal injury.

The ejection seat catapult was designed for the qualified weight range only. Ejection seat stability is directly related to occupant restraint. All occupants should be properly restrained in the seat by the torso harness for optimum performance and minimum injury risk. Inertial reel performance may be degraded for occupants outside of the certified weight range

17.1.1.1 Injury Risks - Nude Weight Less than 136 Pounds. Lighter weight occupants are subject to a higher risk of injury due to the following factors:

1. Excessive pull back during inertial reel retraction.
2. Poor positioning during ejection.
3. Greater acceleration during catapult firing.
4. Higher parachute opening shock during ejections near the upper end of Mode 1 (approaching 300 KCAS).
5. Seat instability during drogue deployment during ejections above 300 KCAS.

WARNING
Lighter weight aircrew have greater risk of neck injury during ejection while using the JHMCS configuration. Minimum nude aircrew weights authorized to fly with the JHMCS helmet system is 136 pounds. Aircrew weighing less than the authorized minimum nude weight are restricted from flying with the JHMCS helmet system...."

Source: http://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-EF-000.pdf (19.5Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Oct 2015, 04:37
by spazsinbad
Hornet NATOPS Sep 2008 NACES Ejection Seat details with a 39 PDF page extract attached.
NATOPS FLIGHT MANUAL NAVY MODEL F/A-18A/B/C/D 161353 AND UP AIRCRAFT
15 Sep 2008 USN

"Chapter 17 EJECTION
"...Whenever possible, ejection airspeed should be limited to a maximum of 400 KCAS when flying with the JHMCS helmet system.
WARNING
The JHMCS configuration can contribute to increased neck loads during ejection, particularly at moderate to high speeds. Generally, neck loads increase as ejection airspeeds increase and may cause severe or fatal injury. Aircrews should eject at the lowest possible airspeed to minimize neck and injury loads.
NOTE
Aircrew will brief system peculiarities and potential injury from out of position and high speed ejections prior to each flight when using A/A24A-56 JHMCS lightweight HGU-55 A/P helmet....

...During ejection seat development and testing, the following seats were qualified for the respective minimum and maximum nude weight ranges for aviators listed here: SJU-5/A, 6/A, and SJU-17(V) 1/A, 2/A, and 9/A seats - 136 lb to 213 lb. SJU-17A(V) 1/A, 2/A, and 9/A seats - 136 lb to 245 lb.

• Operation of the ejection seat by personnel weighing less than the qualified minimum nude weight or more than the maximum qualified weight (noted above) subjects the occupant to increased risk of injury.
• Aircrew should be trained in additional ejection risks associated with JHMCS. Ejection with JHMCS may cause severe or fatal injury.

17.1.1 General Injury Risks.
1. Ejection seat stability is directly related to occupant restraint. All occupants should be properly restrained in the seat by their torso harness for optimum performance and minimum injury risk.
2. Inertia reel performance may be degraded for occupants outside of the qualified weight range. Lighter occupants may be injured during retraction, and both light and heavy occupants may experience poor ejection positions, resulting in an increased risk of injury during ejection....

...17.1.2 Injury Risks For Lighter Weight Crewmembers.
1. The ejection seat catapult was designed for the ejection seat qualified weight range.
2. For SJU-5/A and 6/A seats only:
a. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are subject to a higher risk of injury on the ejection seat catapult due to greater accelerations.
b. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at risk of parachute entanglement at low speeds.
c. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at greater risk of injury due to seat instability before main parachute deployment.

3. For SJU-17(V)1/A, 2/A, and 9/A seats only:
a. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are subject to a higher risk of injury on the ejection seat catapult due to greater accelerations.
b. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at risk of injury during ejections near the upper end of mode 1 (approaching 300 knots) due to high parachute opening shock.
c. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at greater risk of injury during ejections above 300 knots due to instability during drogue deployment.
4. For SJU-17A(V)1/A, 2/A, and 9/A seats only:
a. Occupants weighing less than 100 pounds are subject to a higher risk of injury on the ejection seat catapult due to greater accelerations.
b. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at risk of injury during ejections near the upper end of mode 1 (approaching 300 knots) due to high parachute opening shock.
c. Occupants weighing less than 136 pounds are at greater risk of injury during ejections above 300 knots due to seat instability during drogue deployment.
WARNING
Lighter weight aircrew have greater risk of neck injury during ejection while using the JHMCS configuration. Minimum nude aircrew weights authorized to fly with the JHMCS helmet system is 136 pounds. Aircrew weighing less than the authorized minimum nude weight are restricted from flying with the JHMCS helmet system...."

Source: https://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-ABCD-000.pdf (17Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2015, 21:09
by spazsinbad
Geebus - here comes the hammer - ritely or rongly. A LONG POST BEST READ AT SOURCE if one has not read the earlier.
F-35 Fatal Ejection Fear Riles Congress
04 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman

"WASHINGTON — Concern is mounting on Capitol Hill after recent tests revealed a lightweight F-35 pilot’s neck could snap when ejecting at certain speeds.

The fears focus on the Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat. During testing of the new Generation 3 helmet this summer, testers discovered the risk of fatal neck injury when a lighter pilot ejects during slower-speed flights, according to a source with knowledge of the program. Testers discovered the ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test dummies, the source said....

...Since the issue emerged, lawmakers have vowed to push for increased oversight of the F-35, with one congresswoman condemning the program for “malpractice.” Rep. Jackie Speier, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations, slammed the Pentagon for rushing tests to field the plane prematurely.

“We’re seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35’s ejector seats weren’t tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft, and the Pentagon rushed to field them prematurely. This is yet another example of the kind of procurement malpractice we should be avoiding,” the California Democrat said in an email to Defense News last week.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces pledged to hold an oversight hearing on the issue.

“We're having an F-35 hearing scheduled for Oct. 21. I'm certain it will show up then,” Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said, noting that he was not previously aware of the ejection seat concern. “I am going to have an oversight hearing on this."...

...The ejection seat issue is not related to the new Generation 3 helmet, built by Rockwell Collins and delivered to the JPO in August, DellaVedova said. But a source with knowledge of the program said the added weight of the new helmet compared to the Gen 2 version aggravates the ejection seat issue.

A standard ejection is a two-stage event, according to Lockheed’s F-35 website. First, an explosive charge or rocket motor integrated with the seat breaches the windscreen canopy. Second, the seat and pilot are launched upward via a rail system through the opening at a jarring rate of 12-14 Gs.

In August, testers discovered that when a lighter pilot is ejecting, the Martin-Baker seat rotates forward a bit too much, according to the source. That forward motion combined with the force of the ejection proved too much for the lighter dummies, snapping their necks....

...“To be honest, it doesn’t affect us at all because all our pilots weigh above 136 pounds, and to my knowledge there is only one Air Force pilot that weighs less than that, at Eglin,” Matherne said in an Oct. 1 interview.

For at least one international partner, the new weight restriction is not a concern. None of Norway’s F-35 pilots beginning to train on the country's new jets at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, are affected by the weight limit, according to Col. Jarle Nergård, program manager for operations with the Norwegian F-35 Program Office.

Since the Norwegian Air Force has even tighter weight restrictions on its current F-16 fleet, “there isn’t a single fighter pilot in the Norwegian Air Force that is affected” by the 136-pound restriction, Nergård told Defense News in an email.

Nergård also said discoveries like this are to be expected in a test program, and that the F-35 is meant to accommodate a greater range of pilot body types and weights than legacy fighter aircraft.

“The incredible amount of force involved once you have an ejection means that you are playing at the limits of human tolerance,” Nergård said. “As partners, we do support the interim actions by the US Air Force as they are directly affected by the issue. We all have the safety of our pilots as our No. 1 priority."...

...Martin-Baker could not be reached for comment, and Lockheed Martin referred questions to the JPO."

PHOTO: "A composite image of an F-35 ejection seat test conducted by Martin-Baker. (Photo: Martin-Baker)" http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f5165ed ... FSTRIP.jpg


Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /73219260/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 01:14
by quicksilver
“We’re seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35’s ejector seats weren’t tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft..."

Oh really? What's a normal aircraft in your experience Rep. Speier?

Some years ago (iirc 2001) NAVAIR issued a similar restriction on the seats in the Hornet, Harrier (and Prowler, I think). This action came after each had been in service for decades.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 01:28
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:Why not simply add a counterweight near the headrest to shift the COG higher?

I was thinking the same thing but wouldn't that effectively result in lowering the upper threshold of 245lbs by the amount of the counterweight? Larger pilots would be excluded if that's the case.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 02:35
by SpudmanWP
Only put in the counter weight for pilots that need it.

You should easily be able to design one that mounts with two tabs & two clamps.

In & out in less than one minute.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 02:39
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:Only put in the counter weight for pilots that need it.

You should easily be able to design one that mounts with two tabs & two clamps.

In & out in less than one minute.

Yeah, that seems an option. Or put skinny pilots on a weight-gaining diet. :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 02:40
by SpudmanWP
Fill their pockets with lead shot bags.

Just don't eject over water :)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 02:47
by XanderCrews
popcorn wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Only put in the counter weight for pilots that need it.

You should easily be able to design one that mounts with two tabs & two clamps.

In & out in less than one minute.

Yeah, that seems an option. Or put skinny pilots on a weight-gaining diet. :D


Gallon of milk a day.GOMAD does wonders

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 17:33
by XanderCrews
SpudmanWP wrote:On the women as pilots issue, the one pilot that has been temporary kept from flying is a man.
.


My high school weight lifting coach would have a serious debate about any male weighing less than 136 pounds being a "Man" but that a matter of definition --Hiyoo!!

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 19:07
by spazsinbad
:mrgreen: :roll: "...GOMAD does wonders." Is that because of 'mad cow disease'? <sigh> :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 20:56
by h-bomb
Well this is dumb question.

Is the issue the seat or the helmet? This is the same seat in the T-38 upgrade and T-6 trainers. These do not have this limit, I do not believe they use the heavier helmets with HMDs integrated.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 21:39
by checksixx
h-bomb wrote:Well this is dumb question.

Is the issue the seat or the helmet? This is the same seat in the T-38 upgrade and T-6 trainers. These do not have this limit, I do not believe they use the heavier helmets with HMDs integrated.


Easy question actually. The issue is the weight on the head due to the helmet.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 22:09
by spazsinbad
So. Because two reports say this on page one of this thread 'it is the helmet'? For Fsake Puhleez.
"...This is an ejection seat issue and is not related to the differences between the Gen II and Gen III helmets....

"...The ejection seat issue is not related to the new Generation 3 helmet, built by Rockwell Collins and delivered to the JPO in August, DellaVedova said.

In August, testers discovered that when a lighter pilot is flying the aircraft, the ejection seat slightly over-rotates, Col. Todd Canterbury, who was commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing until June, told Defense News on Wednesday. The team is concerned that when the parachute opens, a lightweight pilot may not be in the optimal body position to eject out of the plane, he said.

“It’s that light pilot and the center of gravity of the seat,” said Canterbury, who flew F-35 software versions 1B, 2A, 3i and 2B. “It all has to do with getting that center of gravity kind of located within the window, we call it, for safe seat-man separation.”

Canterbury stressed that the weight restriction is an interim fix, and the JPO is working closely with aircraft builder Lockheed Martin and Martin-Baker on a permanent solution...."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 22:36
by archeman
SpudmanWP wrote:Only put in the counter weight for pilots that need it.

You should easily be able to design one that mounts with two tabs & two clamps.

In & out in less than one minute.


Because a modern combat aircraft cockpit is so roomy and uncluttered?
Ejection seats are kinda like the back seat of your 72 Nova that you can just adjust with a screw gun and hole saw?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 22:57
by SpudmanWP
Two bars (one for each side of the seat) of lead 2"x2"x5" = 20 lbs

There is plenty of space for something that small on the sides or even back of the seat.

Image




Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 23:07
by spazsinbad
:devil: Tomassetti is a shortarse for sure. :mrgreen: However as the quotes above state it is the center of gravity of the seat/light pilot that is the issue. Probably the problem is easily solvable with extra testing/effort. Dunno. However putting extra weights at convenient for now places on the ejection seat may not be feasible - but I do not claim to know.

As some have pointed out - aircrew size/weight restrictions have been with us for some time. Yes the MB F-35 seat was designed to certain limits which have been modified for the moment. I recall seeing something some time back about the new HMDS and airspeed on ejection issues that have been solved. It will work out in the end. :mrgreen:

Old Sea Venom Martin-Baker Four seats would take off pilot toes in certain circumstances so they wore steel capped boots made of suede, which then had to have a side zipper (as well as laces) for quick removal in water or where ever. Maybe some deep sea diving LEAD BOOTS will fix the F-35 midget seat problem? :devil:

WOW 'SWP' that last video for the F-35 MB seat is excellent.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 23:15
by archeman
spazsinbad wrote: :devil: . Maybe some deep sea diving LEAD BOOTS will fix the F-35 midget seat problem? :devil:


I wouldn't love to see the water ejection training videos with pilots wearing lead boots trying to recover in the pool.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 23:23
by spazsinbad
:devil: They have emergency oxygen to breathe until they don't - then problem solved - no? :doh: Watching that last video posted by 'SWP' above I was amazed at the realife speed violence of the seat tumbling along with pilot parachute (depending on circumstances of the ejection as seen in the video). Some A4G pilots ejected almost zero/zero with comments about the violence of their experience. It ain't for the faint hearted and then have to get untangled in the water immediately afterwards. One of our pilots was almost dragged underwater by the tail of the sinking aircraft getting tangled up with the parachute rigging temporarily. Sometimes luck is all one has along with good training and quick reflexes and all the other good stuff - a good zero/zero seat (& a plane guard helo rescue diver toot sweet). :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 00:39
by spazsinbad
One reason why old seats had two handles (becuz they could) was to use the upper handle to help keep the head/helmet combo protected from windblast with the blind that came down with the handle pull but also to help keep the head upright and back straight - for the use of. Note how LCDR Kevin Finan USN Exchange pilot (ex-F-14) is checking his toes - at this moment - for clearage). Story available here: http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/fi ... 1-1979.pdf (10.8Mb) OR with much more in my PDFs online but this'll do.... Kev is seeable in the top left of the last photo in sequence corner in a full chute before hitting that oggin soonish like. :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 01:16
by checksixx
spazsinbad wrote:So. Because two reports say this on page one of this thread 'it is the helmet'? For Fsake Puhleez.


It is, and it isn't. I can understand how you or anyone else would find it confusing. The seat has NO issues. The helmet has NO issues. Combined, with a light weight pilot, if the seat over rotates...it COULD snap the pilots neck due to the increased weight of the helmet over other standard helmets. The permanent fix will be a 'software' fix for the seat.

Cheers

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 01:41
by spazsinbad
'checksixx' You make your claim and I make mine. I go on the reports as stated - you made an unqualified claim earlier - which you have now qualified. Good on you.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 02:52
by count_to_10
checksixx wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:So. Because two reports say this on page one of this thread 'it is the helmet'? For Fsake Puhleez.


It is, and it isn't. I can understand how you or anyone else would find it confusing. The seat has NO issues. The helmet has NO issues. Combined, with a light weight pilot, if the seat over rotates...it COULD snap the pilots neck due to the increased weight of the helmet over other standard helmets. The permanent fix will be a 'software' fix for the seat.

Cheers

Or, the problem exists for every other implementation of the seat, regardless of helmet, but the F-35 is the only aircraft they ever bothered checking for this problem.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 02:58
by quicksilver
Un-bleeping believeable.

What do you not understand about 'not due to the differences between Gen II and Gen III' ?

Why don't all of you experts on ejection seat matters go to the government with your good ideas. I'm sure they await with bated breath...

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Oct 2015, 23:40
by oldiaf
Hill AFB has no pilot with light weight : All our 5 F-35A pilots are above 136-pounds :-
http://www.standard.net/Military/2015/1 ... r-Hill-AFB

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 07 Oct 2015, 00:49
by tritonprime
DELETED

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 07 Oct 2015, 01:00
by spazsinbad
It would be GOOD 'tritonprime' IF you would read threads / search the forum before posting OLD news articles about thread topics - thanks. This same article has already been posted on page 2 of this very thread earlier:

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=304486&hilit=riles#p304486

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2015, 18:21
by checksixx
spazsinbad wrote:'checksixx' You make your claim and I make mine. I go on the reports as stated - you made an unqualified claim earlier - which you have now qualified. Good on you.


Uhhh...okay...great....glad you feel better about yourself.... :roll:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2015, 18:24
by checksixx
quicksilver wrote:Un-bleeping believeable.

What do you not understand about 'not due to the differences between Gen II and Gen III' ?

Why don't all of you experts on ejection seat matters go to the government with your good ideas. I'm sure they await with bated breath...


Go ahead and read my post above there sport...and chill.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2015, 21:25
by spazsinbad
Nothing like official spokespersons saying one thing to be contradicted by DOTE & 'other' source 'experts' - newsies luv it eh. Nice zero/zero video though. I'll imagine the ACES 'potential alternate F-35 ejection seat' crowd are going to grab handles on this & pull hard. :mrgreen: ONLY a few excerpts from a very long article are posted below. So best read it all at URL.
F-35's Heavier Helmet Complicates Ejection Risks
14 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman

"WASHINGTON — In the latest hurdle for the Pentagon's F-35 joint strike fighter, testers this summer discovered that a lightweight pilot's neck could snap during a low-speed ejection.

The Joint Program Office blamed the phenomenon on the jet's ejection seat, Martin-Baker's US16E. But interviews conducted by Defense News in recent weeks indicate the added weight and bulk of the new F-35 helmet complicates the problem. It is still unclear whether the blame rests squarely with the helmet, or the seat, or somewhere in between....

...During testing this summer with the Gen III helmet, testers discovered increased risk of injury when a lighter pilot ejects at low speeds, a spokesman for the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation confirmed to Defense News in a recent email. Testers found the ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test mannequins, according to a source with knowledge of the program.

The potentially fatal problem did not occur during previous tests with the slightly lighter Gen II helmets, according to the source.

The problem was discovered this summer after two slow-speed sled tests of the F-35 ejection system failed, according to the DOT&E spokesman. A July sled test of a 103-pound mannequin in July at 160 knots and an August sled test of a 136-pound mannequin at the same speed both failed. The tests were conducted using the Gen III helmet....

..."DOT&E is aware of the two slow-speed sled test failures of the F-35 ejection system in July and August this year with 103lb and 136lb mannequins, respectively, equipped with the new Generation III helmet system," spokesman Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said in an Oct. 9 email. "The F-35 Program Office has determined pilots who weigh less than 136 lbs. are more susceptible to injury than heavier pilots as a result of seat design and the dynamics involved in the ejection sequence, and have restricted any pilots below 136 lbs. from flying the aircraft, regardless of helmet type."

The main physical difference between the helmets is that the Gen III system weighs 5.1 pounds, about six ounces more than the old Gen II helmet, according to the source. This weight increase is primarily due to improvements to the night-vision camera, including better sensors to fix problems with the system's resolution and sensitivity.

DellaVedova stressed that helmet weight was not a factor in the Aug. 27 decision to ground lightweight pilots.

"That was an ejection seat issue discovered during the parachute opening phase and was not related to the differences between the Gen II and Gen III helmets," DellaVedova said. "For lightweight pilots in a low speed ejection condition, there is a possibility the pilot could rotate to a position in the ejection sequence where the parachute opening shock could cause the head to rotate backward."

The Gen III helmet met the JPO's specifications before testing began, Nieuwsma stressed. The ejection problem was discovered during flight tests earlier this year, he said. Lockheed Martin suggested "system workarounds" that could alleviate the problem, for instance adding chin pads, but the JPO decided the best long-term solution was to remove weight from the helmet, he said.

A preliminary design review on the improved helmet is scheduled for December, DellaVedova said. Ideas to reduce helmet weight include the reduction of internal strapping material, as well as removing an external visor. The Gen III Light helmet will weigh about 4.67 pounds, he said.

In addition to designing a lighter helmet, the JPO is looking into two other fixes to reduce the potential for an increased risk of neck injury, DellaVedova said. First, the team is working on installing a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will delay deployment of the main parachute. Also, the program will mount a "head support panel," which is a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers that will protect the pilot's head from moving backwards during the parachute opening. These two fixes will be introduced when the next upgrade of the ejection seat comes online near the end of 2016.

All three fixes will be fully implemented by summer 2017, DellaVedova noted.

But the JPO may not be able to find an easy solution, one expert warned.

The Physics of Ejection... [left all of this out so another reason to read long post at URL below]

...Martin-Baker does not appear to have any pitch control at low speeds. The UK-based company has not responded publicly since Defense News broke the story about the dangers to lightweight pilots earlier this month.

DellaVedova said the JPO and industry has a two-pronged approach to address the pitching problem. The proposed weight switch set for lightweight pilots will keep the drogue chute attached longer to further reduce the speed of the seat before the main parachute deploys. The head support panel, meanwhile, will prevent the potential hyper extension of the neck and protect the head, he said.

Martin-Baker is financing an upcoming ejection seat sled test that will test the head support panel, DellaVedova said.

A bulkier helmet, like the F-35's Gen III, increases the risk of neck injury during both phases of an ejection, because the forward center of gravity brings the pilot's head down. However, removing helmet weight will not solve the basic problem of misalignment of the pilot when the main parachute deploys, the expert said....

...The F-35 helmet is large even compared to today's average HMD. All the information pilots need to complete their missions is projected on the helmet's visor, rather than on a traditional HUD. The latest iteration of the helmet, Gen III, is wide from side-to-side and front-to-back, meaning that if a pilot's head is even slightly off center, a significant amount of weight is displaced.

If a pilot's head is off-center during the first phase of ejection, acceleration of the pilot and seat up the rail, serious neck and spine injuries can occur.

Martin-Baker's F-35 seat, it seems, attempts to fix this problem with airbags on either side of the pilot's head — the same airbags that aggravate the pitching phenomenon that occurs in the second phase of the ejection....

...For the F-35, the low-speed ejection problem is worst with the lightest pilots, from 103 pounds to 135 pounds, and lessens as aircrew weight increases, according to the expert. But the risk does not disappear above 136 pounds, the expert stressed. F-35 pilots above that weight could still experience serious and potentially fatal injury during a low-speed ejection...."

PHOTO: "A Martin-Baker F-35 ejection seat test. (Photo: Martin-Baker) http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f5165ed ... orseat.jpg


Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /73922710/


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2015, 23:24
by Dragon029
They do point out however that the issues did not occur with the Gen II helmets.

Either way though, the fact that the issue with the parachute deployment and the heat snapping backwards is a bit of a surprise to me, and one which can therefore be resolved without making the helmet lighter (even though they intend on doing that); the fabric sheet between the risers in particular seems like a simple yet brilliant way of doing that.

Spaz, would you be able to do a slow-mo of the ejection and parachute deployment in this video from about 0:55 onwards? I'd do it myself, but I don't have the functionality of my desktop right now.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2015, 23:31
by spazsinbad
Which video? The zero/zero video immediately above is very short. Do you mean one of the other videos? Please explain.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2015, 23:34
by Dragon029
Yep woops; I meant this one from about 0:55:


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2015, 00:53
by spazsinbad
I'm making a longer version to have the entire DEEP PURPLE 'Sweet Child in Time' song included at 10 min 25 secs.... :mrgreen: EXIT STAGE [F]RIGHT!


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2015, 02:12
by spazsinbad
Long Play vergin on the ridiculous at 10 minutes 25 seconds - if youse do not like the song just turn the volume off whatever - 11 is betta.


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2015, 16:05
by stobiewan
Fine choice of track :)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2015, 16:07
by spazsinbad
Pretty much a repeat of things already cited in earlier posts but what the heck. I like that we know that 'GRINDER' weighs more than the cut off weight. :mrgreen: And thanks 'stobiewan' - I particularly like the mayhem at the end of the Longie Wersion.
F-35’s ejection seat not an issue
15 Oct 2015 Mitch Shaw

"HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Ongoing F-35 testing has revealed the jet’s ejection seat could cause fatal neck injuries to lighter-weight pilots.

But officials from both Hill Air Force Base and the Pentagon say that while safety is their No. 1 concern, the issue will have little to no impact on current flying operations.

According to the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office, all U.S. services are prohibiting pilots who weigh less than 136 pounds from flying the jet. The restriction was put in place in late August, after testing uncovered an increased risk of injury that could occur during a low-speed ejection.

A Defense News report Oct. 5 said testers discovered that "ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test dummies."

F-35 JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova said in an email that the ejection system in all variants of the F-35 is made by Martin-Baker Aircraft Co., a British company that specializes in ejection seats and other safety-related equipment for the aviation industry.

DellaVedova said his office is working with Martin Baker and F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin to fix the problem as soon as possible, but in the meantime, only one pilot in the F-35 program has been sidelined.

"(For) perspective, the temporary weight restriction only applies to one person," DellaVedova said. "We want to be safe — that’s No. 1. Martin Barker is working 24/7 to make things right."

DellaVedova said the program is "still in the developmental phase," and issues with the jet are constantly discovered and dealt with. DellaVedova cited issues with the jet’s engine, tailhook and helmet as problems that have been discovered and subsequently solved through the testing process.

"This will be solved like all the other discovery issues we’ve conquered," he said. "That’s why we test — to make things better for the warfighter. Our government and industry experts are working to develop a solution to this technical challenge and it will be resolved."

Contrary to some reports, DellaVedova said, the ejection seat issue is not related to the F-35’s high-tech helmet.

Nathan Simmons, spokesman for the 388th Fighter Wing, said the five pilots currently flying F-35 sorties at Hill all exceed the 136-pound threshold...."

Source: http://www.hilltoptimes.com/content/f-3 ... -not-issue

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 01:37
by popcorn
Really a non-issue ergo Congress will hold hearings.LOL

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 16:04
by maus92
The ejection seat issue just got bigger:

EXCLUSIVE: F-35 Ejection Seats Could Endanger Many Pilots
By John M. Donnelly
Roll Call Staff
Oct. 16, 2015, 5 a.m.

"Nearly 1 in 3 pilots who will fly the F-35, the military's $159 million fighter jet of the future, runs a heightened risk of fatal whiplash during an emergency ejection, according to defense officials and internal documents obtained by CQ...."

"According to the September documents from the jet program, for F-35 pilots weighing 135 pounds or less, there is a 98 percent “probability of fatal injury” during ejections from the jet at 160 knots, a typical speed at take-off or landing.
Those lightweight pilots are currently not allowed to fly the F-35 because they are at “high risk,” the documents say. Historical data indicate, according to the documents, that more than 7 percent of Air Force officers fall into this weight category, which is equivalent to that of a lightweight boxer.

The Pentagon has acknowledged that much. However, of far greater concern is data that has not previously been made public about the possible effects of ejection from the F-35 at relatively slow speeds for pilots of more normal size — the welterweights and middleweights of U.S. military aviation, to use the boxing analogy."

"“The at-risk population is pilots weighing between 103 and 165 pounds for all F-35 variants,” wrote Gregg D. Costabile, the F-35 program’s director of engineering...."

"However, some senior Air Force officials are concerned there is even more to the story.

The brass are worried that pilots weighing as much as 199 pounds — if they are wearing the latest F-35 pilot’s helmet, which is heavier than its predecessor — may have a risk of severe neck injury that has yet to be quantified due to a lack of test data, according to a knowledgeable official who requested anonymity.

That’s because no tests have been done to gauge the pressures of ejection on mannequins weighing more than 136 pounds, the officials say...."

http://www.rollcall.com/news/exclusive_ ... one=policy

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 16:54
by spazsinbad
Using Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 all up to date I find that 'ROLL CALL' website problematic with a 'long running script'. Using FireFox helped a little so that eventually I could get all the text. So here it is below for those with issues.
EXCLUSIVE: F-35 Ejection Seats Could Endanger Many Pilots
16 Oct 2015 John M. Donnelly

"Nearly 1 in 3 pilots who will fly the F-35, the military's $159 million fighter jet of the future, runs a heightened risk of fatal whiplash during an emergency ejection, according to defense officials and internal documents obtained by CQ.

What’s more, the Pentagon lacks information to assess the safety of a substantial portion of its remaining pilots.

The Defense Department has acknowledged this risk to its lightest weight pilots. But those who are closer to average weight are also potentially in danger, according to the documents and experts.

This is just the latest of many afflictions to beset the program to acquire 2,457 F-35s for nearly $400 billion, plus about $1 trillion to operate them — the most expensive military initiative in history. Fourteen years into its development, the F-35 program is seven years behind schedule, the cost per plane has roughly doubled and the jets are still plagued by everything from engine fires to structural cracks to software glitches.

But the Pentagon has put virtually all its eggs in the F-35 basket. The jet is the only new manned fighter rolling off U.S. assembly lines. It will be used by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, with a different model for each.

Despite differences among the variants, the services’ planes have much in common with each other — including the same troubled ejection seat, made by Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

Lightweights and Welterweights
An ejection from any fighter jet in flight is a violent, if relatively rare, event. It is also inherently risky. But the ejection seat in the F-35 jet makes it more dangerous than it needs to be, some officials say.

During an ejection from the F-35, the canopy over the pilot is deliberately shattered by an explosive charge. Then the entire seat is blasted skyward with tremendous force. Mannequin tests this summer showed that the lightest F-35 pilots, in particular, face a lethal risk when the F-35 is taking off or landing. The pilots are rotated backward into a position where they face all but certain death from the rocketing parachute's force snapping their heads.

This is “potentially fatal whiplash,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the manager of the F-35 program, in a previously undisclosed summary of the problem written last month.

According to the September documents from the jet program, for F-35 pilots weighing 135 pounds or less, there is a 98 percent “probability of fatal injury” during ejections from the jet at 160 knots, a typical speed at take-off or landing.

Those lightweight pilots are currently not allowed to fly the F-35 because they are at “high risk,” the documents say. Historical data indicate, according to the documents, that more than 7 percent of Air Force officers fall into this weight category, which is equivalent to that of a lightweight boxer.

The Pentagon has acknowledged that much. However, of far greater concern is data that has not previously been made public about the possible effects of ejection from the F-35 at relatively slow speeds for pilots of more normal size — the welterweights and middleweights of U.S. military aviation, to use the boxing analogy.

Indeed, a large percentage of F-35 pilots could find themselves at risk, some in the Pentagon worry. Female pilots, who tend to weigh less than their male counterparts, would be disproportionately affected, experts say.

First, in relatively low-and-slow flight, the probability of fatal injury to pilots weighing up to 165 pounds is 23 percent — a degree of peril that the documents officially term a “serious risk” — and fully 27 percent of male and female officers weigh that much, the program documents indicate.

“The at-risk population is pilots weighing between 103 and 165 pounds for all F-35 variants,” wrote Gregg D. Costabile, the F-35 program’s director of engineering.

An Aug. 27 document, “F-35 System Safety Risk Assessment,” put it this way: “The Serious risk for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds will require acceptance of the Serious risk or further weight restrictions.” That document was signed by Mike Nennmann, a safety executive with Lockheed Martin Corp., the main contractor on the F-35, and Jack Landreth, a safety official with Naval Air Systems Command.

Bogdan, the program manager, signed a document on Sept. 14 indicating he is willing to accept the “serious risk” for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds. In the document, he recommends that U.S. armed services and U.S. allies do the same.

So roughly 7 percent of pilots could be at “high risk” and 27 percent at “serious risk” during ejections near take off or landing — or about a third of personnel — if historical data about Air Force officer weights provide any clue.

However, some senior Air Force officials are concerned there is even more to the story.

The brass are worried that pilots weighing as much as 199 pounds — if they are wearing the latest F-35 pilot’s helmet, which is heavier than its predecessor — may have a risk of severe neck injury that has yet to be quantified due to a lack of test data, according to a knowledgeable official who requested anonymity.

That’s because no tests have been done to gauge the pressures of ejection on mannequins weighing more than 136 pounds, the officials say.

The program office assumes that tests on a 136-pound mannequin can be used to determine the effects on pilots weighing up to 165 pounds. If so, then tests on mannequins heavier than 136 pounds would be needed to gauge the effect on pilots who weigh up to 200 pounds. But those tests have apparently not been done.

What’s more, the only mannequins whose necks were broken in tests were mannequins that wore the latest, heavy helmets, according to officials and documents. That begs the question of what role the heavier helmets played in the testing failures.

Until these questions are settled by additional tests, senior Air Force and Pentagon officials say they will not rest easy about any F-35 pilots.

Hard Questions Ahead
Martin-Baker, the ejection seat manufacturer, was not the Air Force’s first choice to build the ejection seat, Defense Department and industry officials said. The service wanted to stay with the same “ACES” model that had worked on most other warplanes. But after a cost-benefit review, the Pentagon decided to go with Martin-Baker.

Martin-Baker did not return emails requesting comment. A Lockheed Martin spokesman said the F-35 program office is answering queries about the ejection seat.

The F-35 office did not reply to a series of detailed questions but provided a statement. In it, they did not acknowledge even potential problems for pilots weighing more than 136 pounds.

“The safety of our pilots is paramount and the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin and Martin-Baker continue to work this issue with the US Services and International Partners to reach a solution as quickly as possible,” said Joe DellaVedova, the F-35 program spokesman. “There are no flying restrictions with higher weight pilots. The escape system restrictions only affect pilots weighing less than 136 lbs. because lightweight individuals are assessed to have lower neck strength to absorb force.”

Efforts are underway to improve the odds of survival for the lightest pilots, including reducing the weight of the new helmet, according to DellaVedova.

“The potential for an increased risk of neck injury will be reduced with three fixes: installing a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will slightly delay parachute deployment and lessen parachute opening forces; designing a lighter helmet; and mounting a head support panel, which is a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers which will protect the pilot’s head from moving backwards during the parachute opening,” he said.

The congressional defense committees are keeping a keen eye on the ejection seat issue.

A House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing Oct. 21 on the F-35 at which the ejection seat and helmet issues are likely to come up, aides say.

“It’s extremely serious any time a weapons system could pose a danger to its own pilot,” said Jackie Speier, a California Democrat on the committee and one of those most concerned about the ejection seats. “I will be looking into this issue very carefully to make sure that F-35 cockpits are made safe and that the Pentagon is taking appropriate measures in light of the risk. We need to put safety first above the desire to field an untested aircraft.”

Source: http://www.rollcall.com/news/exclusive_ ... 224-1.html

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 18:04
by spazsinbad
I have seen claims that human cadavers are used to test ejection seats. Go here for what looks like a comprehensive history of my family - the 'crash test dummies' - particularly the first sections on ejection seats:
History of Crash Test Dummies

"...Chapter 1 - Past Dummies: 1949 - 1960
1949 - Sierra Sam This 95th percentile adult male dummy was developed by Sierra Engineering Co. under a contract with the United States Air Force, to be used for evaluation of aircraft ejection seats on rocket sled tests. It was subsequently used as a lap shoulder harness test device. The main features of the dummy were durability, serviceability, but poor repeatability. Ifs biofidelity was limited to its human-like exterior shape, body weight and the ranges of motion of its articulated limb joints. Its mechanical type lumbar spine and neck design had little resemblance to their human counterparts. The dummy was built to anthropometric data based on "Anthropometry of USAF Personnel." Its response measurements were limited. Only orthogonal linear head acceleration components were measured However the dummy represented the state-of the-art technology of that early period.

Mark 1-1952- This general purpose 95th percentile dummy was developed by Alderson Research Laboratories for use by U.S. and European Air Force. A full plaster cast was made of a life subject. Cuts through estimated joint centers (palpation method on the life subject), sagittal through shoulders, oblique through hips and transverse at vertebrae 07 and waist determined the basic segmentation. The head was a two-piece cast aluminum skull with cranial cavity to house accelerometers and pressure transducers with integral vinyl skin/foam covering. The neck was a series of precision investment cast semi-spherical ball-and-socket joints held together by a tensioned steel cable. A full ball-and-socket joint between head and neck provided most of the flexion and extension. The dummy featured a lumbar/thoracic spine with ball-and-socket joints separated by phenolic spacers and rubber elements to prevent metal to metal contact and dampen the range of motion. Ribs were constructed of round steel tubing and attached to the individual thoracic vertebrae. The entire assembly was held together by a tensioned steel cable.

Precision torque adjustable joints were used on all major limb joints with access ducts molded through the vinyl skin/foam flesh. The one-piece limb design resulted in elbow, wrist, knee and ankle articulations that were too stiff. The dummy represented ifs human counterpart in shape, size and total weight. Only a few prototypes were made.

1956- Models F, B & P Alderson Research Laboratories designed a modular series of general purpose test dummies to be used for a variety of applications not requiring full range of kinematic and dynamic responses needed in automotive testing, but which had fuller motion capabilities than were needed in most ejection-seat testing. Dummies of this type, frequently with special modifications, were used widely in many kinds of programs. Some of the dummies had elaborate, pressure tight instrument cavities and space-age finishes for project Apollo Landing Testing or for tests of the F-111 Escape Capsule. Others were fitted with frogmen's suits for underwater-escape tests. And still others were fitted for tractor-safety programs. These modular dummies also served in many other special automotive and aircraft programs. The dummies were available in 8 sizes, ranging from 3rd to 98th percentiles (Air Force Anthropometry). Weight distribution was based upon the then Gene-Rally-Accepted Data, with 15 lbs. allowance for instrumentation on models with chest cavities. Additional motion ranges were frequently supplied on a custom basis to meet particular test requirements. All models utilized a series of ball-and-socket joints for motions of the lumbar spine, model "F" had construction similar to the Mark I Dummy.

A simplified pelvic structure (no biofidelity attributes) contained pivot blocks for upper-leg flexion, extension, abduction & adduction motion ranges. All three models had little capability for dynamic simulation; appendages were steel weldments with clevis-type joints and friction washers served as pre4est stabilizers only. The dummies chests had no compliance. A seated-form pelvic section was later added as optional extra to give abdominal compliance and more accurate response to lap belts. The use of these dummies was discontinued in the late 1960's.

1960-The Gard Dummy (Grumman - Alderson Research Dummy) The development of the Gard Dummy became a necessity when aircraft ejection - seats with rocket catapults reached the testing phase. Such seats were designed so that the resultant vector of rocket thrust passes through the center of gravity of the man-seat system. Misalignment would produce a rotational moment and tend to impart a spin to the system. An anthropomorphic test dummy with a misplaced center of gravity might thus cause rejection of an adequate ejection seat or permit qualification of a faulty seat. Alderson Research worked closely with the Grumman Aircraft Engineers to produce a dummy integrated with sensors and telemetry instrumentation so that the combined center of gravity and moment of inertia were correct. The reference standards for matching these two factors were closely-similar groups of subjects for each percentile, placed in a face-curtain-operated ejection seat in the firing position. The instrumented Gard Dummy has a CG which lies (in side view) within a 3116 inch diameter circle surrounding the mean location of the subjects CG's. The Gard dummy is designed to measure many critical parameters of ejection-seat performance, including rotational stability, acceleration histories, and man-seat interface stresses. Instrumentation for the standard Gard sled test subject consists of telemetry package and 12 transducers. In addition, special instrumentation such as microphones and thermocouples determine possible adverse offends on flight personnel during dual ejections, and cameras to provide information on parachute openings. Used in all Navy programs, yielding data which are accurate and reproducible among the various aerospace companies and government facilities concerned with such testing.

Eight sizes are available ranging from the 3rd to 98th percentile in the US Navy and USAF Anthropometry. All models have an identical 25 lb. weight allowance for instrumentation packages. There is a considerable simplification in the design of motion ranges, primarily in the neck, the lumbar region, and the shoulders. These motions are not essential to the tests of the man-seat system, since the significant ejection events occur when the subject is restrained within the seat. The ruggedness of the Gard dummy is unparalleled. Free fall, when a parachute fails to deploy, seldom results in significant damage. All limb joints are fitted with friction washers capable of being set to a 1O-G level. These joints serve mainly as pre4est[?] stabilizers and are not intended for dynamic simulation. The Gard Dummy is still in use....

...Chapter 3 - Past Dummies: 1970 - 1973...
...1972 - Supermorphic Dummy Developed by Alderson Research Laboratories and Vector an Aydin Company for testing of The Yankee Escape System for the Navy EA6B Program. These 3rd and 98th percentile dummies comprised the most realistic effort, so far, in the area of human simulation for hazardous environment test programs, they incorporated the most sophisticated instrumentation system ever utilized in human simulation. Full articulations of limbs, torso, neck and head allowed the dummy to be placed in virtually any position which may be assumed by his human counterpart. Fidelity of joint structures was achieved by utilizing friction clutch assemblies and potentiometers to monitor each joint motion independently. Axial compression data was gathered from the lumbar and thoracic region of the dummy by the use of quartz load cells which could detect minute incremental forces at any force level in its ran9e. The primary reference for the dummy's acceleration was determined by three accelerometers located at the center of gravity of the total dummy. External dynamic pressure was measured by a transducer mounted in the head. Three individual gyros were mounted in the dummy's chest cavity for roll, pitch and yaw rate measurements. The upper thigh areas housed battery power supply so that the dummy system in any test environment could be independent of external cabling for power. The supermorph was a highly instrumented design (36 measurements) but too fragile for ejection testing.

1972- Dynamic Dan A result of a fresh approach to analogs for obtaining human body responses to dynamic loads imposed by tests of manned systems. Dynamic Dan was designed and built by Wyle Laboratories/Payne Division in collaboration with Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories/USAF specifically for testing aircraft ejection seat systems to simulate the response of the seated human body to vertical acceleration. Stiffness of spring forming the spinal column selected so that longitudinal natural frequency and damping characteristics correspond to that of a human body. Access was provided to allow spring of different frequencies to be used for comparative purposes. Bones were composed of a fiberglass material of essentially the same modulus of elasticity as that of human bones, but with greater breaking strength in order to avoid unnecessary damage. Shoulder and hip joints were represented by a ball-socket for universal movement. Other joints were of a clevis type design incorporating motion-limiting stops which when calibrated, gave a measure of the energy absorbed. Each joint was provided with adjustable friction damping to simulate resistance to motion from "relaxed' to "rigid." Dynamic Dan was suited for a number of applications including vibration tests, parachute opening shock test and etc...."

AND ON to Chapters 4 & 5 etc....

Source: http://www.humaneticsatd.com/about-us/dummy-history

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 18:14
by smsgtmac
spazsinbad wrote:Using Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 all up to date I find that 'ROLL CALL' website problematic with a 'long running script'. Using FireFox helped a little so that eventually I could get all the text. So here it is below for those with issues.
EXCLUSIVE: F-35 Ejection Seats Could Endanger Many Pilots
16 Oct 2015 John M. Donnelly

"Nearly 1 in 3 pilots who will fly the F-35, the military's $159 million fighter jet of the future, runs a heightened risk of fatal whiplash during an emergency ejection, according to defense officials and internal documents obtained by CQ....

...Blah Blah Blah


I may find the time to go into more detail on this someplace else, but there are several notable things about this story, and none of them have to do with what is being said right now.

The first thing is that none of the numbers being tossed about indicate what the DIFFERENCE is between legacy (including ACES II) systems and the F-35's MB seat. ALL ejections have serious risks involved which is why they generally only occur when the aircrew determine the risks of staying onboard are greater.

The second thing is that the some of the lower concern weights are outside ANY measured probability of survivability for ANY legacy systems. Those seats were for a much narrower percentage of body shapes and sizes.

The third thing is that unlike legacy systems, the F-35 seat is designed for a 'kinder-gentler' ejection to make the seat safer for women of ANY weight at ALL ejection speeds. The greater S-curve of the female spine makes it more prone to 'snapping' with the more violent extraction of older seats. So this also means the average male pilot cannot leave the plane as fast as he used to even if it is more advisable....because EQUALITY!

The last thing I have time to talk about here is that this non-story had all the feel of a POGO fueled P.A.C.E. attack. And I suspect it now even more after checking the self-licking ice cream cone at play in Donnelly's Twitter feed.
Only thing missing is the likely e-mail, phone call or text that POGO's "Strauss" operation fed him in the first place. I created a hashtag for this kind of crap. If you tweet (I've only played with it) and find this story elsewhere, retweet with #SmellsLikePOGO or #SmellsLikePogo (I covered both punctuations JIC) .

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 20:11
by vanshilar
smsgtmac wrote:I may find the time to go into more detail on this someplace else, but there are several notable things about this story, and none of them have to do with what is being said right now.


Yeah this article just hit Reddit so I posted my bit on Reddit about it, taking some points from this thread as well:

https://www.reddit.com/r/navy/comments/ ... ny_pilots/

One thing that I noticed, but maybe I just didn't understand, is that the article said more than 7% weigh 135 pounds or less. Then it says 27% weigh up to 165 pounds. It adds these up to come up with its "nearly 1 in 3" figure (since this makes 34%). But shouldn't the 7% be part of the 27%? Either it double-counted those people, or it meant that 27% weigh between 136 pounds and 165 pounds but didn't say this explicitly. Neither reflects well on its journalistic quality.

The article also uses a lot of the P.A.C.E. "emotion" words in its first section, like "latest of many afflictions", "Fourteen years into its development, the F-35 program is seven years behind schedule" (I thought the development contracts were awarded in 1996, and I don't recall them saying it would be operational in 2008...maybe they did, dunno), "plagued", "troubled ejection seat", etc. So not neutrally written at all.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2015, 23:55
by spazsinbad
Air Force sets weight restrictions for F-35 pilots
16 Oct 2015 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information

"WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force leaders recently made a decision to restrict pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the F-35A Lightning II due to safety concerns about the ejection seat in a portion of the flight envelope.

The manufacturer of the seat has been conducting tests to ensure the escape system works reliably and safely in all planned conditions. In a recent test, analysis identified an unacceptable risk of neck injury during parachute deployment/opening for lighter-weight pilots at low-speed conditions. The requirement is for the seat to be certified for any pilot weighing between 103 and 245 pounds. An unacceptable level of risk was discovered for pilots weighing less than 136 pounds.

Air Force leaders decided that as an interim solution, no pilot less than 136 pounds will be allowed to fly the aircraft until the problem is resolved. As a result, one pilot was impacted.

There is also an elevated level of risk for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds. While the probability of an ejection in this slow speed regime remains very low, estimated at one in 100,000 flight hours, the risk of a critical injury in that circumstance is currently higher than legacy fighter ejection seats. The Air Force has accepted risk of similar magnitude in previous ejection seats. Based on the remote probability of an event occurring requiring ejection from the aircraft and pilot weight considerations, the airworthiness authorities recommended and the Air Force has accepted continuation of flight for pilots falling within the 136 to 165 pound range. No ejection system is without risk. The Air Force continues to work with the F-35 Joint Program Office to ensure the F-35 system meets this requirement.

“We expect the manufacturer to find and implement a solution,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We must ensure the ejection seat is tested to meet our specifications and weight requirements. We are going to ensure this gets done right.”

Air Force headquarters and wing leadership took immediate action to inform and ensure the safety of the pilots, to address concerns, and ensure the manufacturer meets requirements for the seat. The F-35 is still in a development phase. As discoveries are made, fixes will occur, according to Air Force officials.

Concurrent testing and production of all models of the F-35 are per the plan laid out from the beginning of the program. The intent of concurrency is to get weapon systems to the warfighter as quickly as possible and strengthen manufacturing and supply chains. Several agencies are dedicated to solving the issue. The F-35 Joint Program Office is working in concert with the contractors to explore possible options to fix the ejection seat issue.

“While the F-35 is a program in development, safety is always at the forefront and a built in expectation,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the director of the F-35 Integration Office. “As issues are discovered, the Joint Program Office immediately works with the manufacturer to take action and get fixes in place.”

The Air Force continues to work to identify any potential issues to ensure the best possible capability is delivered to the warfighter.

“The Airmen who maintain, launch, and fly these jets every day are doing tremendous work,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. “Because of their hard work and long days in the training classrooms, briefing rooms, the back shops and on the flightline, we expect to achieve initial operational capability in 2016. However, we won’t cut corners. The weight restriction is an interim fix and the expectation is for industry to reach a solution on the ejection seat as quickly as possible.”

Source: http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... ilots.aspx

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2015, 00:27
by popcorn
So, to summarizè, flying fast jets entails risk. :shock:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2015, 00:46
by spazsinbad
I am all for any issues identified with the F-35 to be fixed ASAP. As indicated the aircraft and systems are in SDD and that entails risk. I am gobsmacked always about the 'sky is falling' outcry when faults are found. Because it interested me greatly (perhaps no others) the hoohaa that came about - because the F-35C hook did not work initially - with detailed descriptions from all and sundry about how it could be fixed from the sublime to the ridiculous... was amazing; and then the 'powers that be' started to reveal how the hook WAS going to be fixed. And lo these many days the hook DUN GOOD. NO?

Similarly I'll expect these 'powers' to DUN GOOD with the ejection seat. IN Martin-Baker I TRUST (for the RAN FAA it dun good with the first ADF night ejection at around 600 feet AGL or less in the circuit at NAS Nowra on a very windy night along with a below deck height ejection after a wire break - both in a Sea Venom - not forgetting three successful ejections in dramatic circumstances from the Macchi MB326H (2 pilots from unrecoverable inverted spin and one pilot at around 200 feet during engine out approach again in very windy conditions).

Can anyone forget the dramatic fillum of our intrepid USN exchange pilot ejecting at deck height from an A4G after arrestor wire break? This was using the Douglas Escapac which - if one reads adverse comments about it online - would think it was a piece of shite zero / zero seat - but the first rocket ejection seat example improved over time. Then lest we forget the heroic ejection from an A4G at the end of a dud catapult stroke to end catapulting from HMAS Melbourne for the A4G for eternity. And so it goes... beware the undertoad [The World According to GARP by John Irving].

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lois-alte ... 76966.html

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2015, 03:00
by Dragon029
Found this:

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a148449.pdf

It's from 1984, but gives weight distributions of 215 female pilots (PDF page 43). I don't know how much has changed since then, but something like 2/3 of all female pilots surveyed weighed 136lb or less (73.3% weighed less than 140.2lb, but 27.3% of all the 215 pilots sat in the 130-140lb range).

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2015, 08:27
by optimist
In 1984 that would have been right. With the onset of overweight or obese in 2/3 of the general population since the 'fat is bad, eat carb' mantra. I would think those numbers of people would be lower in the under 136lb now.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2015, 18:38
by spazsinbad

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2015, 04:30
by 35_aoa
This is not a real problem. The NACES seat in all F/A-18 & E/A-18 series aircraft (also including the T-45 and AV-8B if I recall correctly) is only certified for people between 128-218-ish lbs (those numbers might be slightly off but are in the ballpark within 10 lbs). If you are outside that window, you sign a waiver stating that you understand the risks and will fly anyway. Ejection is a really risky proposition, regardless of weight, and if wearing a JHMCS, even moreso. This will absolutely not affect operational use of the F-35 in any way/shape/form. You can get disqualified from ejection seat aircraft in flight school based on certain body measurements, but that is generally only folks who are already well outside the statistical norms. There are probably less than a dozen female Hornet/Super Hornet pilots in the USN (out of hundreds overall), well less than that on the USMC side (I know of none though surely they exist), and I'd imagine the USAF ratio is similar, though maybe a bit higher in numbers since there are just more AF fighter people. Designing a seat to cater to female aviators is pointless given their numbers, and their ability to sign a waiver in the event they are too light.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2015, 21:22
by spazsinbad
Full article repeats things known already from earlier articles posted here but posted in full for clarity below.
F-35 ejection seat fix expected by 2016 amid safety concerns
19 Oct 2015 James Drew

"The US Air Force is demanding a long-term fix to the Martin Baker US16E (MK16) ejection seat for the Lockheed Martin F-35, after recent tests discovered “unacceptable risk of neck injury” for light-weight pilots during parachute deployment at low speeds.

The issue is serious enough that flying has been restricted to pilots weighing between 61.7kg (136lb) and 111.1kg, removing just one pilot from the programme. But a recent statement by service officials says risk extends to pilots weighing up to 74.8kg, although probability of ejection at low speed has been deemed low and those pilots are still flying.

The issue is compounded by the introduction of a third-generation helmet-mounted display (HMD) produced by VSI, the Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America joint venture. Like other advanced fighter HMDs, the latest VSI helmet is heavy and adds strain on lighter-weight pilots during ejection.

In response, the F-35 Joint Programme Office says it is pursuing three potential fixes, including a switch for lightweight pilots to slightly delay parachute deployment, thereby reducing its opening force. The second and third fixes involve reducing the weight of the helmet and sewing a fabric head support panel between the parachute risers to stop the pilot’s head from moving backward as the parachute opens. Opportunities to reduce the helmet’s weight are scarce, but options include removing some internal strapping material and eliminating one external visor, officials say.

“Both the weight switch modification and the head support panel are scheduled to be introduced when the next upgrade of the ejection seat is available near the end of 2016,” the programme office says in an email. “A preliminary design review on the improved helmet is schedule for December. All three fixes will be fully implemented by summer 2017.”

The air force still expects to achieve initial operational capability in 2016 despite the issue, confirms USAF chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh.

The US16E is designed to be safe for pilots weighing 46.7kg to 111.1kg, and the air force doesn’t appear to be budging on that performance requirement, despite the issue not impacting more than one USAF pilot (who has since moved to another programme) and none from the US Navy or Marine Corps.

A report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General in March shows a similar limitation already exists for the UTC Aero-space Systems Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II (ACES II), which is on 12 platforms including the Lockheed F-16 and Boeing F-15 – both support NVGs and the relatively bulky Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).

The US Navy’s Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat (NACES) SJU-17 is rated for pilots weighing between 61.7kg and 96.6kg, the report notes. That ejection seat is installed in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and both platforms support NVGs and JHMCS.


The US16E is common across the F-35 fleet to include the carrier and short-takeoff-vertical-landing variants, except there are differences in the way the F-35B ejects because of its ability to hover.

According to the air force, there is an “elevated level of risk” for pilots between 61.7kg and 74.8, but the probability of ejection in that slow flight regime is “one in 100,000 flight hours”.

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ty-417937/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 20 Oct 2015, 03:04
by spazsinbad
Seligman keeps on updating the same story - wot keeps on givin' - a cornucopia of speculation until more facts are known I guess - after testin' the 'head retards' for the lightweights etc. But whatever. Go here for UPDATE on the 19th Oct 2015. ("...bow your [weary] head - wait for the richochet..." how appropriate are the 'Sweet Child in Time' vidslomo lyrics?):

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/deep+purpl ... 38756.html
&
IRONICbutterBard: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... addaDaVida "Mondegreen"
USAF: Expanded Risk of Neck Damage to F-35 Pilots
19 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman

"This article, originally published at noon ET Oct. 14, has been updated to include comment from the Joint Program Office, and an Oct. 16 Air Force statement."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /73922710/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 21 Oct 2015, 22:08
by maus92
Official Confirms 'Serious' Risk to Wide Swath of F-35 Pilots
By John M. Donnelly
Roll Call Staff
Oct. 21, 2015, 1 p.m.

"Most F-35 pilots who have to eject during take-off or landing while wearing the latest helmet face a “serious” danger of major injury or death, a senior Air Force official said in a written response to a CQ query.

In addition to pilots weighing 136 pounds or less, “pilots between 136 and 199 are at a serious level risk” when wearing the heavier helmet, the official said.

The statement represents the first official confirmation that the bulk of F-35 pilots, not just the lightest ones, are at risk of dying from whiplash in certain scenarios in the military’s $159 million warplanes — at least unless and until ejection seat flaws are fixed and the helmet’s weight is cut.

It is a risk military officials say they are willing to accept, mostly on the grounds that ejections are rare events."

http://www.rollcall.com/news/official_c ... one=policy

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 21 Oct 2015, 22:33
by spazsinbad
Again a 'long running script' at the 'roll call' fcks over me computer so here is all the text for thusly afflicted ones...
Official Confirms 'Serious' Risk to Wide Swath of F-35 Pilots
21 Oct 2015 John M. Donnelly Roll Call Staff

"Most F-35 pilots who have to eject during take-off or landing while wearing the latest helmet face a “serious” danger of major injury or death, a senior Air Force official said in a written response to a CQ query.

In addition to pilots weighing 136 pounds or less, “pilots between 136 and 199 are at a serious level risk” when wearing the heavier helmet, the official said.

The statement represents the first official confirmation that the bulk of F-35 pilots, not just the lightest ones, are at risk of dying from whiplash in certain scenarios in the military’s $159 million warplanes — at least unless and until ejection seat flaws are fixed and the helmet’s weight is cut.

It is a risk military officials say they are willing to accept, mostly on the grounds that ejections are rare events.

The risk assessment for pilots of average weight is the product of two things, the official said. First, in tests, mannequins weighing 103 and 135 pounds with the heavier new helmet on their heads broke their necks. Second, no testing has yet been done on mannequins between 136 and 244 pounds, the official said.

In other words, 14 years into the F-35 program — the next generation fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — officials have yet to fully test how the physics of ejection would affect a significant portion of the pilot population.

“The program office has chosen not to investigate this weight range yet but plans to as part of the qualification testing of any adopted solution,” the official said.

The issue is likely to arise at a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing Wednesday at which the F-35 program manager and the Air Force’s point man on the plane are set to testify.

“When the Air Force found out the F-35 ejector seat could kill pilots under 136 pounds, the first thing it should have done was order tests to find out whether it could also kill pilots in the other weight classes who are flying these aircraft every day,” said Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of Armed Services who has become vocal on the F-35 jet.

“It is unbelievable that the F-35 program office would not seek out these tests immediately, in order to find out what kind of risks they continue to run with pilots’ lives," she said. "We need to know what kind of danger these pilots are exposed to and how the Air Force plans to mitigate it — and we need to know now.”

Leaders Don’t Acknowledge Risk to All Pilots
Pilots weighing less than 136 pounds are not even allowed to fly the new fighter jet now. That’s because tests have shown those pilots’ center of gravity lands them in an awkward position when the ejection seat’s parachute is released, causing a 98 percent risk of a major and perhaps fatal neck injury during take-off and landing ejections, which occur at speeds near 160 knots, or about 184 miles per hour, according to officials and internal Pentagon documents.

What’s more, the documents show, pilots weighing between 136 and 165 pounds are also at “serious risk” of fatal injury in the same scenarios — a 23 percent chance of major injury or death — due to the physics of the ejection seat, made by Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

The Air Force secretary and chief of staff were quoted in an Oct. 16 statement on the service’s website acknowledging the ban on the lightest-weight pilots (only one such pilot was reportedly affected).

The statement also confirmed the serious risk to pilots weighing from 136 to 165 pounds, which CQ was first to report.

“Based on the remote probability of an event occurring requiring ejection from the aircraft and pilot weight considerations, the airworthiness authorities recommended and the Air Force has accepted continuation of flight for pilots falling within the 136 to 165 pound range,” the Air Force statement said.

However, the Air Force website statement made no mention of any risk to pilots above 165 pounds.

By comparison, the senior Air Force official responded to a CQ query by saying there is a “serious risk” to pilots who weigh up to 199 pounds when ejecting near take-off or landing while wearing the latest “Generation III” pilot helmet. That helmet weighs about 5.1 pounds, [approx. half a pound] more than its predecessors, because it has new and heavier night-vision sensors.

The statement was the first official word supporting information about risks to pilots up to 200 pounds that CQ first reported in articles last week.

Defense Department officials are working hard to reduce the helmet’s weight by about a half-pound. They say those few ounces have a considerable effect on the head of a pilot ejecting at least a dozen times the force of gravity.

Officials are also jerry-rigging [excuse me?!] the ejection seat to reduce the risk to pilots.

Source: http://www.rollcall.com/news/official_c ... one=policy

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 00:20
by quicksilver
Oh really? Another anonymous "official" being quoted as an authority on the matter, and uses docs that are a couple months old before all the analytical homework was complete.

Maybe someone can find the transcript on what the PEO and MajGen Harrigian (CSAF's F-35 Integration lead) said on the matter in live testimony before the Congress today?

Written SFTR here -- http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf See page 17 of the doc and note this quote under the "Safe Escape" paragraph --

"The only issue we currently have with the system effects only lightweight pilots (those less than 136 pounds)."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 00:32
by spazsinbad
Thanks 'QS' for the headsup and here is a quote from page six then pages 17-18:
WRITTEN TESTIMONY FOR THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SUBJECT: F-35 Lightning II Program Update WITNESS STATEMENT OF:
21 Oct 2015 Lieutenant General Christopher C. Bogdan, USAF; Program Executive Officer, F-35

"...6. Flight Gear not Comfortable or Practical.
F-35 pilot flight equipment (PFE) is integrated with the ejection seat arm restraint system, which limits mobility. The JPO shares this concern and is actively looking for alternatives to include alternate flight gear. With the help of the Aeromedical community, the JPO is pursuing the implementation of an improved capability for in-flight relief without pilots having to unbuckle the seat restraint harness.

7. Seat Configuration. The design of the F-35 is optimized for 21st century warfare long-range see, shoot, kill tactics rather than close-in dogfighting. No change to the rear visibility of the jet will be possible without reducing the one thing that makes the F-35 so survivable – stealth. The pilot community is currently developing tactics and CONOPS to deal with this visibility limitation and should not detract from its survivability or mission accomplishment...."
&
"... • Safe Escape:
The F-35 escape system was designed to provide safe escape for the widest range of both aircrew weight (103 to 245 pounds) and anthropometry (sizes), well beyond current legacy fighters. The only issue we currently have with the system effects only lightweight pilots (those less than 136 pounds). There is an increased risk of neck injury to these lightweight pilots during the three phases of the escape sequence: Catapult, Wind Blast, and Parachute Opening. The reason there is an increased risk only for lightweight pilots is because these pilots are assumed to have lower neck strength than heavier pilots and therefore are unable to sustain higher neck loads we are seeing during ejection.

The program is working with our industry partners on three specific improvements that will provide lightweight pilots that same level of protection and safety as all other F-35 pilots. These three improvements are: one, a reduced weight helmet that weighs 6 ounces less than the current helmet that will reduce neck loads during catapult and windblast phases; two, a pilot “weight switch” on the ejection seat that reduces the opening shock of the parachute by slightly delaying the parachute’s opening for lightweight pilots; and three, a head support that will be sewn into the parachute risers that will reduce the rearward head movement of the pilot when the main chute of the ejection seat opens reducing the pilot’s neck loads. The combination of three improvements will provide the needed protection for lightweight pilots...."

Source: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf (100Kb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 00:33
by oldiaf
quicksilver wrote:Oh really? Another anonymous "official" being quoted as an authority on the matter, and uses docs that are a couple months old before all the analytical homework was complete.

Maybe someone can find the transcript on what the PEO and MajGen Harrigian (CSAF's F-35 Integration lead) said on the matter in live testimony before the Congress today?

Written SFTR here -- http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf See page 17 of the doc and note this quote under the "Safe Escape" paragraph --

"The only issue we currently have with the system effects only lightweight pilots (those less than 136 pounds)."

Thats simply because no tests were conducted on dummies heavier than 136 pounds !

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 00:57
by bring_it_on
quicksilver wrote:Oh really? Another anonymous "official" being quoted as an authority on the matter, and uses docs that are a couple months old before all the analytical homework was complete.

Maybe someone can find the transcript on what the PEO and MajGen Harrigian (CSAF's F-35 Integration lead) said on the matter in live testimony before the Congress today?

Written SFTR here -- http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf See page 17 of the doc and note this quote under the "Safe Escape" paragraph --

"The only issue we currently have with the system effects only lightweight pilots (those less than 136 pounds)."


The video is in the Program updates thread ;)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 02:11
by Dragon029
oldiaf wrote:
quicksilver wrote:Oh really? Another anonymous "official" being quoted as an authority on the matter, and uses docs that are a couple months old before all the analytical homework was complete.

Maybe someone can find the transcript on what the PEO and MajGen Harrigian (CSAF's F-35 Integration lead) said on the matter in live testimony before the Congress today?

Written SFTR here -- http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf See page 17 of the doc and note this quote under the "Safe Escape" paragraph --

"The only issue we currently have with the system effects only lightweight pilots (those less than 136 pounds)."

Thats simply because no tests were conducted on dummies heavier than 136 pounds !


Today at the hearing, Bogdan stated that they had tested the upper end limit at 245lb as well and identified no issues there; I expect that they have models for these sorts of phenomenon and with those 3 data points were able to identify the potential for harm towards pilots heavier than 136lb.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 02:43
by spazsinbad
Expecting peeps to read the original Seligman artickle entirely a lot of relevant to the F-35 bits were left out - so? The amended artickle mentioned top of this page is posted in perpetuity below - why? Just because. [MONDEGREEN]
USAF: Expanded Risk of Neck Damage to F-35 Pilots
19 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman

"This article, originally published at noon ET Oct. 14, has been updated to include comment from the Joint Program Office, and an Oct. 16 Air Force statement."


"WASHINGTON — Weeks after Defense News revealed that the military services had restricted lightweight pilots from flying the F-35 joint strike fighter, the US Air Force officially acknowledged an increased risk of neck damage during ejection to middleweight pilots as well.

In a news release issued Oct. 16, the Air Force confirmed a Defense News report that pilots under 136 pounds are currently barred from flying the fifth-generation aircraft, expected to be the backbone of American airpower for decades to come. It also acknowledged an "elevated level of risk" for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds.

"We expect the manufacturer to find and implement a solution," said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James in the statement.

Testers this summer discovered an increased risk of neck damage when a lightweight pilot is ejecting from the plane.

The Joint Program Office blamed the phenomenon on the jet's ejection seat, Martin-Baker's US16E. But interviews conducted by Defense News in recent weeks indicate the added weight and bulk of the new F-35 helmet complicates the problem. It is still unclear whether the blame rests squarely with the helmet, or the seat, or somewhere in between.

The JPO is trying to improve safety for lightweight pilots during an ejection by reducing the weight of the new helmet, built by Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America, which is on its third iteration due to repeated technical problems. Rockwell Collins is now on contract to build a Generation III "Light" helmet, David Nieuwsma, company vice president of strategy and business development for government systems, told Defense News.

"All ejections from any fighter aircraft are risky and place extreme amounts of stress upon the body," JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova told Defense News in a Wednesday email. "The safety of our pilots is paramount and the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, and Martin-Baker continue to work this issue with the US Services and International partners to reach a solution as quickly as possible."

During testing this summer with the Gen III helmet, testers discovered increased risk of injury when a lighter pilot ejects at low speeds, a spokesman for the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation confirmed to Defense News in a recent email. Testers found the ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test mannequins, according to a source with knowledge of the program.

The potentially fatal problem did not occur during previous tests with the slightly lighter Gen II helmets, according to the source.

Until a permanent fix is found, the US military services have grounded pilots weighing less than 136 pounds, Defense News first reported Oct. 1. The restrictions only affect only pilots under this threshold because lightweight individuals generally have lower less neck strength to absorb force, DellaVedova said. The services are not placing any flying restrictions on heavier pilots, he noted.

But the risk does not disappear above 136 pounds, experts stressed. The low-speed ejection problem is worst with the lightest pilots, from 103 to 135 pounds, and gradually lessens as aircrew weight increases. F-35 pilots above that weight could still experience serious and potentially fatal injury during a low-speed ejection.

One solution is designing a lighter helmet, which will weigh about 4.67 pounds, DellaVedova said. The JPO is looking at reducing internal strapping material and removing an external visor to reduce weight and bulk. A preliminary design review on the improved helmet is scheduled for December, with full implementation planned by summer 2017.

However, DellaVedova stressed that helmet weight was not a factor in the Aug. 27 decision to ground lightweight pilots.

“That was an ejection seat issue discovered during the parachute opening phase and was not related to the differences between the Gen II and Gen III helmets,” DellaVedova said.

But the JPO may not be able to find an easy solution, one expert warned.

The Physics of Ejection
The sequence of an ejection is basically the same across different seat designs, according to a subject matter expert in crew escape systems. After the windscreen canopy is breached, the seat and pilot are launched upward via a rail system at a jarring rate of at least 12-14Gs. The acceleration force is greater for a lightweight person, and can be as much as 18Gs. Back and neck injuries can occur at this point if the pilot is not in the correct position, with his or her head directly centered on the spine.

Once the pilot and seat reach the top of the rails, a rocket under the seat is ignited to lift the pilot-and-seat package free of the plane. At this point, the seat can begin pitching back and forth, a motion much like that of a rocking chair, due to an offset of the rocket thrust with the pilot's center of gravity. The pilot's physical build determines the direction and degree of the pitching motion, according to the expert: a tall, heavy person with a high, forward center of gravity tends to pitch forward, while a short, light person with a low, aft center of gravity tends to pitch backwards.

Wind speed and air drag also aggravate the pitching problem, the expert said. Some seats, like the F-35's, utilize an airbag system stowed in the headrest that deploys on either side of the pilot's head. This is meant to stabilize the pilot's head and neck during ejections. However, the inflated air bags add wind resistance near the top of the seat, causing a lightweight pilot and his or her seat to pitch backwards even further.

These two factors combined cause a potentially dangerous position of the pilot when the main recovery parachute deploys at speeds under 250 mph, the expert said. This can cause a "snapping" of the head and neck backwards, leading to serious and potentially fatal neck injuries.

Ejection seat manufacturers have figured out how to correct the pitching phenomenon at high speeds, before the main parachute deploys. In these conditions, most systems deploy a small drogue chute that slows down the seat, the expert said. But during low-speed ejections, 250 mph or lower, the main parachute must deploy immediately to prevent the pilot crashing into the ground. Drogue chute deployment at that speed would slow deployment of the main chute at a critical moment. Even worse, the two chutes could get entangled.

Some companies have developed pitch-control technologies to solve this problem at low speeds. For instance, UTC Aerospace Systems' ACES II ejection seat — featured in the Air Force A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, B-1s and B-2s — and UTC's new ACES 5 seat use what is called a stability package, or "STAPAC" to control pitch motion, according to Jim Patch, senior program manager for ACES 5. STAPAC is a small vernier rocket motor mounted under the seat, which is mechanically redirected by a spinning gyroscope to correct the pitch. In addition, the catapult rocket used on all ACES seats can sense the weight of the pilot and change the ejection thrust to push softer for smaller aircrew and harder for legacy aircrew, Patch said.

Martin-Baker does not appear to have any pitch control at low speeds. The UK-based company has not responded publicly since Defense News broke the story about the dangers to lightweight pilots earlier this month.

A bulkier helmet, like the 5.1-pound Generation III, increases the risk of neck injury during both phases of an ejection, because the forward center of gravity brings the pilot’s head down and strains the neck. However, removing helmet weight will not solve the basic problem of misalignment of the pilot when the main parachute deploys, the expert said.

The Rise of Helmet-Mounted Displays
The advent of modern "helmet-mounted displays," which are rapidly displacing traditional helmets, contribute to an increased risk of neck injuries during ejections. HMDs project information similar to that of head-up displays (HUDs) on an aircrew's visor, and are now commonly used in combat aircraft. These devices often incorporate night-vision systems, cuing systems and more. While HMDs greatly enhance pilots' situational awareness, a March DOD Inspector General report found these systems add weight and bulk compared to a traditional helmet, increasing the risk of neck injury — particularly for lightweight pilots.

The F-35 helmet is large even compared to today's average HMD. All the information pilots need to complete their missions is projected on the helmet's visor, rather than on a traditional HUD. The latest iteration of the helmet, Gen III, is wide from side-to-side and front-to-back, meaning that if a pilot's head is even slightly off center, a significant amount of weight is displaced.

If a pilot's head is off-center during the first phase of ejection, acceleration of the pilot and seat up the rail, serious neck and spine injuries can occur.

Martin-Baker's F-35 seat, it seems, attempts to fix this problem with airbags on either side of the pilot's head — the same airbags that aggravate the pitching phenomenon that occurs in the second phase of the ejection.

Congress recently tried to crack down on ejection seat safety issues due to HMDs. In a report accompanying the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers wrote that a secretary of the Air Force report on various aspects of the health and safety risks associated with ejection seats "confirmed that, with increased use of helmet-mounted devices, the risks of death or serious injury increases, and increases even more for lighter aircrew." Lawmakers called on the Air Force to review and update a 2010 analysis of alternatives exploring options for a safer ejection system.

In light of the recent revelations about the danger to lightweight pilots, the chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, has pledged to hold an oversight hearing on the issue, scheduled for Oct. 21.

The Fix
In addition to designing a lighter helmet, the JPO is looking into two other fixes to the ejection problem, DellaVedova said.

First, the team is working on installing a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will delay deployment of the main parachute. The proposed weight switch set will keep the drogue chute attached longer to further reduce the speed of the seat before the main parachute deploys.

In addition, the program will mount a “head support panel,” a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers that will protect the pilot’s head from moving backwards during the parachute opening. This will prevent the potential hyperextension of the neck and protect the head. Martin-Baker is financing an upcoming ejection seat sled test that will test the head support panel, DellaVedova said.

These two fixes will be introduced when the next upgrade of the ejection seat comes online near the end of 2016.

All three fixes will be fully implemented by summer 2017, DellaVedova noted.

If further testing reveals these proposals are not sufficient to fix the problem, the program may look at replacing the Martin Baker seat altogether, a senior Air Force official told reporters Oct. 15. One alternative option is the ACES 5 seat, the official said.

For now, the Air Force is working through the problem to ensure it does not impact initial operational capability, which is planned for late 2016, according to the official. One male pilot at Eglin Air Force Base was grounded by the restriction, but Air Force leadership has decided to move him to a new career path, the official said.

Meanwhile, although experts expect women to be disproportionately affected, the first and only female F-35 pilot, Lt. Col. Christine Mau, the 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, is still flying the plane."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /73922710/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 06:22
by spazsinbad
Bogdan: Martin-Baker will cover cost of F-35 ejection seat fix
22 Oct 2015 James Drew

"The F-35 joint programme office expects British firm Martin-Baker to cover the cost modifying the US16E Lightning II ejection seat after it was deemed too dangerous for lightweight pilots.

The seat is meant to safely accommodate pilots weighing 46.7kg (103lbs) to 111.1kg (245lbs), but flying has been restricted to F-35 pilots weighing more than 61.7kg (136lbs) as a stopgap safety measure.

Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan, who heads the F-35 JPO, says two seat-related fixes are being pursued and the government “is not paying a penny for the engineering and implementation of these fixes”.

“The supply chain from Lockheed through BAE Systems through Martin-Baker will bear the cost of fixing this, as they should,” he told reporters after a 21 October congressional heading.

At the hearing, Bogdan said the neck stress for lightweight pilots through the catapult ejection, wind blast and parachute opening phases at low speeds is too high. The chance of a potentially fatal neck injury from an ejection in the low-speed flight envelope is one in 50,000 flight hours for pilots under 61.7kg and the odds for those weighing 61.7kg to 74.8kg (165lbs) is one in 200,000.

“That is a very, very small risk,” Bogdan says. “There are many other airplanes in our inventory that we accept similar risks on.”

To resolve the problem, the programme office intends to install a head support panel between the parachute risers to prevent the pilot’s head from going back too far during ejection. Secondly, a switch will allow lighter pilots to slightly delay parachute deployment, thereby reducing the opening shock.

The programme office has also been working for six months to slim down the third-generation helmet-mounted display, produced by Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America through their VSI joint venture. Today, the helmet weighs 2.31kg (5.1lbs) and the target is 2.18kg (4.8lbs).

The weight of the helmet is a significant cause of neck stress in the last-resort scenario of an ejection. Bogdan says the Gen-3 helmet mounted display has two visors, one for day and one for night flying, but one can be removed and the two can be made interchangeable. [WHAT ABOUT THE TRANSITION FROM DAY/NIGHT & VICE VERSA IN FLIGHT?]

The one US Air Force pilot that was deemed to light to fly received his own specially modified 2.13kg helmet, but a more production-representative light helmet is in the works. That pilot has since changed his career field.

Upwards of 140 aircraft have been delivered to date, and each will require all three modifications before the weight restriction can be lifted.

In another update related to the catastrophic engine failure at Eglin AFB last June, Bogdan says every Pratt & Whitney engine will be retrofitted with new parts by June 2016. About 44% of the fleet has already received the fix. “It was unfortunate, but we’re putting it behind us,” says Bogdan."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... io-418063/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 08:48
by quicksilver
So, Spaz... how does posting an article (Seilgman) that is two days older than government testimony by both the USAF and the PEO provide anything but more noise to the discussion? Should we believe Seligman and unnamed 'experts' instead of the PEO and Harrigian?

In addtion to the fact that pilots weighing less than 136 lbs cannot fly many other tactical jets (and it has been that way for more than a decade), what seems to be lost is that there are other ejection seat makers wanting a piece of the F-35 business pie who are willing to stir the pot on this to get their nose back under the tent.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 09:17
by spazsinbad
Yep sounds agreeable. I'm just making some points that were lost inadvertently - for example the detail about the 'windbag' MB head cushion effect claimed by that Seligman article. I'm not here nor there on the unnamed experts. If you read what I have commented upon you will see I trust the makers of seats, despite critics of same. Probably there will be no perfect seat but 'good enough' will save plenty of lives - perfection may be obtained later perhaps - or never, we know already the armchair critcis are never going to be satisfied. Everything can be improved but at what cost? It seems to me that the people responsible for signing off on the safety of the MB F-35 seat will be able to make a good case. Will this be in the congressional enquiry?

Life is funny indeed. I could tell a story about myself that makes signing off by potential pilots at the margins of F-35 safety seem weak beer indeed. But my story is not really relevant after all these years. PIlots sign up for risk taking - it is good that they make decisions with the best available information. Trust is really all the pilots have in all the people that design the aircraft - make the aircraft - test the aircraft - maintain the aircraft and their fellow pilots when in some kind of formation or group effort. I'm familiar with the plain speaking of Navy Pilots - in my old world anyway. FARRKKK who would fly at all after hearing their real life stories - all of us - as it turned out.

And yes I think I have already hinted at the alternate seat makers wanting to make a meal of this current seat hiccup. That has been waiting in the wings probably ever since the alternates designed their own version of an F-35 seat - but lost.

And to be clear the original Seligman article was posted on the 14th then she updated it twice (for three posts) the last of which I just referred to instead. That was my mistake. So the last version was posted dated the 19th. Please keep up.

Go to the top of this page of this thread for my error in only pointing to the article that was later posted in full.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 12:14
by oldiaf
Can anyone confirms what Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said that the problem is because of the helmet weight not the ejection seat ?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 12:51
by Dragon029

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 16:59
by spazsinbad
Thanks for the exact links 'Dragon029'.

Geez those guys are interested eh. The CHAIRperson cut off Gen. Bogdan explanation - wow. I'm impressed and so was that dead-eyed dickhead. For f'sake - why ask the question if answer is not of interest? Amazing lack of cred on display.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 20:47
by Dragon029
spazsinbad wrote:Thanks for the exact links 'Dragon029'.

Geez those guys are interested eh. The CHAIRperson cut off Gen. Bogdan explanation - wow. I'm impressed and so was that dead-eyed dickhead. For f'sake - why ask the question if answer is not of interest? Amazing lack of cred on display.


At least he wasn't as bad as McSally or Moulton; she spent most of her time not even asking questions, but just emphasising the "unique" capabilities of the A-10; while Moulton's 'questions' were essentially "I'm pretty sure we can all agree this program has been a waste, blah blah blah, do you agree with that General?".

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 20:57
by spazsinbad
Yep I'm getting harsh in me old age and less willing to whatever. Anyway the story is interesting to know the details because of pilot safety. And to be clear I would trust the BoggieGenerale and BakedMartin to follow their recommendations so far. However knowing as many details as possible in a public forum is important - I'm pissed (not drunk as in OzSpeak) that the chairbound dork did not allow the bogman to explain. Sure boggeddown may seem like a windbag to some but he IS trying to explain some complicated stuff. Meanwhile back at the Seligman 'I found the story of a lifetime'....

Again this article best read at source to see how an 'internal memo' is not the real deal. [Don't mention 'dogfightin']
Bogdan Denies Excessive Risk To Most F-35 Pilots
22 Oct 2015 Lara Seligman

"WASHINGTON -- Despite concerns over the safety of lightweight pilots flying the F-35, the vast majority of pilots do not face excessive risk of neck damage during an ejection, the chief of the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office (JPO) argued in front of Congress this week.

In response to questioning from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, JPO chief Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan said there is no elevated risk of injury for F-35 pilots “in the heart” of the weight envelope during an ejection.

“We have done the risk analysis on the test points that we have had on the ejection seat, and what we have found is the only area where we have a problem today is with the lightweight pilot below 136 pounds,” Bogdan said during an Oct. 21 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. “But the areas that we have tested indicate that, in the heart of the envelope, for the heart of the pilot population, there is not any increased risk of injury at all.”...

...During the hearing, Speier referred to reports that an internal Pentagon assessment found a 23 percent chance of major injury or death for F-35 pilots between 136 and 165 pounds during ejection. Bogdan refuted those reports before the panel.

“Ma'am, that is incorrect. The data that you have came from a reporter who got a copy of an official-use-only internal DOD document that my team put together to assess the risks of a lightweight pilot and a pilot between 136 and 165 pounds. That document should have never been publicly released,” Bogdan said, referring to a recent Congressional Quarterly article. He indicated that CQ misinterpreted the document.

Bogdan went on to lay out the probability of neck injury for F-35 pilots in different weight classes. A pilot who weighs less than 136 pounds has a one in 50,000 chance of neck injury from an ejection, whereas one between 136 and 165 pounds has a one in 200,000 chance of incurring the same damage, he told the House panel.

But after the hearing, Bogdan told a group of reporters that these figures account for the low probability that a pilot will have to eject at all and that they don’t reflect the likelihood of injury in the event of an ejection.

That 23 percent chance of injury does exist in the event of an ejection, Bogdan told them.

“So the 23 percent is when he ejects, but the probability of that [pilot ejecting] is one in 200,000,” Bogdan said, adding that the latter figure “is no different than the risk that we see in legacy airplanes today.”

Bogdan told the panel that the JPO has tested the ejection seat at low speeds using lightweight mannequins (136 pounds and under) and with heavyweight pilots above 245 pounds. But the program has not tested the seat using a middleweight mannequin, representing most pilots, between 135 and 245 pounds. The JPO is planning tests in that weight envelope down the road, Bogdan said...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /74406950/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 22:35
by spazsinbad
I'm not making light of this sad event however it will be interesting to know more details about why this USMC Hornet pilot died ejecting apparently just after takeoff from Lakenheath UK. I'm not going to speculate on the circumstances however I just make the point that ejecting is not always guaranteed to be safe (then there is the proviso that the pilot must eject within the limitations of the aircraft ejection seat) and I say again our motto was this: " IF IN DOUBT - PUNCH OUT ".
Marine Pilot Killed in Crash in England is Identified
22 Oct 2015 Stars & Stripes

"...[Maj. Taj] Sareen became a Marine Corps fighter pilot in 2005, according to his LinkedIn page, and was educated at the University of San Francisco and University of Auburn.

At the time of the crash he was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Sareen's aircraft went down soon after takeoff from RAF Lakenheath about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, crashing in a farm field in the nearby town of Redmere. One witness described a loud noise followed by a large fireball.

The pilot ejected from the aircraft, said Gunnery Sgt. Donald Bohanner, a spokesman for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar...."

Source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015 ... ified.html

MAP is from another story about same crash: http://news.usni.org/2015/10/22/marines ... rnet-crash

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 08:41
by smsgtmac
The Scary F-35 M-B Ejection Seat Story, and 'Serious Risk' in Perspective. I'll be tagging it as #SmellsLikePogo tomorrow and possibly cleaning it up some. (Blogger was a royal pain today)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 09:43
by spazsinbad
Yep - nobody is going to do it for fun - some do not do it and die. I did not do it and lived to tell the tale but it was a split second thing and I was going up on a good engine and still flying....
'smsgtmac': ...IF you are ejecting, you are already facing “all but certain death”...."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 10:20
by oldiaf
spazsinbad wrote:I'm not making light of this sad event however it will be interesting to know more details about why this USMC Hornet pilot died ejecting apparently just after takeoff from Lakenheath UK. I'm not going to speculate on the circumstances however I just make the point that ejecting is not always guaranteed to be safe (then there is the proviso that the pilot must eject within the limitations of the aircraft ejection seat) and I say again our motto was this: " IF IN DOUBT - PUNCH OUT ".
Marine Pilot Killed in Crash in England is Identified
22 Oct 2015 Stars & Stripes

"...[Maj. Taj] Sareen became a Marine Corps fighter pilot in 2005, according to his LinkedIn page, and was educated at the University of San Francisco and University of Auburn.

At the time of the crash he was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Sareen's aircraft went down soon after takeoff from RAF Lakenheath about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, crashing in a farm field in the nearby town of Redmere. One witness described a loud noise followed by a large fireball.

The pilot ejected from the aircraft, said Gunnery Sgt. Donald Bohanner, a spokesman for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar...."

Source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015 ... ified.html

MAP is from another story about same crash: http://news.usni.org/2015/10/22/marines ... rnet-crash

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=28237
You should use search engine

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 10:58
by spazsinbad
No kidding. 'oldiaf' you really do not understand English meaning of posts at all. My reference to what you had referenced earlier was not for the sake of reporting that particular accident - to a Hornet - but to use it as a recent illustration of the hazards of ejecting from an aircraft. I could have used other examples however I knew that the ejection was not successful and that is why it was used. Learn to read and understand English - thanks.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 11:06
by oldiaf
spazsinbad wrote:No kidding. 'oldiaf' you really do not understand English meaning of posts at all. My reference to what you had referenced earlier was not for the sake of reporting that particular accident - to a Hornet - but to use it as a recent illustration of the hazards of ejecting from an aircraft. I could have used other examples however I knew that the ejection was not successful and that is why it was used. Learn to read and understand English - thanks.

Don't be harsh ... I know exactly what you mean by that post ... I just quoted for humor

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2015, 11:07
by spazsinbad
Now you are just being sad. Stop.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 29 Oct 2015, 00:56
by spazsinbad
USAF PR is quick off the mark I must opine. Probably had to go through a million clearances for correctness....
AF leaders testify on F-35 progress
28 Oct 2015 Senior Airman Hailey Haux, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information

"WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Leaders in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office and the Air Force F-35 Integration Office testified on the fifth-generation aircraft’s development before a House Armed Services subcommittee Oct. 21 on Capitol Hill.

Fielding a number of questions from Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee representatives, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program executive officer, and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the F-35 Integration Office director, Headquarters Air Force, assured them the program is making progress.

“The F-35 program today is executing well across the entire spectrum of acquisition, to include development and design, flight test, production … and building a global sustainment enterprise,” Bogdan said. “The program is at a pivot point today, where we are moving from slow and steady progress to what I call a rapidly growing and accelerating program.”

Overall, the program has flown more than 42,000 hours, to include the international jets and the U.S. service-specific variations.

The F-35 is a complex program made more challenging by the fact that it’s still in development, even as we are flying it in the field. Recent tests on the safe-escape system [QUE?] revealed a problem that would result in lighter-weight pilots possibly suffering major neck injury upon ejection.

“The program is working with our industry partners on three specific improvements that will provide lightweight pilots that same level of protection and safety as all other F-35 pilots,” Bogdan said in his written testimony. “These three improvements are: one, a reduced weight helmet that weighs 6 ounces less than the current helmet … two, a pilot ‘weight switch’ on the ejection seat that reduces the opening shock of the parachute by slightly delaying the parachute’s opening for lightweight pilots; and three, a head support that will be sewn into the parachute risers that will reduce the rearward head movement of the pilot when the main chute of the ejection seat opens, reducing the pilot’s neck loads.”

Comparing the F-35 with the F-16 Fighting Falcon’s maneuverability was another concern; however, both generals were confident in the F-35 program and its capabilities.

“The F-35’s technology is designed to engage, shoot and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual ‘dogfighting’ situations,” Harrigian said in his testimony. “There have been numerous occasions where a four-ship of F-35s has engaged a four-ship of F-16s in simulated combat scenarios, and the F-35s had a clear operational advantage because of the sensors, weapons and stealth technology. The F-35 has been optimized for the current trends of warfare, where the enemy is engaged and defeated from long distances, but it will still be able to maneuver aggressively when required to defeat and kill threats.”

Overall, the F-35 program is on track to be delivered on time and on cost, and Bogdan and Harrigian agree it’s a capability needed for the joint force to be successful...."

Source: http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... gress.aspx

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 08:11
by spazsinbad
I keep forgetting to check AINonline because they do have some great articles sometimes - here is one that is now a few months old with info I have not seen - YMMV - before the KERFUFFLE. This is a LONG article with only F-35 bits below.
Martin-Baker: Saving Lives in the Family Way [NO THEY ARE NOT REFERENCING BEING PREGNANT "in the family way"]
15 Jun 2015 Chris Pocock

"...As things stand, Martin-Baker has a 53-percent share of the worldwide ejection seat market. UTC Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich) has 15 percent, and Russia’s Zvezda has 14 percent, according to the British company’s calculations. No other company has more than 5-percent market share.

F-35 Seat
Martin-Baker is providing the ejection seat for all three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The US16E seat for the stealth fighter is a development of the Mk16 that MBA provides for the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Beechcraft T-6 Texan II and other aircraft.

In its US16T guise, the Mk16 was also retrofitted to the U.S. Air Force Northrop T-38C Talon fleet when it was upgraded, another American major contract for the British company. In India, the Mk16 has displaced the Zvezda K-36 ejection seat that was fitted to the prototypes of the HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and HAL Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT).

A unique feature of the US16E is the trio of airbags that inflate in a two-stage process to protect the head and neck of the F-35 pilot, wearing the large helmet-mounted display, upon ejection. Also of note, the F-35B version of the Lightning II has an auto-eject mode. This is designed to function in the specific instance where the STOVL aircraft is in the hover, and the shaft-driven lift fan fails.

In that case, the jet is likely to pitch down sharply, quicker than the pilot can react to fire the seat manually. It will therefore fire automatically while the possibility of escape remains.

Earlier this month, the US16E achieved a significant milestone, when it received the Release Authorization Notice (RAN) Level VI flight clearance from Lockheed Martin. Thus, the F-35 seat is now fully qualified for unrestricted flight operations.
[Remember this is BEFORE THE PROBLEM]

“We have been testing this seat and all its components progressively from 2004, with over 100 ejection tests to demonstrate the exacting F-35 physiological, accommodation, mass, environmental, integration, schedule and cost requirements,” Steve Roberts, the F-35 Lead for MBA, told AIN.

For the moment, US16E seats are still assembled at Higher Denham, but the work will eventually move across the Atlantic to Johnstown. The US16T seats for the T-38 retrofit were assembled at MBA’s 38,000-sq-ft American facility...."

Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... family-way

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Nov 2015, 23:42
by spazsinbad
Another example of the dictum "IF IN DOUBT - PUNCH OUT". As indicated in the sad report below it can be speculation only at this early stage - however the accident has the ingredients under discussion earlier for the F-35 seat: M-B, female aircrew, low speed & low altitude ejection. In this instance the speculation is that the event took place outside the safe seat ejection envelope. I won't add my speculation and just add the relevant parts below.
Pakistan's First Female Fighter Pilot Killed in Trainer Crash
24 Nov 2015 Usman Ansari

"ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's first female fighter pilot died today when a twin-seat fighter aircraft crashed in Punjab province on a training mission.

A statement from the Pakistan Air Force soon after the crash said "an FT-7PG aircraft, while on a routine operational training mission, crashed near Kundian (Mianwali). Both the pilots of the aircraft ejected safely and [have] been rescued. No loss of civilian life and property has been reported on ground. A board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of accident."

However, it was later reported that Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar died of injuries sustained on ejection....

...He said he understands whatever happened hampered the ability of the pilots to eject safely.

"I have no idea what might have gone wrong, but word has it that since the ejection took place at very low altitude on final approach, the fatality might have been due to a delayed ejection," he said. "Under such flight conditions involving a rate of descent, there is not giving enough time for the chute to blossom fully."

He said without further details however this is presently speculative.

Pakistan's F-7 series of fighters are fitted with Martin Baker Mk10 zero-zero ejection seats in which it places a high degree of faith. The seat is also fitted to its Mirage-III/5s, and prior to their retirement from Pakistani service was fitted to the Nanchang A-5, Shenyang FT-5 and F-6/FT-6 jets.

Though it is a very good seat, Tufail said under certain circumstances it may not perform as well as it could.

"It is a zero-zero seat, but these have to be activated in level flight at zero level (ground). If there is a rate of descent, the minimum ejection height goes up, proportionately. In this case, the aircraft was low, on final approach, and the rate of descent apparently did not allow enough time for the parachute to blossom fully," he said.

Tufail said he believes for Mukhtiar these circumstances may have been compounded by the type of training mission she may have been flying as usually the instructor occupies the rear seat. However, if it was an instrument flying mission, then the student would have sat in the rear seat and been under a 'hood' to restrict external vision.

Though he said he did not know her personally, Tufail paid tribute to Mukhtiar.

"I am told she was a very fine officer.""

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /76325592/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2015, 01:31
by spazsinbad
Bit of a POT POURRI of F-35 Info with my TAKEDthatAWAY is the ejection seat news - short & sweet anyways and REJOICE?
F-35 Christmas Presents: 45 Planes (And More?)
08 Dec 2015 Colin Clark

"WASHINGTON: After years and years of busted schedules, cost overruns and technical challenges, the F-35 program is expected to end 2015 on a high note, with all production goals met and solid progress resolving the ejection seat issues that threaten lighter pilots.

I understand from industry and program sources that, after getting stalled, there is a good chance that the so-called handshake agreement on LRIP 9 is also likely to be announced. Of course, those negotiations are always fraught, so we’ll take that one with a grain of salt.

Lockheed Martin has completed 43 of the 45 planes planned to be built this year, including the first foreign-built plane that was recently rolled out in Italy. There appears little doubt the other two will be done on time.

Also, engineers believe they’ve come up with a solution for the troubled ejection seat, which could kill pilots who weigh less than 136 pounds. Some sled tests have been done with a new head panel and a delayed parachute release, but the data is still being crunched, so we’re not sure yet if the solution has been confirmed. We may not know until around the time of the Farnborough Air Show.

Also, it’s awfully early to say much, but work is already underway to get F-35Bs, which will fly from the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, to Britain for the early July Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and then to Farnborough. Breaking D readers will remember, of course, the F-35A engine fire meant no F-35Bs at the last British air shows."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/12/f-35 ... -and-more/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Dec 2015, 04:20
by neptune
spazsinbad wrote:.... We may not know until around the time of the Farnborough Air Show. Also, it’s awfully early to say much, but work is already underway to get F-35Bs, which will fly from the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, to Britain for the early July Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and then to Farnborough. Breaking D readers will remember, of course, the F-35A engine fire meant no F-35Bs at the last British air shows."...]


Gee, you'd think the Brits could swap a loaner with the Iti's and save a bit of gas money!!.....Oh!!, forgot the A and B thingees. :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2016, 23:32
by maus92
Looks like the MB ejection seat fix will be delayed to 2018:

F-35 Ejection Seat Fix Delayed to 2018; Pilot Restrictions Continue
By Lara Seligman | Jan 8 2016 | Defense News

"WASHINGTON — The US Air Force won’t lift weight restrictions on F-35 pilots until 2018 — at the earliest — as more testing needs to be done to address safety issues with the jet’s ejection seat, Defense News has learned...."

"Testing of the seat, built by UK company Martin-Baker, last August showed an “elevated” risk of injury for F-35 pilots weighing under 165 pounds, and an “unacceptable” risk for those under 136 pounds, according to the Air Force."


"The Joint Program Office told Defense News in October that all three fixes would be fully implemented by summer 2017, allowing the services to look at lifting the weight restrictions. But in a Jan. 8 email, the Air Force acknowledged that the date had been pushed back, to early 2018 at the earliest...."

"Part of the delay is the increased testing required for the head support panel, and mating it with the lightweight switch, Jeter wrote in a follow-up email. Once all three fixes are implemented, the Air Force will begin to “relook” at lifting the weight restriction, she said...."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /78519892/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2016, 23:46
by SpudmanWP
This restriction affects how many current F-35 pilots?

Oh that's right... NONE.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2016, 00:02
by borg
SpudmanWP wrote:This restriction affects how many current F-35 pilots?

Oh that's right... NONE.


That is a bold statement.
Care to back it up?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2016, 00:21
by SpudmanWP
At the time (Nov 1, 2015) of the following link there was one pilot:

http://www.hilltoptimes.com/content/pen ... on-problem

I remember a follow-on article stating that even through LM had hand-made a lighter helmet to allow that pilot (a man btw) to fly without an increase in risk, that pilot decided to pursue a different pilot carrier in the service. I'll try and find it and I am sure someone will have it handy.

----UPDATE--------

Found it
The one US Air Force pilot that was deemed to light to fly received his own specially modified 2.13kg helmet, but a more production-representative light helmet is in the works. That pilot has since changed his career field.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... io-418063/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2016, 00:54
by spazsinbad
Thanks 'SWP' we had some of those links here and here on this thread at the time also - for the 'borg':

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=306710&hilit=career#p306710
& other:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=306700&hilit=career#p306700

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2016, 22:43
by maus92
JPO recognizes the optics, changes course:

JPO Accelerates Timeline for F-35 Ejection Seat Fix
Lara Seligman 3:32 p.m. EST January 15, 2016

"WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has accelerated its projected timeline to implement a series of fixes to safety issues with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s ejection seat, Defense News has learned.

The US Air Force told Defense News last week that the three planned solutions to recent problems with the jet’s escape system would not be fully implemented until early 2018. However, the Joint Program Office, which oversees all three service variants of the F-35, said this week the government and industry team is working hard to accelerate that schedule.

The Pentagon now estimates the services will be able to implement the three parts of the complete solution in October 2017, JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova told Defense News in a Jan. 15 email. At that time, the services will re-evaluate whether to lift weight restrictions on lightweight F-35 pilots, he said...."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /78845102/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2016, 23:24
by spazsinbad
This is the STORY of a lifetime for LARA and she is going to milk it for all it is worth. What has changed in 'maus92' excerpts in one week? USA summer is in October? or SHOCKA is it good news? Something for LARA to scribble about. OR an opportunity for 'maus92' to be ....? "JPO recognizes the optics, changes course:" Damned if they do - Damned if they don't.

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=313179&hilit=Lara#p313179 Quote below:
F-35 Ejection Seat Fix Delayed to 2018; Pilot Restrictions Continue
By Lara Seligman | Jan 8 2016 | Defense News

"WASHINGTON — The US Air Force won’t lift weight restrictions on F-35 pilots until 2018 — at the earliest — as more testing needs to be done to address safety issues with the jet’s ejection seat, Defense News has learned...."

"Testing of the seat, built by UK company Martin-Baker, last August showed an “elevated” risk of injury for F-35 pilots weighing under 165 pounds, and an “unacceptable” risk for those under 136 pounds, according to the Air Force."

"The Joint Program Office told Defense News in October that all three fixes would be fully implemented by summer 2017, allowing the services to look at lifting the weight restrictions. But in a Jan. 8 email, the Air Force acknowledged that the date had been pushed back, to early 2018 at the earliest...."

"Part of the delay is the increased testing required for the head support panel, and mating it with the lightweight switch, Jeter wrote in a follow-up email. Once all three fixes are implemented, the Air Force will begin to “relook” at lifting the weight restriction, she said...."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /78519892/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2016, 09:28
by KamenRiderBlade
So an easy fix is for skinny and lightweight pilots to gain some weight by eating more =D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2016, 17:07
by spazsinbad
F-35 Escape System Update Statement
16 Jan 2016 JPO

"The F-35 program is still in its System Development and Demonstration phase and the aircraft’s safe escape design continues to develop and improve. All ejections from any fighter aircraft are risky and place extreme amounts of stress upon the body. The F-35 escape system was designed to reduce ejection stresses and be able to accommodate the widest range of both aircrew weight and anthropometry (sizes), providing for the safe escape for pilots weighing from 103 to 245 lbs. The designed safe escape range is greater than legacy fighter ejection seats.

During tests to qualify safe escape with a Generation III helmet for lightweight pilots at low speed ejections, data indicated the potential for increased risk of injury under those conditions. On Aug. 27, 2015, the U.S. Services restricted F-35 pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from operating the aircraft. Currently, no F-35 pilots are impacted by this restriction.

All safe escape risks will be reduced and restrictions will be removed after three proposed fixes are complete: installing a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will slightly delay parachute deployment and lessen parachute opening forces; designing a lighter helmet; and mounting a head support panel, which is a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers which will protect the pilot’s head from moving backwards during the parachute opening.

The head support panel and the ejection seat sequencer switch for lighter weight aircrew members are currently being tested as part of the seat qualification which is planned to be completed in October 2016. It is expected that modification kits to retrofit seats currently in operation will be available by November 2016 for F-35 fleet implementation.

Testing will also support the design and certification of a lighter version of the Gen III helmet and allow the program office to begin production of these helmets with initial deliveries scheduled to begin in October 2017. At that time, the services will be able to implement all three parts of the complete solution to lift the weight restriction for pilots less than 136 pounds and mitigate neck injury risks for all F-35 pilots.

The safety of our pilots is paramount and the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, and Martin Baker continue to work this issue with the U.S. Services and International Partners to reach a solution as quickly as possible."

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-es ... -statement

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 00:35
by popcorn
An interesting read re ergonomics.

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/201 ... rages.html

When U.S. air force discovered the flaw of averages
By discarding the average as their reference standard, the air force initiated a quantum leap in its design philosophy, centred on a new guiding principle: individual fit. Rather than fitting the individual to the system, the military began fitting the system to the individual. In short order, the air force demanded that all cockpits needed to fit pilots whose measurements fell within the 5-per-cent to 95-per-cent range on each dimension.
When airplane manufacturers first heard this new mandate, they balked, insisting it would be too expensive and take years to solve the relevant engineering problems. But the military refused to budge, and then — to everyone’s surprise — aeronautical engineers rather quickly came up with solutions that were both cheap and easy to implement. They designed adjustable seats, technology now standard in all automobiles. They created adjustable foot pedals. They developed adjustable helmet straps and flight suits.
Once these and other design solutions were put into place, pilot performance soared, and the U.S. air force became the most dominant air force on the planet. Soon, every branch of the American military published guides decreeing that equipment should fit a wide range of body sizes, instead of standardized around the average.
Why was the military willing to make such a radical change so quickly? Because changing the system was not an intellectual exercise — it was a practical solution to an urgent problem. When pilots flying faster than the speed of sound were required to perform tough manoeuvres using a complex array of controls, they couldn’t afford to have a gauge just out of view or a switch barely out of reach. In a setting where split-second decisions meant the difference between life and death, pilots were forced to perform in an environment that was already stacked against them.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 02:49
by spazsinbad
What a great article - thanks 'popcorn' - & thank goodness for "the change". This sentence had me chortling: :mrgreen:
"...There was no such thing as an average pilot...."

Junior pilots get used to being classed as 'average' for flying skill assessment - during training and in our Fleet Air Arm anyway. Only after some years the assessment changes to 'above average' - maybe - with experience (and rank perhaps?). No one wants to be 'below average' - there be dragons..... (and ye can fall/sail off the edge of the olde flat worlde). :devil:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2016, 21:54
by spazsinbad
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) 2015 [no mention of the LIGHT/HEAVY switch on the Ejection Seat]
Jan 2016 DOT&E

"...Pilot Escape System
• In 2011, the program and Services elected to begin training and flight operations at fielded units with an immature pilot escape system by accepting risks of injury to pilots during ejection. These risks included pilots flying training missions with ejection seats that had not completed full qualification testing and flying overwater without the planned water-activated parachute release system (a system which automatically releases the parachute from the pilot’s harness upon entry into water). Certain risks are greater for lighter weight pilots. Recent testing of the escape system in CY15 showed that the risk of serious injury or death are greater for lighter weight pilots and led to the decision by the Services to restrict pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the F-35.

• Two pilot escape system sled tests occurred in July and August 2015 that resulted in failures of the system to successfully eject a manikin without exceeding neck loads/ stresses on the manikin. These sled tests were needed in order to qualify the new Gen III HMDS for flight release.

- A sled test in July on a 103-pound manikin with a Gen III helmet at 160 knots speed failed for neck injury criteria. The program did not consider this failure to be solely caused by the heavier Gen III helmet, primarily due to similarly poor test results having been observed with Gen II helmet on a 103-pound manikin in tests in 2010.

- The sled test was repeated in August 2015 using a 136-pound manikin with the Gen III helmet at 160 knots. This test also failed for neck injury criteria. Similar sled testing with Gen II helmets in 2010 did not result in exceedance of neck loads for a 136-pound pilot.

• After the latter failure, the program and Services decided to restrict pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying any F-35 variant, regardless of helmet type (Gen II or Gen III). Pilots weighing between 136 and 165 pounds are considered at less risk than lighter weight pilots, but at an increased risk (compared to heavier pilots). The level of risk was labeled “serious” risk by the Program Office based on the probability of death being 23 percent and the probability of neck extension (which will result in some level of injury) being 100 percent. Currently, the program and the Services have decided to accept the risk to pilots in this weight range, although the basis for the decision to accept these risks is unknown.

• The testing showed that the ejection seat rotates backwards after ejection. This results in the pilot’s neck becoming extended, as the head moves behind the shoulders in a “chin up” position. When the parachute inflates and begins to extract the pilot from the seat (with great force), a “whiplash” action occurs. The rotation of the seat and resulting extension of the neck are greater for lighter weight pilots.

• The Gen III helmet weighs 5.1 pounds, approximately 6 ounces more than the Gen II helmet. The increased weight is primarily due to the larger/heavier night vision camera optics. The program has a weight reduction project ongoing to determine if approximately 5 ounces can be eliminated in the Gen III helmet by reducing structure and materials without affecting fit or optics. [Removing a day/night visor as appropriate apparently]

• In coordination with the Program Office, the ejection seat contractor funded a proof-of-concept ejection sled test in October to assess the utility of a head support panel (HSP), a fabric mesh behind the pilots head and between the parachute risers, to prevent exceeding neck loads during the ejection sequence for lighter weight pilots. Based on the initial results, the Program Office and Services are considering seat modifications that would include the HSP, but they may take up to a year to verify improvement and install them onto aircraft.

• Additional testing and analysis are also needed to determine the risk of pilots being harmed by the transparency removal system (which shatters the canopy before, and in order for, the seat and pilot to leave the aircraft) during ejections in other than ideal, stable conditions (such as after battle damage or during out-of-control situations).

• The program began delivering F-35 aircraft with a water-activated parachute release system in later deliveries of Lot 6 aircraft in 2015. This system, common in current fighter aircraft, automatically jettisons the parachute when the pilot enters water after ejection and is particularly beneficial if the pilot is incapacitated at this point...."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/site-files/avia ... Report.pdf (361Kb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2016, 04:50
by maus92
Here's a piece of a story that might be getting some traction over the next few days:

"F-35 tester questions program manager’s claim that ejection seat problems have been fixed.

Exclusive: F-35 Tester At Odds With Program Manager. The director of Pentagon weapons testing is questioning claims by the general in charge of the F-35 fighter jet program that potentially deadly flaws in the plane’s ejection seats have been largely fixed.

The testing official, Michael Gilmore, also confirmed the accuracy of CQ reports last fall disclosing that the F-35’s flawed ejection seat poses a serious risk not just to the lightest weight F-35 pilots, as some Defense Department officials have suggested, but also to pilots weighing up to 200 pounds."

http://www.rollcall.com/news/mccain_wil ... 033-1.html

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2016, 05:44
by 35_aoa
FWIW, just wearing JHMCS (which most of us currently do) involves a high likelihood of severe injury in any ejection above 350 knots. That figure used to be 450, and I think it officially still is, but anecdotal evidence of actual mishaps have shown that original number to be optimistic. So I'd argue that most of the CAF as well as USN/USMC equipped tacair are already essentially flying on the equivalent of an over/underweight ejection seat waiver in terms of risk. Just a data point.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2016, 07:26
by endre
The JHMCS example adds to the point about what you consider to be the standard. If the objective here is to have NO elevated risk, then I wonder if that is attainable at all, and my impression is that pilots are aware of this and comfortable with that reality. They know that every time they take off in any fighter, there is a risk - question is whether it is acceptable and justified given the circumstances. For the testing community, of course, the risk evaluation is very different - but for pilots, this is part of what they do.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2016, 07:41
by 35_aoa
endre wrote:The JHMCS example adds to the point about what you consider to be the standard. If the objective here is to have NO elevated risk, then I wonder if that is attainable at all, and my impression is that pilots are aware of this and comfortable with that reality. They know that every time they take off in any fighter, there is a risk - question is whether it is acceptable and justified given the circumstances. For the testing community, of course, the risk evaluation is very different - but for pilots, this is part of what they do.


100%. While I would agree that the scenario is not ideal, I have never put on a JHMCS and though "man this is dangerous", or had reservations for that matter. Like you mentioned, there is potentially a whole lot of risk in flying, not to mention the risk anytime one pulls the ejection handle regardless of situation. Drogues sometimes don't work……..primary chutes sometimes don't either. Or you can be killed in the initial separation from the aircraft for a whole multitude of reasons. Seats are pretty reliable these days when used within their envelope, but by nature of the situations that often warrant ejection, people are often outside of that envelope. While certainly not the entire "envelope", remember that optimum ejection for NACES or ACES II is still 3k ft AGL minimum in controlled flight, upright (no horizon seeking/correcting seats), climbing if able, and below 250 knots. There aren't that many ejections that occur in that little window of flying, and anything outside of that incurs an inherent increased risk.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2016, 08:02
by krorvik
I also noticed the name "McCain" in the URL. Seldom followed by factual and unbiased information, at least not pertaining to the F-35.

Note in particular the wording "the F-35’s flawed ejection seat". Someone has already made up their readers minds.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2016, 11:28
by spazsinbad
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into the Planned Acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
26 Feb 2016 Department of Defence Written Submission

"...Annex A to Defence F-35 Senate Inquiry Submission dated 26 February 2016
F-35 Escape System
Overview
1.
The United States (US) F-35 Program has identified an increased risk of neck injury to light weight pilots during low speed ejection. In August 2015, the US Services restricted F-35 pilots weighing less than 136 pounds (62 kilograms) from operating the aircraft. Currently, no F-35 pilots, including Australian pilots, are impacted by this restriction.

Solution and Progress
2.
Safe escape risks are being reduced by:
a. installing a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will slightly delay parachute deployment and lessen parachute opening forces;

b. designing a lighter helmet; and

c. mounting a head support panel, which is a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers which will protect the pilot’s head from moving backwards during the parachute opening.

3. The head support panel and the ejection seat sequencer switch for lighter weight aircrew members are currently being tested as part of the seat qualification which is planned to be completed in October 2016. It is expected that modification kits to retrofit seats currently in operation will be available by November 2016 for F-35 fleet implementation.

4. Testing will also support the design and certification of a lighter version of the Generation 3 Helmet Mounted Display System and allow the production of these helmets to begin with initial deliveries scheduled to begin in October 2017. At that time, the services will be able to implement all three parts of the complete solution to lift the weight restriction for pilots less than 136 lbs and mitigate neck injury risks for all F-35 pilots.

5. The Generation 3 helmet also reduces the risk of neck injury for light aircrew and is planned for introduction to service in Low Rate Initial Production 10 scheduled for delivery in 2018. The lighter weight helmet will be available to support Australia’s F-35 initial operational capability. The aim is to reduce the Helmet Mounted Display System weight from 5.06 lbs (2.3 kg) to 4.63 lbs (2.1 kg).

6. The F-35 escape system was designed to reduce ejection stresses and be able to accommodate the widest range of both aircrew weight and sizes, providing for the safe escape for pilots weighing from 103-245 lbs (47 to 110 kgs).

7. The designed safe escape range is greater than legacy fighter ejection seats."

Source: http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ash ... bId=409757 (PDF 0.3Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2016, 22:16
by spazsinbad
maus92 wrote:Here's a piece of a story that might be getting some traction over the next few days: [my highlight - 'maus92' quote is on previous page on 24 Feb 2016]

"F-35 tester questions program manager’s claim that ejection seat problems have been fixed.

Exclusive: [my highlight] F-35 Tester At Odds With Program Manager. The director of Pentagon weapons testing is questioning claims by the general in charge of the F-35 fighter jet program that potentially deadly flaws in the plane’s ejection seats have been largely fixed.

The testing official, Michael Gilmore, also confirmed the accuracy of CQ reports last fall disclosing that the F-35’s flawed ejection seat poses a serious risk not just to the lightest weight F-35 pilots, as some Defense Department officials have suggested, but also to pilots weighing up to 200 pounds."

http://www.rollcall.com/news/mccain_wil ... 033-1.html

Perhaps the 'exclusive' WRITER is in TRACTION from a FAILED attempt to get the above story OFF the GROUND? Anyhoo some old news with a tidbit BOLDed in living colour.
F-35 'Deficiencies' Decreasing, But Hundreds Remain: Program Manager
17 Feb 2016 Brendan McGarry

"...EJECTION SEAT
One hardware issue Bogdan discussed in detail was improvements to the aircraft's ejection system to minimize the risk of lightweight pilots from sustaining neck injuries.

Last year, officials identified an unacceptable risk of neck injury during parachute deployment at low-speed conditions for lightweight pilots, the Air Force has said. The requirement is for the seat to be certified for any pilot weighing between 103 and 245 pounds, but an unacceptable level of risk was discovered for pilots weighing less than 136 pounds, the service has said.

Bogdan said the Pentagon's recent test report makes it sound like one in four F-35 pilots is at risk of sustaining a neck injury. In reality, he said, "the probability of any one pilot and ejecting and hurting his or her neck is one in 50,000 – not one in four."

While only one male U.S. pilot was affected by the ejection system issue -- he has been temporarily assigned to fly the F-22 Raptor, the Pentagon's other fifth-generation stealth fighter, and will return to fly the F-35 once a fix is in place -- partner nations have smaller aviators and so officials are working on solutions, Bogdan said.

A fix will involve three changes slated to be in place by 2017: a lighter helmet to reduce neck loads during the catapult and windblast phases of ejection; a "weight switch" on the ejection seat to delay the parachute's opening for lighter pilots and thus reduce the opening shock; and developing a head support sewn into the parachute risers to reduce the rearward head movement of the pilot when the main chute of the ejection seat opens, Bogdan said...."

Source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016 ... nager.html

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 02:58
by smsgtmac
Horrors! A fighter pilot had to be assigned to fly the F-22 until his new F-35 ride could handle his Kenyan marathoner weight?
How will his career ever recover? :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 07:36
by KamenRiderBlade
smsgtmac wrote:Horrors! A fighter pilot had to be assigned to fly the F-22 until his new F-35 ride could handle his Kenyan marathoner weight?
How will his career ever recover? :doh:


If the pilot is too light for the seat, couldn't he just gain some weight by eating some unhealthy junk food?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 15:02
by XanderCrews
smsgtmac wrote:Horrors! A fighter pilot had to be assigned to fly the F-22 until his new F-35 ride could handle his Kenyan marathoner weight?
How will his career ever recover? :doh:


Notice they didn't send him to anything with a NACES?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 17:51
by castlebravo
XanderCrews wrote:
smsgtmac wrote:Horrors! A fighter pilot had to be assigned to fly the F-22 until his new F-35 ride could handle his Kenyan marathoner weight?
How will his career ever recover? :doh:


Notice they didn't send him to anything with a NACES?


Or anything with JHMCS?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 18:01
by spazsinbad
:devil: :mrgreen: I geddit. :roll: Only LIGHTweights fly F-22s :devil: :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 18:10
by XanderCrews
castlebravo wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
smsgtmac wrote:Horrors! A fighter pilot had to be assigned to fly the F-22 until his new F-35 ride could handle his Kenyan marathoner weight?
How will his career ever recover? :doh:


Notice they didn't send him to anything with a NACES?


Or anything with JHMCS?


Correct! :thumb:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 02:24
by spazsinbad
OMG we have a winna - FOUR - count them - Four F-35 Ejection Seat stories - ONE after ANother on DEFnews. Phew. Talk about "LETS DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN". DefNews claim an EXCLUSIVE? Come On... Somebody drank too much coffee....

This first story looks to be a rehash of all the previous stories into one LONG article - go there to rehash your memories...
USAF Acknowledges Expanded Risk of Neck Damage to F-35 Pilots
13 Mar 2016 Lara Seligman

"...If further testing reveals these proposals are not sufficient to fix the problem, the program may look at replacing the Martin Baker seat altogether, a senior Air Force official said Oct. 15. One alternative option is the ACES 5 seat, the official said...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /73922710/

F-35 Fatal Ejection Fear Riles Congress
13 Mar 2016 Lara Seligman

"...Since the issue emerged, lawmakers have vowed to push for increased oversight of the F-35, with one congresswoman condemning the program for "malpractice." Rep. Jackie Speier, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, slammed the Pentagon for rushing tests to field the plane prematurely.

"We're seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35's ejector seats weren't tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft, and the Pentagon rushed to field them prematurely. This is yet another example of the kind of procurement malpractice we should be avoiding," the California Democrat said in an email to Defense News last week...."

[IT IS REALLY ODD to read the same things four times - someone at DEFnews posted TOO MANY OLD STORIES methinks]

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /73219260/

Exclusive: F-35 Ejection Seat Fears Ground Lightweight Pilots [WHO KNEW!?]
13 Mar 2016 Lara Seligman and Aaron Mehta

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /73102528/

Bogdan Denies Excessive Risk To Most F-35 Pilots, But Questions Remain [OH Why Oh Why are there ????s]
13 Mar 2016 Lara Seligman

"...In response to questioning from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, JPO chief Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan said there is no elevated risk of injury for F-35 pilots “in the heart” of the weight envelope during an ejection.

“We have done the risk analysis on the test points that we have had on the ejection seat, and what we have found is the only area where we have a problem today is with the lightweight pilot below 136 pounds,” Bogdan said during an Oct. 21 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. “But the areas that we have tested indicate that, in the heart of the envelope, for the heart of the pilot population, there is not any increased risk of injury at all.”

Bogdan’s remarks appear to conflict with a recent Air Force statement that acknowledged an “elevated level of risk” for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds. The statement noted that the risk of critical injury during an ejection is higher for the F-35 seat than legacy fighter-ejection seats.

“While the probability of an ejection in this slow speed regime remains very low, estimated at one in 100,000 flight hours, the risk of a critical injury in that circumstance is currently higher than legacy fighter ejection seats,” according to the Oct. 16 statement. “The Air Force has accepted risk of similar magnitude in previous ejection seats.”

Based on the remote probability of an ejection, the airworthiness authorities recommended — and the Air Force accepted — allowing pilots between 136 and 165 pounds to continue operating the F-35, the statement notes.

That same statement officially announced that Air Force leaders recently decided to restrict pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the plane due to concerns about ejection safety, a decision first reported by Defense News on Oct. 1. [2015]...

...Bogdan went on to lay out the probability of neck injury for F-35 pilots in different weight classes. A pilot who weighs less than 136 pounds has a one in 50,000 chance of neck injury from an ejection, whereas one between 136 and 165 pounds has a one in 200,000 chance of incurring the same damage, he told the House panel.

But after the hearing, Bogdan told a group of reporters that these figures account for the low probability that a pilot will have to eject at all and that they don’t reflect the likelihood of injury in the event of an ejection.

In the event of an ejection, that 23 percent chance of injury does exist, Bogdan said.

“So the 23 percent is when he ejects, but the probability of that [pilot ejecting] is one in 200,000,” Bogdan said, adding that the latter figure “is no different than the risk that we see in legacy airplanes today.”

Bogdan told the panel that the JPO has tested the ejection seat at low speeds using lightweight mannequins (136 pounds and under) and with heavyweight pilots above 245 pounds. But the program has not tested the seat using a middleweight mannequin, representing most pilots, between 135 and 245 pounds. The JPO is planning tests in that weight envelope down the road, Bogdan said...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /74406950/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 05:02
by smsgtmac
spazsinbad wrote:OMG we have a winna - FOUR - count them - Four F-35 Ejection Seat stories - ONE after ANother on DEFnews. Phew. Talk about "LETS DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN". DefNews claim an EXCLUSIVE? Come On... Somebody drank too much coffee....


Yep. Their auto-scheduler gacked. All the comments are from October. And it still #SmellsLikePOGO

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 06:08
by spazsinbad
:mrgreen: Hehheh - thanks - gacked indeedy. :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 14:45
by zerion
Light F-35 Helmet Tests Begin, DOD Aims To Fix Escape System This Year

WASHINGTON — The F-35 joint program office will begin testing the first prototype of the new, lightweight Generation III helmet later this month, with the hope of resolving by November issues with the jet’s escape system that have kept some pilots grounded.

The JPO and industry will begin testing Rockwell Collins’ latest version of the F-35 helmet, built to be about 6 ounces lighter than the original Gen III helmet, in late March, said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the F-35 integration office. This will be the first time the JPO has tested the full-up Gen III “Light," although the program office has tested a modified helmet that is about the same weight as the light version, he said.



http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /81646430/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 14:54
by spazsinbad
Seligman is on a ROLL.... And so am I. :mrgreen: Thanks 'zerion' - I'll also post the story excerpts in the HMDS section for archives.
"...To fix the ejection seat itself, the team will install a switch on the seat for lightweight pilots that will delay deployment of the main parachute. The proposed switch will keep the smaller "drogue" chute attached longer to further reduce the speed of the seat before the main parachute deploys, hopefully easing the pilot's motion back into an upright position. In addition, the program office will mount a “head support panel,” or HSP, a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers that will protect the pilot’s head from moving backwards during the parachute opening. This will prevent the potential hyperextension of the neck and protect the head.

Since November, the JPO, Lockheed Martin and seat-maker Martin Baker have conducted seven tests — three out of an airborne jet and four so-called “sled tests” on the ground — with the latest version of the seat, which included the switch and HSP, according to Harrigian. Although most tests have been done with mannequins in the lightest and heaviest weight classes – under 136 pounds and above 245 pounds – the latest test on March 3 was done with a 150-pound mannequin, which represents “the heart of the envelope,” Harrigian said.

The program office has about another 11 tests planned, which are expected to incorporate the lightweight helmet solution, Harrigian said. The tests will use a mix of low, middle and high-weight mannequins, he said.

All of the test results have been “fairly positive,” so far, although the team is still working through analysis of the latest March 3 test, Harrigian said.

“We’re waiting for a little more feedback, but everything thus far has been positive,” Harrigian said. “As you can imagine we’re going to continue to track this closely and stay very well connected with the JPO and industry to make sure we’re monitoring how this goes as we continue through the test.”

Weapons Tester Weighs In
A spokesman for the Pentagon’s top weapons tester, known for his criticism of development programs across the armed services, said the JPO’s test schedule for the escape system fixes is “aggressive,” but "achievable." However, the spokesman cautioned that the schedule for flight clearance and implementation of the three solutions assumes that no discoveries are made during testing that would require additional modifications.

“If discoveries are made during the testing, the timeline to achieve full qualification of the seat and helmet for ejection will take longer because additional regression testing and analyses would be likely be required,” Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a spokesman for the director of operational test and evaluation, said in a March 7 email.

The upcoming tests will reveal if any other changes are required to the ejection seat, Rankine-Galloway said. In addition, the tests should show whether the new lightweight helmet is strong enough to withstand the wind blast from high-speed ejections, as well as any impact from pieces of the canopy that have been shattered by the initial blast, he said.

“Until this testing is completed and DOT&E has analyzed the data, we cannot assess whether the fixes work and are ready to field,” he said.

Tests late last year with 103-pound mannequins at various speeds demonstrated the two seat fixes worked as planned, Rankine-Galloway said. In at least one recent test, the HSP successfully prevented a “neck exceedence” during deployment of the main parachute, and the lightweight switch delayed parachute opening, he noted.

However, there is still work to be done to completely eliminate the risk. During Oct. 15's low-speed "proof-of-concept" test at 160 knots, the HSP did not prevent strain on the lightweight pilot’s neck in the early stages of an ejection due to the rocket firing and initial wind blast, according to Rankine-Galloway. During the Nov. 19 test at 450 knots – or high speed – neck strain was still seen during the initial catapult and windblast phases, and during parachute opening.

These tests were done using a surrogate helmet that is not quite as light as the proposed lightweight Gen III helmet, Rankine-Galloway noted. Until the program has completed full testing of the new seat changes and the new helmet, DOT&E will not have adequate data to make a judgment, he cautioned.

DOT&E does not have the final say in when the Pentagon can lift the restriction on lightweight pilots.

Fixing the escape system is not part of the Air Force's criteria to declare its F-35A variants operational this summer, but "it remains a fundamental concern that the Chief and the Secretary have because this is all about the safety of our airmen and that is the bottom line," Harrigian said."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 16:36
by lamoey
Does anybody have an overview of what pilot weight, and height, limitations other fighters have?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 21:03
by spazsinbad
The first page and then second page of this thread have NACES info. Search thread using NACES for:

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=304339&hilit=NACES#p304339
&
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=304356&hilit=NACES#p304356 (& continue reading down for more)
&
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=306339&hilit=NACES#p306339
&
etc... and on this same thread again...
...A report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General in March shows a similar limitation already exists for the UTC Aero-space Systems Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II (ACES II), which is on 12 platforms including the Lockheed F-16 and Boeing F-15 – both support NVGs and the relatively bulky Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).

The US Navy’s Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat (NACES) SJU-17 is rated for pilots weighing between 61.7kg and 96.6kg, the report notes. That ejection seat is installed in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and both platforms support NVGs and JHMCS
.

The US16E is common across the F-35 fleet to include the carrier and short-takeoff-vertical-landing variants, except there are differences in the way the F-35B ejects because of its ability to hover.

According to the air force, there is an “elevated level of risk” for pilots between 61.7kg and 74.8, but the probability of ejection in that slow flight regime is “one in 100,000 flight hours”...."
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=306407&hilit=visor#p306407

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2016, 15:04
by spazsinbad
AvWeak catchup article - nothing new. HMDS fix bit here: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=318327&hilit=Warwick#p318327
F-35 Ejection Seat Fix May Be Ready By Year’s End
16 Mar 2016 Graham Warwick

"Safety issues with the F-35’s ejection seat should begin to be overcome by the end of this year, Lockheed Martin’s program manager says.

Lightweight pilots have been barred from flying the F-35 since ground testing in August 2015 revealed a risk of fatal ejection injury.

Unacceptable risk of neck injury to pilots weighing less than 136 lb. when ejecting at lower airspeeds emerged during sled testing by seat supplier Martin-Baker.

“We have a good idea of what caused the issue and the path forward,” says Jeff Babione, executive vice president and general manager.

There are three primary solutions, he says. The first is to add a “heavy/light” switch to the seat that will delay deployment of the main parachute for lightweight pilots. “We plan to begin modifying seats by the end of the year,” Babione says.

The second fix is to reduce the weight of the Gen 3 helmet-mounted display, developed by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems. The third is to add a fabric mesh between the parachute risers to capture the pilot’s head during ejection....

...Ejection testing is underway, and the three fixes should be ready by the end of this year or early 2017, he says. The US16E ejection seat in the F-35 is designed to accommodate pilots weighing from 103 lb. to 245 lb."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-ej ... year-s-end

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2016, 06:42
by spazsinbad
Just having fun with woids methinks 'revolving around the helmut' video clip to follow.... LONG version first - shortie later. OR... start from 2min 14secs: https://youtu.be/1MdG2ppU3iU?t=134 OR https://youtu.be/bz_Pc03Y5zI?t=222 OR https://youtu.be/DbQuaG4NfN8?t=371
Work: 'Confident' F-35 Ejection Issue Will Be Resolved
14 Apr 2016 Aaron Mehta

"MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT – Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work is “confident” concerns about the safety of ejections for lightweight pilots from the F-35 joint strike fighter will be resolved, he said Thursday.

The issue, first reported by Defense News in October, revolves around concerns that lightweight pilots could be severely injured or killed during a low-speed ejection from the F-35, leading to a restriction on pilots under 136 pounds from flying the fifth-generation jet.

The Pentagon has pledged to have a solution, revolving around a lighter helmet, with officials saying they hope to have the issue resolved by November...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /83041160/


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2016, 22:08
by spazsinbad
LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
18 Apr 2016 Jeff Babione

"...Ejection Seat
...On March 31 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, we conducted the first test combining all three new designs to reduce the risk of neck injury to F-35 pilots during ejection. A sled test, conducted with a 103-pound mannequin, was performed and was a success. This is the latest sign the program is on its way to allowing the military services to lift restrictions on lightweight pilots flying the F-35.

Since March 31, we’ve conducted at least seven other tests with the new seat, which is equipped with two modifications designed to reduce risk to pilots. The fixes to the ejection seat itself include a switch for lightweight pilots delaying deployment of the main parachute, a “head support panel,” and a fabric panel sewn between the parachute risers protecting the pilot’s head from moving backward during the parachute opening.

In a JPO media statement, Joe DellaVedova said, "This initial test had promising results, and the F-35 enterprise is on a path to qualify the helmet by the end of this summer. The lighter helmet expected to be fielded by the end of the year is in line with the seat timeframe as well.” This is great news and my thanks to all involved for the hard work!..."

Source: https://www.f35.com/assets/uploads/docu ... _21_16.pdf (0.7Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2016, 20:45
by spazsinbad
I guess I was waiting for LARA SELIGMAN to cotton on to 'seat replacement' aspect - she is now with AvWeak - oh well....
Exclusive: USAF Weighing Replacement F-35 Ejection Seat [LONG POST BEST READ AT SOURCE]
24 Jun 2016 Aaron Mehta

"WASHINGTON — The US Air Force is looking into the possibility of replacing the Martin-Baker ejection seat on the F-35 joint strike fighter with the United Technologies ACES 5 model, Defense News has learned.

While still in the earliest stages, such a move could have have massive repercussions for the F-35 supply chain, impacting the workshare strategy that forms the backbone for the international fleet of the Lockheed Martin-designed fighter.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the service's top uniformed acquisition official, confirmed the service's interest in the ACES 5 design in response to an inquiry from Defense News, but stressed that the Air Force had only just sent a letter to the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) in order to gather information on potential costs and challenges for switching the seat.

"We believe it is prudent to look at what it would take to qualify the ACES 5 seat as a potential risk mitigation step if additional things happen as we go through the testing of the Martin-Baker seat," Bunch said Friday. "We believe it's prudent to determine what it would cost, how much [impact on] the schedule, what the timeline would be, if something else happened and we wanted to go a different way."...

..."Our reason for going forward is safety and having a risk mitigation. That's our big driver. We have to have a seat that covers the whole envelope, all the demographics, from lightweight pilots to people who are [heavier], to be able to cover and allow them to be able to get out of the aircraft that we’re going to ask them to operate."

Bunch signed off on a letter Thursday that was sent to the JPO to begin the process of gathering information. However, four sources say the process of looking into the ACES 5 design and gathering information has been underway internally for over a week.

"We've not given [the JPO] direction to qualify. We've not asked them to go qualify, we've not asked for any change in the configuration in the airplane," Bunch stressed. "What I have tried to do is get the information in so we would know what it would cost, how much it would take, all it would entail, so we have that available were something else to occur."...

...The ACES 5 seat deals features a stabilization system the company calls “STAPAC,” which helps correct for pitch during an ejection. The ACES 5 design also features a headrest which pushes the pilots head down during ejection, stabilizing it during the process, which could help alleviate the risks there. Martin-Baker is working on adding a similar feature to its next seat version, which would add a fabric panel that will protect the pilot’s head from moving backward during the parachute opening.

According to Bunch, the Air Force found no other seat that would potentially replace the Martin-Baker design than the ACES 5, and his information request is only about that specific design....

...Bunch acknowledged that "We could have done it earlier. I won't disagree with that," but did not offer a specific reason for why the move is happening just now.

"It's just after looking at everything and watching everything and having our dialogues," Bunch said. "I just signed the memo out yesterday. Its something we could have done earlier, but we still believe it’s a prudent step to take at this time to have a potential risk mitigation [option] if something else were to occur."

He added that there should be no impact on the Air Force decision to declare the plane operational, expected before the end of the year....

...Bunch acknowledged that the industrial participation aspect of the program adds complexity, which is one of the aspects he asked the JPO to look into.

"I'm sure whatever answer I get, there will be words in there that will give me the idea of what that will do," Bunch said. "But until I get that information it would be presumptive of me to make much of a statement."

He also said he had not personally reached out to either UTC nor Martin-Baker, and has not begun the process of discussing the ACES 5 seat with the Marines, Navy or international partners.

"Once we get the information back we may have those dialogues. We understand at this point that if we're the only ones that would want it, the JPO would tell us we had to pay for it," Bunch said.

Obviously, if the Air Force does make this change, it would be a boon for UTC, and could lead to inclusion on future programs...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /86257576/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2016, 23:06
by bring_it_on
Lara's the new Amy. Anyhow, this is likely to be an extensively studied matter given the proliferation of MMI enhancing HMD's as they get more and more capable and perhaps even heavy

https://www.scribd.com/doc/316657299/Neck-Injury-HMD

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2016, 23:38
by popcorn
"Once we get the information back we may have those dialogues. We understand at this point that if we're the only ones that would want it, the JPO would tell us we had to pay for it," Bunch said.

Obviously, if the Air Force does make this change, it would be a boon for UTC, and could lead to inclusion on future programs...."


UTC could possibly offer to help underwrite any integration expense to nudge things along.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2016, 00:06
by bring_it_on

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2016, 01:13
by spazsinbad
Yes - from above old url: [& same article in another thread] viewtopic.php?f=22&t=15390&p=286394&hilit=Foul+Rival#p286394
"...MB [Martin Baker] claims that “the American taxpayer is being asked to foot the bill for the development of a product [new UTC seat] that already exists” (i.e. the Mk 16 seat)...."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2016, 01:29
by popcorn
UTC can do the bottom-line math... swallow integration costs and render MB objections moot. JSF would be a prized target...

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2016, 03:29
by cantaz
I wonder if this is a closeted, roundabout effort to divorce the USAF from the head protection requirement from the STOVL portion of the envelope.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2016, 05:44
by spazsinbad
Could be a way to keep MB on the ball with their fixes - as they seem to be - I would like Everyone to have the best seat - no question. Apparently the BEST SEAT WON but then the helmet became heavier - who is at fault? And MB has adjusted.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 23:39
by spazsinbad
Mouth to Mouth Resucitation for this Dead Horse Non Story Wot hasbin Flogged Unmercifully - oh dear - oh dearie me....
Martin-Baker, JPO Push Back at F-35 Ejection Seat Concerns
05 Jul 2016 Aaron Mehta

"...Martin-Baker has carried out 14 ejection tests of the new design, with eight tests remaining before the end of the year.

Notably, the statement from Martin-Baker includes a comment from Gen. Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program executive officer supporting the Martin-Baker design.

Sources have told Defense News that the JPO is cool to the idea of replacing the F-35 seat, in part because of the potential cost overruns it could cause on the already famously expensive program. Such a move would also have major impacts on the industrial base strategy that is the backbone of the F-35 program.

However, all involved agree that pilot safety is the priority with this issue, and Bogdan’s statement clearly indicates the JPO expects the redesign will do its job.

“We believe the current Martin-Baker US-16E ejection seat with proposed fixes will meet all F-35 requirements,” Bogdan was quoted as saying. “The seat will provide a safe escape envelope for pilots in excess of legacy aircraft.”..."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /86721718/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 04:28
by smsgtmac
spazsinbad wrote:Mouth to Mouth Resucitation for this Dead Horse Non Story Wot hasbin Flogged Unmercifully - oh dear - oh dearie me....

This is what's MOST wrong about Mehta's non-story 'story'.
Defense News first broke the news June 24 that the US Air Force is looking into certifying a competitor seat, the United Technologies ACES 5 design, as an alternative for its fleet of F-35A fighters.

No, while he wrote and still is writing that the AF was looking at replacing the MB seat, in reality the AF was/is asking contingency questions to get the answers they need to have in hand in case a Plan B became necessary and the incumbent seat doesn't get all the fixes worked in. Too many things would have to be wrong with the current seat to make any new effort economically feasible, ESPECIALLY under the 'pay to be different' costs the AF would need, so I believe the real story Mehta should be prying into is what kind of 'sponsorship' this AF initiative has behind it? What are the odds that some Congressman or other asked for it on behalf of or with encouragement by some constituency? How much of this is from AF safety weenies not liking the current shoot through the canopy concept necessary for the STOVL? Enquiring minds want to know.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 07 Jul 2016, 21:29
by spazsinbad
F-35 Ejection Seat Concerns Have Not Reached Lockheed Martin
07 Jul 2016 Valerie Insinna

"RAF FAIRFORD, England — While the Air Force may have developed a hint of second thoughts on the F-35A’s ejection seat, aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin has not been approached by the joint program office to weigh alternatives, a company official said Thursday.

Defense News broke the story last month that the service is considering the certification of United Technologies’ ACES 5 design as a fallback to the currently planned Martin-Baker US16E seat. Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official, said then that the service was studying the cost and logistics of adopting a different seat as a risk-mitigation measure in case the Martin-Baker equipment failed to meet safety requirements....

...Martin-Baker and the F-35 JPO have released statements to Defense News contending that the modified seat will demonstrate improved pilot safety, and Babione [Lockheed’s executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program] echoed that view.

“We have every confidence with the latest changes that the seat will be fully qualified for all weights, sizes and heights of pilots that the F-35 can be certified for,” he said. “And I think that will all be resolved by the end of this fall.”

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /86795680/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 16:40
by spazsinbad
Valerie formerly NDIA carries 'sad/bad/martinbaker 'jectionseat ball' now for DefNews rather than Lara moved to AvWeak.
F-35 Program Office at Odds With Air Force Over Ejection Seat
11 Jul 2016 Valerie Insinna

"RAF FAIRFORD, England — The F-35 joint program office (JPO) is at odds with a US Air Force decision to consider a new ejection seat for the aircraft but will reluctantly study the cost and schedule implications of integrating another seat, the program’s top official said Saturday.

At issue is the Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat, which was found last year to cause severe and sometimes fatal neck injuries to lightweight pilots upon ejection. Although Martin-Baker is implementing a number of fixes to their seat, the Air Force also wants the JPO to evaluate how certifying and integrating the United Technologies ACES 5 seat would impact the program.

“I think the Air Force is doing it to mitigate a perceived risk that ultimately the seat may not be as good as they need it to be for the entire envelope of the airplane and the entire envelope of body sizes,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, said at the Royal International Air Tattoo. “We don't necessarily feel that way in the JPO from a technical standpoint.

“We think that the testing we've seen so far in the last few months with the fixes we have in place are going to work,” he continued. “But the Air Force has the right to ask for a new requirement like that on the program, and they have, so we'll walk through that.”

Air Force Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the service’s top uniformed procurement officer, told Defense News last month that he had sent the program office a letter in June requesting information on how integrating the United Technologies seat could impact cost, schedule and other factors such as the aircraft's sustainment or lifecycle.

The JPO has not yet replied but will soon tell the Air Force that it plans to start a new study to assess those potential challenges in detail, Bogdan said. The study would likely conclude around the same time that testing for the Martin-Baker ejection seat wraps up, in November or December.

Even though the modified Martin-Baker seat should be able to meet requirements, it’s reasonable for the Air Force to weigh other options, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall said Sunday. In fact, this is not the first time the service has looked to replace one program-of-record F-35 technology with another.

“We had a situation with the helmet a few years ago where we did put a fair amount of money to develop an alternative helmet, because at that point we thought there was a very significant risk. We thought we would not mature the baseline design,” he said. “I don’t feel the same way about the ejection seat. I’ve been following that and with some design tweaks, modifications, we should be able to solve that problem.”

On the industry side, F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has not yet been told by the program office to begin assessing the new seat, its program manager, Jeff Babione, said last week.

Bogdan stressed that the service has not made a final decision on whether to proceed with integrating the ACES model.

“We personally think that the Martin-Baker seat is going to meet all of the specs. We think it's going to open up the envelope down to the 103-pound pilot as we talked about. When it does that, it will have the greatest range of any seat out there for fighter airplanes, so we think it's probably the right seat for the airplane right now,” he said.

Until those issues are solved, the Air Force has prohibited pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the aircraft — a decree that has sidelined one pilot...." [more blather about manufacturing effects IF a 2nd eject seat ACES it at URL]

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /86916700/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 18:07
by wrightwing
How about setting a minimum weight limit for pilots. That costs nothing.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 18:34
by spazsinbad
Weight Limits were set and the seat fix is in apparently - it is all getting to be a storm in a teacup but butterfly wings fluttering cause tornadoes in Kansas according to CHAOS theories - or something like that (100 monkeys typing?). :mrgreen:

BTW MB is paying its share of the change cost with the JPO only chipping in a small amount - all is good in bang seat land.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 20:31
by wrightwing
spazsinbad wrote:Weight Limits were set and the seat fix is in apparently - it is all getting to be a storm in a teacup but butterfly wings fluttering cause tornadoes in Kansas according to CHAOS theories - or something like that (100 monkeys typing?). :mrgreen:

BTW MB is paying its share of the change cost with the JPO only chipping in a small amount - all is good in bang seat land.

I meant set the weight limits, based upon the safety requirements of the seat, rather than spending money to change the specifications on the seat. If you weigh 135lbs or less, you get to fly C-130/17/5, KC-135/10, etc.....

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 20:51
by krorvik
wrightwing wrote:I meant set the weight limits, based upon the safety requirements of the seat, rather than spending money to change the specifications on the seat. If you weigh 135lbs or less, you get to fly C-130/17/5, KC-135/10, etc.....


Works for most americans. Might be a far worse issue in Japan for instance.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 21:56
by wrightwing
krorvik wrote:
wrightwing wrote:I meant set the weight limits, based upon the safety requirements of the seat, rather than spending money to change the specifications on the seat. If you weigh 135lbs or less, you get to fly C-130/17/5, KC-135/10, etc.....


Works for most americans. Might be a far worse issue in Japan for instance.

Let them pay for the modified seats.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 23:57
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:Weight Limits were set and the seat fix is in apparently - it is all getting to be a storm in a teacup but butterfly wings fluttering cause tornadoes in Kansas according to CHAOS theories - or something like that (100 monkeys typing?). :mrgreen:

BTW MB is paying its share of the change cost with the JPO only chipping in a small amount - all is good in bang seat land.

This... the issue is settled apparently. Pilots with supermodel BMI will be accommodated and MB is eating the bulk of cost so it's all moot.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2016, 01:38
by smsgtmac
You know what would be refreshing? If the majority of these stupid ejection seat stories ever bothered to mention that no other seat has ever been designed to accomodate pilots who weighed so little. Can you try that Valerie? Yeah, That'd be greaat. Thaaaaanks.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2016, 09:00
by spazsinbad
Martin Baker Has Fix for F-35 Seat Safety Issue
13 Jul 2016 Chris Pocock

"Martin Baker says that a solution to a safety problem with the F-35 ejection seat is two-thirds of the way through a testing program. Lt. General Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program executive officer, said last week that the proposed fixes will meet all F-35 requirements. Bogdan met with Martin Baker (MB) here at the show, and Andrew Martin, the company’s director of business development, told AIN that the discussions went well....

...From the outset, Martin Baker had designed the US16E seat to address the heavy-helmet issue. Upon ejection, large air bags contained in the seat’s headrest would inflate to center, restrain and protect the pilot’s head. The design was qualified in December 2010 with the Elbit/Rockwell Collins Gen II helmet-mounted display. But since the seat rotation issue was discovered, MB engineers have devised two methods of alleviation, and the program office asked Elbit and Rockwell Collins to reduce the weight of the helmet. This they have done, lowering the weight of the latest Gen III helmet by six ounces.

One of the two seat fixes is quite simple: a head support panel made of woven fabric fills the gap between the risers as the seat operates. This stops the pilot’s head from over-flexing backwards. The other fix is to adjust the software within the seat sequencer to reduce the parachute loads. A switch will be provided that lighter-weight pilots will set before flying, that provides a slightly longer delay before the parachute opens. This delay—measured in milliseconds—allows the seat and its drogue parachute to slow slightly. An MB engineer told AIN that the sequencer and wiring loom will have to be changed to complete the fix in the F-35 fleet.

Martin Baker has performed 14 tests of the fixes at different speeds with mannequins of various weights. Eight tests remain to be done. The company hopes to have the fixes fully qualified later this year. Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager Jeff Babione said he was “confident that this seat exceeds the requirements as outlined by the U.S. military and the F-35 partner nations.”

Source: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... fety-issue

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2016, 23:41
by zerion
Tests on F-35 Ejection Seat Modifications to Conclude

Two equipment modifications designed to make the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s ejection seat safe for use by lightweight pilots will wrap up testing by the second week of September, a source with knowledge of ongoing efforts told Military.com.

Air Force officials acknowledged last fall that pilots weighing less than 136 pounds were barred from flying the F-35A over fears that ejection with the plane’s hefty $400,000 helmet, weighing in at more than five pounds, could result in serious neck damage.

Officials with the F-35 Joint Program Office are seeking a lighter helmet that may be introduced early next year, according to FlightGlobal reports, but also moving forward with proposed changes to the Martin-Baker US-16E ejection seat designed to protect pilots’ necks and lessen the impact of ejection.

The two modifications under consideration are a “lightweight crew sequencer switch” that will slow parachute deployment by milliseconds after ejection, and a head support panel between ejection seat risers, Martin-Baker spokesman Richard Johnson told Military.com.

“Both have performed very well in tests,” he said.

Testing on the equipment should be complete around Sept. 9, the source told Military.com. Martin-Baker executives are expected to brief the Joint Program Office and the Air Force as soon as the next week on the results of testing and to discuss a plan to retrofit existing F-35s with the equipment changes. If all goes well, those modifications will be standard in new-production F-35As by 2017.

Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, told reporters at the Pentagon on Aug. 2 that the Air Force was still considering the possibility of swapping out the existing seat with a replacement, but added he was encouraged by early reports on the Martin-Baker fixes.

“I think they’ve made very good progress in solving the challenges that they had,” Carlisle said. “And it appears, at least at first blush, they may have gotten to the full envelope in a representative manner, with some modifications to the seat. I’m awaiting that data. I haven’t seen it all yet. But it looks very good.”

Johnson said Martin-Baker maintains its ejection seat is the right one for the aircraft.

“We’re taking the Air Force’s concerns seriously and we’re certain that following completion of our test that the Martin Baker seat will be more than acceptable,” he said.


http://www.defensetech.org/2016/08/08/t ... /?mobile=1

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2016, 21:41
by SpudmanWP
Looks like testing is done...

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/lig ... -completed

Lightweight Tests Of F-35 Ejection Seats Completed

Martin-Baker has completed testing of its F-35 escape system with lightweight dummies, and told a top U.S. Air Force official last month that a fixes designed to mitigate risk to the lightest fighter pilots are performing ...


If you have a sub, you can get more

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2016, 22:07
by bring_it_on
Didn't J. Michael Gilmore plan on being ejected out to verify?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2016, 21:16
by spazsinbad
Someone has projectile vomited EJECTED a whole bunch of words in anticipation that ACES 5 gets a leg up to the F-35. BUT on the other hand - this is a very long post - it does not look likely but they spewed it up anyways - paid by word? This is a long article so I have attempted to remove all the irrelevant stuff about ACES 5 & how precious it all is to somebody.
F-35 Program Office Hopeful to Move Out on Ejection Seat Retrofit Plan This Fall
19 Sep 2016 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — With just one test to go, the F-35 joint program office is confident that modifications made to the aircraft’s helmet and ejection seat will ultimately fix issues that greatly increase the risk of casualties to lightweight pilots upon being ejected from the plane....

...In an exclusive interview with Defense News, JPO officials said they expect the Air Force will be able to remove all weight restrictions following the final test of the modified escape system later this month. Preliminary data indicates that the upgraded seat and lighter helmet will have removed what the service termed “excessive” and “elevated” risk to light and mid-weight pilots, said Todd Mellon, the joint program office's executive director.

"We're three to four weeks away from having all of the data done so that we can finalize the technical assessment, put that into a risk assessment, and then ultimately make a recommendation," Mellon said Sept. 16. "We expect all of that to come together towards middle or late October. All indications based on the data we've evaluated and the preliminary results through yesterday are favorable."...

...By the end of the month, Martin-Baker and the program office will have conducted 21 sled tests, which gauge the impact of being ejected at different speeds and altitudes. Some testing occurred at Martin-Baker facilities, while other data was collected during service-led events at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Eight of those demonstrations employed a 103-pound mannequin, which was used to verify the escape system’s ability to eject the lightest-weight pilots able to operate the plane, said Navy Lt. Cdr. Nick Sinnokrak, the JPO's crew systems lead. At completion, six of the 21 tests will have also included the lightweight helmet. Five demonstrations included all three factors associated with proving the fix: the upgraded ejection seat, a lightweight helmet and a 103-pound dummy.

The final demonstration at the end of the month will use a heavyweight mannequin to test both the upgraded seat and helmet at 550 knot speeds, said Andrew Martin, Martin-Baker's director of business development and marketing....

..."No one will high-five the world more than myself when the final test is complete, which I'm sure will be a success, and the world and the program can move on to focusing on other things,” he said. “But I really don't take the scenario of the Air Force changing the escape system seriously at all. For that to happen, we would be talking about $50 million and a test program that would take three or four years, at best, for an alternative."...

...Upgrading Existing Aircraft
The joint program office laid out a preliminary plan to retrofit the Martin-Baker seats last week during a visit to Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas-based facilities, and will be prepared to proceed once the Air Force concurs with the JPO’s recommendation to remove flight restrictions, Mellon said.

“We expect that to happen in October,” he said. “We will have everything ready to begin the retrofit program in October, but we will not begin retrofit without concurrence.”

It will take about two years to complete the entire retrofit process, said Bjorge. “On the seat side, we’re going to target the training bases, because there are currently no lightweight pilots in the airplanes, so the only way to enter the pipeline is through the training pipeline.”

Martin-Baker and the JPO have already done some advance work to allow retrofits to begin quickly after the seat is re-qualified, Bjorge said. The parts needed for the upgrades are scheduled to arrive in November for immediate installation into seats.

Teams of Martin-Baker engineers will be responsible for modifying the seats at the Air Force bases, said Martin, who estimates that each seat will take about four days to complete.

In the beginning stage, the team will complete about 14 seats per month, ramping up to around 28 seats in 2017, Sinnokrak said.

The lightweight helmets will also begin coming off of Rockwell Collins’ production line this November,  but will be limited to six units this year, said Rich Lukasik, the JPO’s helmet mounted display lead integration engineer. Pilots below the 136-pound weight threshold will be the first to obtain the helmets. Full production of the lightweight helmet starts in 2017.

“Once we begin and get the ramp to an appropriate point, the only thing we’ll produce is the lightweight helmets,” Mellon said."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/f-3 ... -this-fall

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 01:57
by zerion
Martin-Baker Requalifying F-35 Seat To Accommodate New Helmet

When concerns emerged in late 2015 that a seat designed to save pilots’ lives might suddenly endanger them, it created a crisis for British family-owned ejection-seat manufacturer Martin-Baker. Now, more than a year later, the company has concluded tests for a modification to the seat that will accommodate and keep safe all the pilots who hopefully will never have to use it. The F-35’s US16E seat is a very different one from its predecessors, says Steve Richards, head of the ...

http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... new-helmet

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 03:10
by bring_it_on
Martin-Baker Requalifying F-35 Seat To Accommodate New Helmet


When concerns emerged in late 2015 that a seat designed to save pilots’ lives might suddenly endanger them, it created a crisis for British family-owned ejection-seat manufacturer Martin-Baker.
Now, more than a year later, the company has concluded tests for a modification to the seat that will accommodate and keep safe all the pilots who hopefully will never have to use it.

The F-35’s US16E seat is a very different one from its predecessors, says Steve Richards, head of the US16E program at Martin-Baker. Because of the large number of countries expected to adopt the aircraft, the seat had to be designed for a variety of physiological needs.

Seat Stresses
US16E seat designed for operation from -60-600 kt.

First Western ejection seat capable of being ejected automatically

More than 20 ejection tests needed to requalify

It must accommodate males and females of varying height and weight and must be able to jettison them, fully kitted, at speeds of -60-600 kt. and altitudes of 0-50,000 ft., as well as receive electronic signals from the aircraft to eject the pilot automatically should the F-35B model’s vertical-landing lift-fan system fail. The company has had to develop the US16 with the F-35B’s powered lift capabilities in mind. As the F-35 can fly backward, Martin-Baker had to account for that by designing the seat to operate in non-forward flight, accounting for the negative speed value.

More critically, it also had to factor in the new helmets, which are much larger and heavier now because of the new helmet-mounted display model that has replaced the cockpit-mounted head-up display.

“Although we bought affordability, the US16E had to be better than legacy escape systems, have better head-neck loads, more protection and bring lower risk,” says Richards.“It has been like designing a sports car to deal with lots of extremes.”

The company had already completed qualification of the US16E in 2010 with the initial so-called Gen 2 helmet produced by Vision Systems International, but when issues arose with that helmet, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) decided to introduce the Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems Gen 3 Lite system, which brought with it a number of changes related to weight and the center of gravity.

Because of this, the replacement helmet had to undergo its own set of ejection-seat tests, which began in October 2013.

“We started getting failures, . . . and it got dramatic in July 2015 when we did a low-speed test at 160 kt.,” Richards tells Aviation Week.

Data showed that as the seat pitched back in the moments after ejection, the mannequin experienced what Martin-Baker calls a neck injury criteria exceedance, where loads on the mannequin’s neck posed a potential or real risk of injury. Exceedances were also recorded in higher-speed tests.

“The last time we did a 160-kt. test, years before, we had passed it . . . . The program didn’t expect us to fail it that much,” Richards says.

When news of the failures became public, the U.S. Air Force banned pilots who weighed less than 136 lb. from flying the aircraft. One Air Force pilot was reassigned to a different aircraft type as a result.

“The failure rate at 160 kt. was one that could not be tolerated, . . . and we had to go back at the design of the helmet and the seat,” explains Richards “We could have put in an interim measure to keep that person flying, but we were told to focus on the solution.”

Lockheed Martin and Martin-Baker began working on a fix in the summer of 2015 and began testing the fixes last October. What was expected to be a delta test program turned into a full-blown requalification of the seat, with 22 ejection tests from rocket sleds in Northern Ireland and New Mexico as well as from Martin-Baker’s test aircraft in France.

The lighter helmet led to a center-of-gravity shift. As for the seat itself, the company has adjusted the software in the seat sequencer, which, as its name suggests, sequences the timings of the various ejection processes, including opening the drogue, releasing the seat and deploying the main parachute.

The timing of these processes is based on velocity, air pressure and altitude information taken by sensors on the seat at the time of ejection; look-up tables (a data process technique that replaces computing with indexed information) provide the correct timings for the conditions.

For pilots in the lower weight range, the company has introduced a graduated delay—around 0.45 sec. for the smallest pilot—into parachute deployment. This change is activated via a switch on the seat.

According to Richards, 99% of pilots will have this switch in the standard position, while the low-weight mode will be activated if the pilot weighs less than 150 lb., although the final decision on the threshold weight will be made by the Air Force and Navy.The other modification is the introduction of the head support panel (HSP), a fabric panel at the base of the harness risers that stops the head from moving backward as the seat pitches back.

This works in conjunction with an inflatable head-and-neck device, which works rather like an airbag on a car, with three fingers inflating around the top and either side of the head, holding it in position.

The HSP is most useful in low-speed ejections after the seat’s rocket motor has burned out and the drogue does not have much control authority. The seat pitches back, and the HSP stops the pilot’s head from doing the same.

Richards says the introduction of both the HSP and new sequencer timings has reduced head-neck loads by a factor of six. “We went from a massive exceedance to a magnitude under the requirement,” says Richards. “The wider [JPO] program liked it . . . . It was a cost-effective, low-mass and quick-change fix and didn’t require software or much complex testing.

“But there were a lot of ‘doubting Thomases,’” Richards adds. “They couldn’t believe it was possible through a simple change.”

The new tests have focused on three key anthropometric groups, Case 1, Case 6 and a hybrid Case 2ST, which covers short torsos. The “cases” are based on a U.S. and European database of consumer body measurements, the Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource Project, or Caesar. Cases 1 and 6 were tested because they encompass the extremes of the seat. Case 1 represents the smallest adult while Case 6 covers the largest-limbed and tallest pilots.. Case 2ST was tested to determine the mass weight at which the seat switch should be engaged.

Manufacturing of the retrofit for the seats began in January 2016; shipping began last November and modifications are getting underway this month.

The retrofit program is expected to take nearly a year. However, one of the biggest challenges, Richards says, will be making the aircraft available to the Martin-Baker teams. When the retrofit work is completed, the Air Force plans to reopen F-35 training to pilots under 136 lb. by December, the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation noted in its fiscal 2016 report on the F-35’s progress.

The F-35 JPO tells Aviation Week that it has received the escape system data and documentation from industry and will soon release this to the Air Force and Navy for review, as the services own the airworthiness process. Each will provide their assessment of the escape-system upgrades.

“The JPO has been working hand in hand with the airworthiness officials in the Air Force and Navy to develop the escape fixes and to develop the test plan for the fixes,” the JPO said in a statement. “The services have seen draft reports and are encouraged by the results but are holding their final airworthiness and risk assessment until the final reports are provided. The final reports are scheduled to be delivered soon to facilitate the services’ airworthiness and safety analysis processes.”

However, the tests beg the question of whether, if there are further changes to the helmet or if a new HMD is introduced, a new round of costly ejection-seat testing could be required.

“It all depends on what mass and center-of-gravity changes there were,” Richards says. “If it’s a major change, then it is quite a big program, and if there is a Gen 4 or 5, we will need to do some testing if that came up.”

http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... new-helmet

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 03:12
by spazsinbad
:applause: Thanks for that 'brang_it_front' :mrgreen: there are some other F-35 stories there that need a tickle please. 8) TAH TIA :roll:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 03:35
by steve2267
Martin-Baker Requalifying F-35 Seat To Accommodate New Helmet
Source: http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... new-helmet
...
More critically, it also had to factor in the new helmets, which are much larger and heavier now because of the new helmet-mounted display model that has replaced the cockpit-mounted head-up display.
...

This article is poorly written, misleading to many.

"New helmets, which are much larger and heavier" ... compared to what? We established in another thread that the new Gen III HMD helmet, the subject of this article is lighter than the previous F-35 HMD helmets, AND roughly in the middle of the range of the other helmets currently in use by the USAF / USN on the F/A-18 and F-16 aircraft.

Not only that, but you don't have a pound or two of weight extended away from your head for night vision goggles like you do in an F-18 or an F-16. Question: what happens if you have to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft and you are wearing NVGs? Do you have to remove the NVGs before you eject? Is it safe to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft with NVGs hanging off the front of your head? I mean, that is a not-insignificant amount of weight (NVGs) on a not-insignificant moment arm.

Martin-Baker Requalifying F-35 Seat To Accommodate New Helmet
Source: http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... new-helmet
...
When news of the failures became public, the U.S. Air Force banned pilots who weighed less than 136 lb. from flying the aircraft. One Air Force pilot was reassigned to a different aircraft type as a result.
...

As others have pointed out, how difficult would it be for the author to note how many other tactical aircraft and their ejection seats permit pilots less than 136lb to pilot them? (Is not the answer zero?)

Martin-Baker Requalifying F-35 Seat To Accommodate New Helmet
Source: http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... new-helmet
...
The lighter helmet led to a center-of-gravity shift. As for the seat itself, the company has adjusted the software in the seat sequencer, which, as its name suggests, sequences the timings of the various ejection processes, including opening the drogue, releasing the seat and deploying the main parachute.
...

Now it's a lighter helmet? Wait a minute... a few paragraphs ago, it was a "much larger and heavier helmet"... now it's a "lighter" helmet? This article is poorly written and confusing at best, misleading at worst.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 03:55
by cantaz
The article also raises the potential of future versions of the helmet posing a problem even though it also talked about how the fixes actually exceeded requirement. It's not hard to figure out that exceeding the requirement basically created a margin for helmet growth.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 18:50
by spazsinbad
Air Force: Removal of F-35 pilot weight restrictions eyed for April
13 Feb 2017 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Air Force could be ready to remove restrictions on lightweight F-35 pilots as early as April, following fixes to the aircraft’s ejection seat and helmet.

But Martin-Baker’s US16E ejection seat is not completely in the clear yet. Even if the newly modified pilot-escape system meets requirements, the service may still press ahead with certifying a second ejection seat as a bulwark against potential risks in the future, said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, who heads the Air Force’s F-35 integration office....

...testing of the modified escape system is mostly complete, and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has provided that data to the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, which functions as the service’s airworthiness authority, Pleus told Defense News during a Feb. 10 interview.

One last test remains, an “electro-environmental” demonstration scheduled for March that validates that the escape system fires only when triggered. After reviewing the data, Air Force engineers and airworthiness experts will produce a final report, he said....

...“We anticipate that by April, we should have a response from our airworthiness authority,” a role performed by Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander. “If that were to be the case, there would be a series of retrofits that would be required for the seats. That would probably take a few months, and at that point, we would have a capability of opening the pipeline to lightweight student pilots." [grils :mrgreen: ]

Martin-Baker and Rockwell Collins have made three major changes to their products in order to make the escape system safe for lightweight pilots.

A new switch in the US16E ejection seat alters the parachute loads to accommodate pilots of different weight ranges, and a head support panel helps protect the head and neck from stress upon ejection. The weight of the Rockwell Collins helmet has also dropped from 5.1 to 4.6 pounds....

...Pleus said. But even if restrictions are lifted, the service may decide to qualify ACES 5 nonetheless.

Given the number of F-35s planned to be purchased by the Air Force — 1,763 in total — Pleus believes that there would be value to qualifying a second seat, in case further problems with the US16E surface later down the road. But service leaders will have to weigh that against the UT ejection seat’s cost and capability, he added.

“If at some point if an issue arises with the Martin-Baker seat, or from a cost effectiveness or safety standpoint, we would make a decision over which was the better seat,” he said. “Right now, we have no data about the ACES 5 seat. Is it safer? It might not be. Is it more expensive or cheaper? I don’t know that.”...

...The JPO had hoped that the service would be able to remove flight restrictions on lightweight pilots by the end of last year, but it took longer than anticipated for the companies and program office to synthesize test data. In September, officials said the program office and Lockheed Martin had already put together a preliminary retrofit strategy and had ordered the parts needed to begin modifying the seats.

It will take about two years for all of the F-35s to move through the pipeline, JPO officials said then."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air ... y-as-april

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 19:29
by cantaz
I still think the ACES 5 plan is a USAF ploy to deviate from seat commonality with the USMC, for the purpose of creating more space for pilot head movement.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 21:16
by 35_aoa
steve2267 wrote:Not only that, but you don't have a pound or two of weight extended away from your head for night vision goggles like you do in an F-18 or an F-16. Question: what happens if you have to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft and you are wearing NVGs? Do you have to remove the NVGs before you eject? Is it safe to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft with NVGs hanging off the front of your head? I mean, that is a not-insignificant amount of weight (NVGs) on a not-insignificant moment arm.


If they are not down and locked, they will disconnect at like 3G's or something around that…….have had that happen on accident, and it is not great as they will immediately fall to the floor and jam your control stick (in a center stick designed aircraft). If down and locked, they would pop off due to air loads theoretically, but I also know of a couple guys who jumped out at high speed off the coast of San Diego with goggles on, and they lost their helmets in the process. Not sure how much of this was interaction of the NVG's and helmet and air loads, or if it was just simply due to the high speed (nearly supersonic). Standard briefing item during "ejection" is to get the goggles off your helmet if you have the time.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 23:08
by popcorn
Well the doomsayers will have to find another issue to wring their hands over. :)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 04:32
by neurotech
35_aoa wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Not only that, but you don't have a pound or two of weight extended away from your head for night vision goggles like you do in an F-18 or an F-16. Question: what happens if you have to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft and you are wearing NVGs? Do you have to remove the NVGs before you eject? Is it safe to eject from a Gen 4 aircraft with NVGs hanging off the front of your head? I mean, that is a not-insignificant amount of weight (NVGs) on a not-insignificant moment arm.


If they are not down and locked, they will disconnect at like 3G's or something around that…….have had that happen on accident, and it is not great as they will immediately fall to the floor and jam your control stick (in a center stick designed aircraft). If down and locked, they would pop off due to air loads theoretically, but I also know of a couple guys who jumped out at high speed off the coast of San Diego with goggles on, and they lost their helmets in the process. Not sure how much of this was interaction of the NVG's and helmet and air loads, or if it was just simply due to the high speed (nearly supersonic). Standard briefing item during "ejection" is to get the goggles off your helmet if you have the time.

Probably the high speed, as the NACES II is limited to 600 Kts on paper. A few MiG-29 pilots have ejected out near supersonic (and actually supersonic) with the Russian style helmets (holes in them) had less aerodynamic loads on the way out.

A F/A-18E pilot out of Oceana ejected at high speed with JHMCS on his helmet, and as I recall the helmet stayed on, but the pilot had a sore neck from the added forces. He was lucky to survive the ejection. NATOPS warnings were updated after the mishap.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 07:24
by hornetfinn
I don't really get the whole issue with lightweight pilots and why so much work and money is used to accommodate such pilots. From Martin Baker web page:

Crew boarding mass ranges:
Mk. 10 (a really long list of aircraft): 69.2 – 112.2 kg
Mk. 14 (F-18 and T-45): NACES original - 79.1 to 117.4 kg, NACES P3I - 62.7 to 131.7 kg
Mk. 16 for Rafale: 63.5 to 106.0 kg
Mk. 16 for EF Typhoon: 61.0 to 133.5 kg

Mk. 16 for F-35 (dressed): 57.1 Kg (126 lbs) to 132.4 kg (292 lbs)

So, F-35 ejection seat should accommodate quite a bit lighter and also heavier pilots than most other ejections seats. Is there really need for that? What makes F-35 need to accommodate lighter pilots than other jets? Btw, are there really fighter pilots that weigh even close to 130 kg (285 lbs)? All fighter pilots I've ever seen have been have been way, way smaller than that and would need to carry full infantry combat load to reach that weight.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 08:24
by spazsinbad
For a start the requirement was for the weights noted. Technology moves ahead so I'll guess the trendsetters knew the weights could be accommodated. The trick for getting more small women as fighter pilots is to be able to use the seat and with the seat UP (I joke - aren't I naughty). For the heavy hitters one has to acknowledge that HOOMens are getting bigger - taller and fatter - all the time. Throw in their extra gear for fighting under NBCD (nuckclear, biologicatal, chem-trails & something or other) and you have heavy peeps indeed. A-4 pilots of old suffered under an incredible weight of combat survival gear that slowly was removed because 'combat ceased' so to speak. Anyways have a look at some of the heavy-necked USofA fiter pilotes of today to see where things are headed. Females in general will probably make better co-ordinater (I'll be back) F-35 pilots in the air because they do multi tasking well OR so I have heard - many times. But YMMV.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 08:52
by 35_aoa
hornetfinn wrote:So, F-35 ejection seat should accommodate quite a bit lighter and also heavier pilots than most other ejections seats. Is there really need for that? What makes F-35 need to accommodate lighter pilots than other jets? Btw, are there really fighter pilots that weigh even close to 130 kg (285 lbs)?


I know a few guys in the 250-ish range (tall folks), though I agree, 285 is pretty big even for a "big" guy. I also know a number of girls who are at the light end of the spectrum. On the light side, I've known a few female WSO's who were too light to wear JHMCS. I think that is the realm where most of the problems would come from.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 14:29
by hornetfinn
Thank you Spaz and 35_aoa for your insights. So it seems that female pilots are the reason for lower weight limits. I think it's good that women can also become fighter pilots as some might well make very good pilots. Interesting that there are such big fighter pilots around. I've sat and "flown" in F/A-18 simulator (Weapons Tactics Trainer/WTT, you probably know that one 35_aoa) with realistic cockpit (AFAIK) and had no problems with my dimensions (I'm 193 cm/6'4" and was about 100 kg/220 lbs then). So I can see big dudes fitting inside but never thought there were fighter pilots bigger/heavier than me around... :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 14:42
by spazsinbad
Back in the dim days years ago I read that the data used to make the A-4 cockpit REALLY SMALL was from WWII era when blokes were a lot smaller. Throw in corn fed Americans & others in the 1960s and there was a real problem. Some potential A-4 pilots were disqualified for either being too tall or too small. I have seen evidence of both issues with some pilots at either extreme in the RAN FAA (Fleet Air Arm). I have mentioned that the smaller chap had to sit on an illegal phone book to see over the front to carrier deck land, sometimes he did not have time, or forgot to, relock his seat harness so he would smash his helmet visor into the gunsight during arrest. Tall pilots would likely smash knees/toes during an ejection because leg/thigh length was not below limits. There were other factors. The rocket seat had a weight limit but I don't recall now if that was ever an issue - just some esoterica. One pilot complained that the zero/zero almost ejection was very violent. However the seat did save his life - flying a jet is never going to be a picnic - perhaps the F-35 is one. :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 20:54
by blindpilot
hornetfinn wrote:Thank you Spaz and 35_aoa for your insights. So it seems that female pilots are the reason for lower weight limits. I think it's good that women can also become fighter pilots... :D


I would be reluctant to attribute new standards solely to small women pilots. This requirement is also driven by ally cultures that have smaller men than our US corn fed Nebraska farmer kids. There will be light weight Japanese and Korean men pilots as well. Limiting the range of weights unnecessarily will always keep talented individuals from your pool of applicants. I recall how frustrating it was at the USAF Academy that our basketball players were limited to 6ft 6 (? or smaller) when cadets were expected to be aircrew eligible unless by exception (medical track etc.)

Anyway it is not JUST women.... and getting and retaining pilots right now is tough.(Airlines) We need as wide a range as possible from Physics. It doesn`t matter what the F-4/15/16/18 seats were set at .. back in the day..

FWIW,
BP

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 22:45
by neurotech
35_aoa wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:So, F-35 ejection seat should accommodate quite a bit lighter and also heavier pilots than most other ejections seats. Is there really need for that? What makes F-35 need to accommodate lighter pilots than other jets? Btw, are there really fighter pilots that weigh even close to 130 kg (285 lbs)?


I know a few guys in the 250-ish range (tall folks), though I agree, 285 is pretty big even for a "big" guy. I also know a number of girls who are at the light end of the spectrum. On the light side, I've known a few female WSO's who were too light to wear JHMCS. I think that is the realm where most of the problems would come from.

Some of the astronauts were a tight fit in the T-38, although within technically range for the older seats. The new Mk.16T seats are rated for wider range pilots. At least one Mk. 16T seat was used with a lightweight (apparently female) pilot.

Incidentally, they have been known to use custom lightweight helmets for lighter weight pilots and WSOs, including JHMCS. A waiver or two might be involved. One male F-35 pilot was temporarily grounded until the custom helmet was fitted, and it definitely wasn't LtCol. Christine Mau who uses a standard helmet.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 23:26
by Dragon029
The only F-35 pilot affected by the weight limit was confirmed to be male and he was sent to fly Raptors (not sure if that was before or after the custom helmet). Anecdotally, every female RAAF pilot and pilot trainee I've met has been (or at least seemed) reasonably safe from the minimum BMI limit. I've known at least one ACO (WSO) on the other hand who was always one large trip to the toilet from being underweight - he ate plenty (more than me, and I'm about ~80kg / ~180lb), but he was just blessed / cursed with a very fast metabolism.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2017, 15:04
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Dragon029 wrote: he ate plenty (more than me, and I'm about ~80kg / ~180lb), but he was just blessed / cursed with a very fast metabolism.

I've been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was 14 I hit 6'3" (190cm) and was eating 7-10kCal of food per day to maintain 140lb (64kg). These days I a more normal sized diet has me maintaining 230lb (105kg) and I can't get under 220 (100) for anything.

On days that I want to eat everything in sight my old metabolism looks like a blessing. When I look at how much money I would be spending on food these days to not drop weight like crazy then my old metabolism looks like a curse.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2017, 04:06
by 35_aoa
Yeah, wasn't trying to insinuate that women are the only people who are out of limits, just that they make up the vast majority of the cases I've seen. There are little dudes as well. My point was that the lower end of the spectrum will probably account for the most waivers/etc. Military height/weight standards cull a lot of the 270+ crowd, unless you are talking real tall people.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2017, 08:17
by hornetfinn
blindpilot wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:Thank you Spaz and 35_aoa for your insights. So it seems that female pilots are the reason for lower weight limits. I think it's good that women can also become fighter pilots... :D


I would be reluctant to attribute new standards solely to small women pilots. This requirement is also driven by ally cultures that have smaller men than our US corn fed Nebraska farmer kids. There will be light weight Japanese and Korean men pilots as well. Limiting the range of weights unnecessarily will always keep talented individuals from your pool of applicants. I recall how frustrating it was at the USAF Academy that our basketball players were limited to 6ft 6 (? or smaller) when cadets were expected to be aircrew eligible unless by exception (medical track etc.)

Anyway it is not JUST women.... and getting and retaining pilots right now is tough.(Airlines) We need as wide a range as possible from Physics. It doesn`t matter what the F-4/15/16/18 seats were set at .. back in the day..


I definitely agree with you after some thinking about it. There are also men who could physically be very suitable for fighter pilots but are too small for most ejection seat weight limits. Boxing and MMA flyweights come to mind as an example. Not that being a successful athlete makes you a suitable fighter pilot automatically but they have good physical properties for it. Definitely agree with Korean and Japanese males even though they have also grown like Western men.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2017, 17:16
by XanderCrews
35_aoa wrote:Yeah, wasn't trying to insinuate that women are the only people who are out of limits, just that they make up the vast majority of the cases I've seen. There are little dudes as well. My point was that the lower end of the spectrum will probably account for the most waivers/etc. Military height/weight standards cull a lot of the 270+ crowd, unless you are talking real tall people.


It's majority women. And in difference to blind pilot I'll also point out we are going to need fewer fighter pilots going into the future. The pool can be smaller. Lots of pilots can fly sans ejection seat platforms too

Bone density is a factor even an underweight male will have stronger bones, more muscle. Weight is just an easier measurment

Pilots just seem to naturally get fatter in those loose nomex PJs anyway-- no offense 35AOA lol

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 05:47
by 35_aoa
None taken. Not overweight by any standards, but now in my mid 30's, I've put on a few pounds since I was a young ENS in my early 20's.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 19:33
by spazsinbad
From MB promo video (enhanced by moi) the three criteria - one of which was 'Gender - small female' - see screenshot:


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 08:35
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... at-435792/


USAF completes last tests for F-35 ejection seat

03 APRIL, 2017
BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC

The US Air Force completed electromagnetic environmental effects (EEE) testing on the Lockheed Martin F-35’s escape system 23 March, marking the last round of testing on the Martin-Baker US16E (MKk16) ejection seat. The air force’s airworthiness engineers are analyzing the data and so far the results appear to be good, Brig Gen Scott Pleus, director of the F-35 Integration office, told FlightGlobal in a 24 March interview. During the test, the seat’s electronic controls were hit with electricity to test their functionality, F-35 programme executive officer Lt Gen Chris Bogdan told reporters last week. The data from the EEE, helmet and dummy testing on the ejection seat will help the USAF decide whether to remove restrictions on pilots weighing less than 62kg (136lb), Bogdan says. “We think that weight restriction could be removed anywhere from April and beyond,” he says. “We’ll start modifying airplanes in April to the new seat configurations with the new helmets, so as soon as the USAF gives it the OK, that’s up to them.”

Meanwhile, the air force is also examining the cost to qualify United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS)’ ACES 5 ejection seat. It would be premature to halt that second source qualification and until the USAF receives the results from the Martin-Baker study and decides on the weight restriction, the service still has a competition to qualify the ACES 5 seat, Pleus says.The UTAS UT’s seat would represent not only a second option for the service, but a domestic source as well. But Pleus says he is less concerned with beefing up the local industrial base and more focused on pilot safety. “We are going to put the safest seat we possibly can and if it happens to be an American industry, great,” he says. “We believe that if the seats meets the specifications there would be no need to take a secondary look at qualifying a seat.” When asked about the potential cost and schedule implications of qualifying the ACES 5 seat, Bogdan expressed strong support for the Martin-Baker seat. Other fixes on the US16E, including a switch that briefly delayed opening the parachute with a lightweight pilot and a lighter weight helmet, have also made the escape system safer for all pilots flying the aircraft, he says.

“I have an ejection seat on this airplane now that is better than anything in the field or projected to be in the field,” Bogdan says. “So as a programme manager I got what I need. I gave the warfighter what he asked for. Yes it was painful, yes I had to make some changes to the seat, yes it was controversial, but the seat today meets all the requirements.”
:)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 07 Apr 2017, 00:41
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... at-436014/

Air Force explores next-generation ejection seat

07 April, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco Washington DC

The US Air Force is conducting market research for a next-generation ejection seat for fighters and bombers, according to a 5 April notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities web site. The service plans to release a draft request for proposals in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 and a final RFP in the second quarter of FY18, program schedule slides state. The air force will select two qualified sources and award contracts at the beginning of FY19. A production decision would come in the middle of FY20. The contract could also open the door for production of a domestic ejection seat, namely United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS)’ Advanced Concept Ejection Seat (ACES) 5 ejection seat, and line up a potential competitor to the UK-based Martin-Baker. In a recent interview, Brig Gen Scott Pleus, director of the F-35 Integration office, told FlightGlobal it would be premature to halt the ACES 5 source qualification until the USAF receives the results from a study on Martin-Baker’s seat for the F-35.

The planned seat would integrate with the USAF’s existing fighter jets and bombers. Today, UTAS employs its ACES II ejection seat on the USAF’s F-22, F-16, F-15, A-10 and B-1 aircraft. In September, the air force awarded AMI Industries Inc, a United Technology Corporation company, a $14.4 million contract to upgrade the B-2 with the ACES II. The seat features a detachable seatback that would not require the removal of the bomber’s escape hatches for maintenance. In 2014, Martin-Baker completed installation of new US16T ejection seats on the USAF’s fleet of Northrop T-38 trainer aircraft. Martin-Baker is also fielding its US16E (MK16) ejection seat on the air force’s fleet of F-35As. The escape system has faced criticism over its weight restriction, limiting flights by pilots weighing less than 61.7kg (136lb). The USAF believes the weight restriction on the F-35A's Mk16 seat could be removed this spring.
:)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 01:17
by spazsinbad
Is it only DEFnews wot pushes the UT F-35 altSeat Agenda or am I just dreamin'? Whatever - here they go agin - ACES 5.
United Technologies faces narrow chances of ousting incumbent F-35 ejection seat maker
17 Apr 2017 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Air Force is nearing a decision on whether to ease weight restrictions on the F-35A caused by issues with its pilot escape system, but if the aircraft’s Martin-Baker ejection seat meets requirements, the service will likely abandon plans to qualify a second seat, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official told Defense News in an exclusive interview....

...In 2016, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the military deputy for the office of assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, directed the F-35 joint program office to study the potential cost and schedule impacts of qualifying United Technologies’ ACES 5.

Martin-Baker and F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin have since wrapped up testing and submitted new data to the Air Force, whose airworthiness authorities will make a final determination on whether to lift weight restrictions, Bunch told Defense News on April 17.

“What I am waiting on to see if the issues that we needed to have addressed have been addressed, and if those have been addressed, I will retract my request for that information [about ACES 5],” he said. [GOLDARNIT for dem UTs]

Bunch added that he would wait to see the data before making a final decision, and will weigh whether the cost of qualifying a second seat could be justified. But “if the seat that we has meets all of the requirements, I would have a hard time explaining why I would want to spend that money,” he said.

Air Force officials have said it could remove weight restrictions as early as this month, followed shortly by a resolution about whether to move forward on ACES 5. [talk about repetitive - bit of froth stirring I reckon but keep readin'/stirrin']

“All the indications that I have right now and the information that I have been given is that all the requirements are being met,” Bunch said. “Our number one priority from the very beginning has been the safety of our aircrew. That has been our number-one focal point, and the JPO and Lockheed Martin and Martin Baker have responded and leaned in to address the issue as we wanted them to.”

Bunch's comments may signal a shift in perception on the US16E, which had been regarded with apprehension by many in the Air Force... [fancy that - as if but this is USAF - am I rite or am I rong - somebody stop me (the mask)]

...The F-35 joint program office has remained bullish on the Martin-Baker seat throughout the ordeal, with Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the F-35 JPO, repeatedly saying that the modified US16E was making progress in tests and now meeting specifications for pilots of all sizes. [PHEW!]

“I have an ejection seat on this airplane now that is better than anything in the field or anything projected to be in the field,” Bogdan said in March. “It can handle a pilot from 103 pounds to 240-plus pounds from about five feet up to a six-and-a-half foot person. That set of body sizes cannot be replicated in any other ejection seat in the world, and it meets the requirement, so as a program manager, I’ve got what I need.”

“Yeah, it was painful. Yeah, I had to make some changes to the seat. Yeah, it was controversial. But the seat today meets all of the requirements,” he continued. “So from my perspective, I don’t need to look at anything else.” [good ole generale boggedown]

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/uni ... seat-maker

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 24 Apr 2017, 20:26
by spazsinbad
DOD Needs to Complete Developmental Testing Before Making Significant New Investments [GAO Report]
24 Apr 2017 GAO

"...Ejection seat:
In 2015, officials discovered that pilots who weigh less than 136 pounds could possibly suffer neck injuries during ejection. Officials stated that the risk of injury is due to the over-rotation of the ejection seat in combination with the thrust from the parachute deployment during ejection. Officials noted that although the problem was discovered during testing of the new Helmet Mounted Display, the helmet’s weight was not the root cause. The program has explored a number of solutions to ensure pilot safety including installing a switch for light-weight pilots that would slow the release of the parachute deployment, installing a head support panel that would reduce head movement, and reducing the weight of the helmet. The final design completed qualification testing in 2016 and is expected to be incorporated into production lot 10. The cost of these changes has not yet been determined.

Source: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684207.pdf (2.1Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2017, 01:58
by steve2267
At what angle does the Mk16U recline? Is it 17°? 18°? 22.5°?

After a bunch of searching, I think I found some comments suggesting (or stating) it can vary from 17° to 22.5°. Can anyone confirm?

We've noted that the F-35 seems to fly at a slightly higher angle of attack than other fighter aircraft. Witness multiple references to photographs and videos (esp. the F-35 flying with Thunderbirds video). Gums has noted the Viper flew at 15° AoA to get 9g. Combined with the F-16 seat angle of 30°, gave a "combined" seat angle of 45° which helped a lot at 9g. Also noted was that it was not so much the seat reclination angle, but the fact that the pilot's feet were almost at the same level as his butt (or torso). That is, the elevated feet posture seemed to be more important.

If the F-35's Mk16U reclines at 22.5°, and the aircraft tends to like to fly a little nose high, then I wonder if it will not achieve 9g around 20-22.5° AoA, which, combined with the seat at 22.5°, would give the same pilot "attitude" of 45° reclination.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2017, 14:02
by steve2267
Upon further reflection, I think my supposition of 9g @ 22.5° AoA may be grossly exaggerated. Even if she likes to trim out / fly at a slightly nose higher attitude than most other jets (e.g. F-16s in many videos / photos), an additional 7.5° at 9g is likely to be huge, especially since someone suggested (or stated) the corner speed is 370 kts @ 15,000 ft. If the corner speed was 250kts, then maybe 22.5° AoA might make sense.

Has anyone seen / read / heard pilot comments about F-35 cockpit / seat comfort in general (as a workspace/on long trips) and/or at high-g compared to other legacy aircraft?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2017, 19:45
by SpudmanWP
Air Force to Release F-35 Weight Restrictions

this is the safest ejection seat I've ever flown,” said Brig. Gen. Scott L. Pleus, the F-35 Integration Office director.


http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/ ... trictions/

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force leaders recently removed the restriction that kept pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the F-35A. The restriction was imposed in 2015 due to concerns about the risk during ejections in a portion of the flight envelope.

After rigorous testing to ensure the escape system works reliably and safely in all planned conditions and across all pilot weights, three distinct modifications were implemented. A switch was installed on the seat that slightly delays parachute deployment at high speeds and decreases parachute opening forces for lightweight pilots. Additionally, a head support panel has been mounted on the rear risers of the parachute to prevent the pilot’s head from moving backwards during an ejection. Finally, the overall helmet weight has been reduced through both the reduction of internal strapping material and the removal of an additional external visor, which decreases injury risk during parachute opening.

“I have personally briefed every single F-35 pilot in the United States Air Force about these changes to their ejection seat, and I’m confident our pilots are no longer concerned with the safety of the F-35 ejection system. I've flown in this seat myself and believe, with these modifications, this is the safest ejection seat I've ever flown,” said Brig. Gen. Scott L. Pleus, the F-35 Integration Office director.

In July 2015, during the manufacturer’s ongoing testing, analysis identified an unacceptable risk of neck injury during parachute deployment/opening for pilots weighing less than 136 pounds. The requirement is for the seat to be certified for any pilot weighing between 103 and 245 pounds.

Air Force headquarters and wing leadership took immediate action to ensure pilot safety and work with the manufacturer to meet requirements for the seat. The F-35 Joint Program Office has been working in concert with contractors to develop options to reconfigure the ejection system.

The new ejection seats are already being retrofitted into the existing fleet, and the lightweight helmets are available in pre-production now, while full production starts later this year. The Air Force has received more than 100 F-35As to date, trained more than 400 pilots and accumulated more than 40,000 flight hours.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 05:27
by spazsinbad
I thought this phrase was 'weirdlyworded' above - however with the first sentence read with next sentence OK but....
"...The F-35 Joint Program Office has been working in concert with contractors to develop options to reconfigure the ejection system.

The new ejection seats are already being retrofitted into the existing fleet..."

so this new clarification helps:
"...Martin-Baker and Lockheed can modify 14 seats a month so it should take eight to nine months to complete the modifications to existing aircraft...."

F-35 Threat Library Still Way Too Slow; Light Pilots Cleared to Fly
15 May 2017 Colin Clark

"...In other news, the Air Force cleared the F-35A for all pilots weighing between 103 and 245 pounds. Pilots lighter than 136 pounds had been barred from the flying the plane because they could be killed should the Martin-Baker ejection seat blast out of the aircraft. The Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin and other contractors have begun testing the lighter weight helmet made by Rockwell Collins and the slightly delayed opening of the parachute, Pleus said. The helmet was made lighter by removing one of its visors and some internal webbing. So far, the Air Force doesn’t know where pilots will store the extra visor. The first pilot will be using the Generation III Light helmet and using the adapted ejection seat by the end of the year, Pleus said.

Martin-Baker and Lockheed can modify 14 seats a month so it should take eight to nine months to complete the modifications to existing aircraft...."

PHOTO: http://breakingdefense.com/wp-content/u ... -Baker.jpg

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/f-35 ... ed-to-fly/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 07:33
by jessmo111
Sigh... why couldn't we just fatten up the pilots to around 140!?. Just give them a few tours around Texas or the U.S. gulf coast. Have them visit other pilots families.
I will gaurantee you a few weeks in the dirty south, with pork ribs, 7-up cake, and macaronni bake will get you plump in, no time. :drool:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 09:22
by spazsinbad
The 'greatest non-story ever told' and I'm surprised both female writers did not cotton on to the lightweight female angle. Anyway instead they went for the alternate ejection seat which as the first paragraph states - ACES 5 is no more. <sigh>
US Air Force removes weight restrictions on F-35A pilots
15 May 2017 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has lifted flight restrictions on lightweight F-35A pilots and will not pursue qualifying United Technologies’ ACES 5 ejection seat — a major win for Martin-Baker and its US16E pilot escape system, which is used in all variants of the F-35, officials announced Monday....

...“Combined, these changes reduce the risk to lightweight pilots in both high- and low-speed ejections and make the F-35 ejection safest one of the safest in our entire inventory,” Pleus told reporters, adding that the aircraft will now be open to pilots anywhere between 102 and 245 pounds....

...The service is currently modifying its existing fleet of aircraft with a new lightweight seat switch, which modifies the speed of parachute release depending on the pilot’s weight, and a head support panel. It can move 14 aircraft through the modification process per month, Pleus said. At that rate, the service will finish retrofitting its current inventory of about 107 planes in around December or January.

The new lightweight helmets are currently in pre-production and will move into production this fall. To reduce the weight from 5.1 to 4.6 pounds, Rockwell Collins has removed some of the strapping on the inside of the helmet. Also, instead of wearing a clear visor and sun visor at the same time, pilots will switch out their visors depending on the mission.

Both the seat and helmet modifications will need to be in place before a lightweight pilot can begin training in the aircraft. The Air Force intends to place its first lightweight student in training by the end of 2017, and they could begin flying as soon as 2018.

One question hovering around the F-35 program is whether the Air Force will decide to replace the Martin-Baker ejection seat with another option. All variants of the joint strike fighter incorporate the US16E seat, but the Air Force has different airworthiness restrictions than the other services, Pleus pointed out. So while the Air Force imposed flight restrictions on its own pilots, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps did not raise similar concerns.... [NEWS!]

...Martin-Baker applauded the Air Force's decision to lift weight restrictions. The first F-35 with a modified ejection seat flew May 4, the company said in a news release.

“This has been the most scrutinized and intensively tested ejection seat in history. We are extremely pleased that we have successfully met all the specified physiological head and neck load requirements as demonstrated during the ejection seat test program," said James Martin, the company's CEO....

...In its 2016 report, the Defense Department’s independent testing office criticized the changes to the helmet — specifically that the single visor left pilots having to swap equipment as weather or light conditions changed. The report noted that there was no storage space onboard for the second visor, and Pleus acknowledged that the Air Force was still working on a solution to that particular issue.

“We don’t actually know what the size of that new single visor is going to be — in other words, how big of space it’s going to take up in the cockpit,” he said. “As our test pilots continue to fly with these basic pre-production helmets, they will continue to modify the tactics, techniques and procedures for where you’re going to put the external visor … and we’ll create some sort of a storage solution that removes any opportunity for foreign object damage.”"

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air ... 35a-pilots

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 17:44
by spazsinbad
Here is the other female perp but no mention of ACES 5? WUT? OMG. I like the first comment & good luck to all ejectees.
U.S. Air Force Clears Lightweight Pilots To Fly F-35
15 May 2017 Lara Seligman

"Nineteen months after the U.S. Air Force banned [so emotive] lightweight pilots from flying the F-35, the service is lifting the restriction, allowing men and women across the full weight envelope to safely operate the aircraft....

...An ejection is a dangerous event even in ideal circumstances, with opportunities for injury at almost every stage. Once the pilot signals the plane to eject, a set of small explosives breach the windscreen canopy so the pilot can exit the aircraft. The pilot and seat are then launched upward via a rail system in a violent jolt that can cause back and neck injuries if the pilot is not in the correct position, with his or her head directly centered on the spine. The potential for injury is exacerbated by the weight of the F-35’s heavy helmet, which forces the pilot’s head down. [head goes down even if there was no helmet - it is G force x weight of whatever head is left]

Once the pilot and seat reach the top of the rails, a rocket under the seat is ignited to lift the pilot-and-seat package free of the plane. At this point, the seat can begin pitching back and forth, a motion much like that of a rocking chair. The pilot’s physical build determines the direction and degree of the pitching motion; a tall, heavy person tends to pitch forward, while a short, light person tends to pitch back, sometimes even rotating a full 180 deg.

If a pilot’s position is too far back when the main recovery parachute deploys, a “snapping” of the head and neck can occur, leading to serious and potentially fatal neck injuries.

“Flying fighters as you know is an inherently dangerous business and ejecting from one means that something catastrophic has already taken place,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, chief of the F-35 integration office, during a Pentagon media briefing. “Our goal and the Air Force’s intent is to do everything possible to give the pilot the greatest chance of survival in the unlikely event that an ejection is required from a fighter aircraft.”..."

COMMENT:Larry J on May 16, 2017 "I've heard ejection described as "attempted suicide to avoid certain death".


Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air- ... s-fly-f-35

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 17:53
by spazsinbad
This is amazing to me - are the USN really this cretinous? I do not believe so - some people just drag their feet - LACK OF OXYGEN perhaps - :devil: OH MY OBOGS! :doh: HYPOXIA ROOLS - MAN! :shock: Gravity/gravitas SUCKS! :roll:
US Air Force rescinds F-35A weight restrictions
16 May 2017 Pat Host

"The US Air Force (USAF) on 15 May announced it removed the restriction that kept pilots weighing less than 136 lb (61.7 kg) from flying the conventional variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)....

...The US Navy's weight restriction for its F-35C aircraft carrier variant is still in effect, according to Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Kara Yingling. Lt Yingling didn't have further information on 15 May if the service would be retrofitting its F-35C fleet. [USN F-35C Yobbos need somebody more/better informed than a lowly LEUT spokepeeps]

Lt Yingling said the current F-35C weight limit of 136 pounds is consistent with other Navy ejection seat limits, including all versions of the F/A-18 Hornet, at 136 lb, and the EA-6B Prowler, at 140 lb. In addition to the F-35A and F-35C, the United States is also buying the F-35B short take-off & vertical landing (STOVL) variant for the US Marine Corps (USMC)...."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/70425/us-a ... strictions

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 22:30
by steve2267
WRT to Spaz' last two posts... the first post quotes a story that implies (as most "defense aerospace stories" by non-engineering/non-military reporters) the F-35 is deficient because pilots that weight less than 136lbs cannot safely eject from an F-35. The second story (finally! somebody) noted that other US Navy aircraft all require aircrew to weigh more than 136lbs.

Question: What are the weight limits (or weight ranges) for other western combat fighter aircraft? F-15? F-16? Rafale? Typhoon?

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2017, 22:35
by spazsinbad
Current USN aircrew have noted USN aircrew weight limits - probably in this thread - other aircraft? Dunno.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 05:03
by steve2267
Hasn't it already been noted elsewhere (I seem to recall) that the F-35 is the "first" aircraft to really make an effort to allow or enable "light" aircrew to pilot her? That is, I don't think any other western combat fighter aircraft permit aircrew less than 136lbs to fly (either front seat or back seat). And then the press / media go and skewer the F-35 for having an "aircrew weight" issue when all other aircraft have the "same issue."

But maybe I am mis-remembering.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 05:07
by spazsinbad
Yes you have it. That point has been made but good to be reminded. The MEEDJA have no memory - only bad headlines.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 06:35
by hornetfinn
steve2267 wrote:Question: What are the weight limits (or weight ranges) for other western combat fighter aircraft? F-15? F-16? Rafale? Typhoon?


Easy one to answer for Rafale and EF Typhoon.http://www.martin-baker.com/products/ejection-seats

Rafale: Boarding mass 63.5 to 106 kg which means 140 lbs to 235 lbs
Typhoon: Boarding mass 61.0 to 133.5 kg which means 134 lbs to 294 lbs

F-35 stats differentiate between nude and dressed mass, but I think Rafale and Typhoon mean dressed mass.

ACES II in F-15 and F-16 (and F-22) seems to have mass limits of 103 to 245 lbs: http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA446500
This document also shows interesting stats about pilot mass ranges.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 08:53
by spazsinbad
Great find 'hornetfinn' - excerpt about weights for ACES II Improvements in USAF - attached 1 page PDF cited below + GIF.
ACES II Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I) Program Update
2005 Sabo, Press & Hampton

"...ACCOMMODATIONS BACKGROUND
The ACES II seat was originally designed to accommodate USAF 5th through 95th percentile male aircrew weighing 140-211 pounds (nude weight) ejecting at airspeeds from 0 through 600 KEAS. The USAF aircrew population has changed significantly over the last two decades. Today’s population contains both smaller female aircrew and larger male aircrew.

Changes in the aircrew population have required that the aircrew weight range be expanded from 140-211 pounds to 103-245 pounds. Figure 3 provides a visual comparison of typical size differences in today’s aircrew and figure 4 graphically illustrates the distribution of male and female aircrew populations. Six cases were originally developed for the Joint Primary Aircrew Training System (JPATS) program. A smaller case size was later added (case 7) and more recently an additional large case was added (case eight). These cases depict the various sizes of aircrew entering service. These cases became the standard for aircrew accommodation in the 1990s.

Ideally, all existing aircraft would be modified to accommodate the eight JPATS case sizes. However, the dramatic cost of aircraft cockpit and moldline changes necessary for accommodation inhibit implementation. As a compromise, the USAF has established the accommodation of JPATS cases 1 through 7 (103-245 pounds) as the baseline for current in-service USAF ejection seats.

Source: http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA446500 (PDF 1.4Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 09:38
by spazsinbad
From same source above the Chart Weight ACES II Pre-Planned Product Improvement 2005 with 1 page PDF & GIF.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 11:04
by spazsinbad
AFAIK an earlier report about a USAF 'lightweight pilot' being transferred to another aircraft specifically said 'male' but I could have misremembered, nothing new there. Interesting note about 'auto eject' being switched OFF in A & C models.
F-35A Ejection Seat Now Works for Lightweight Pilots, Officials Say
15 May 2017 Oriana Pawlyk

"The weight restriction for the Air Force’s F-35 ejection seat has been lifted, service officials announced Monday. “The lifting of this requires two changes: one to the seat, as well as a reduced weight helmet,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, director of the service’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program’s integration office....

...Pleus didn’t say how many pilots were impacted by this issue, but in 2015 at least one female pilot was reportedly prevented from flying the plane as a result.

The cost of retrofitting both the seat and the helmet “will be borne [by] industry,” Joe DellaVedova, F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman,
told Military.com....

...The Air Force is the only service to have the weight restrictions issue. While the seats are identical throughout the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, each has its own evaluations system — “airworthiness criteria,” as Pleus called it — and small tweaks to the seat.

The Marine Corps’ F35B-model seat, for example, “has an instantaneous ejection seat in case the airplane were to quit during a hover, which would automatically eject [the pilot] out,” Pleus said. “That capability is in every version of the seat, [but] the Air Force’s version is turned off, as well as the [Navy’s F-35C] carrier version,” he said."

Source: https://www.defensetech.org/2017/05/15/ ... cials-say/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2017, 19:16
by spazsinbad

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 20 May 2017, 16:48
by spazsinbad
The JANEs Article above has a last paragraph (available for cheapskates such as I) causing me to be sick in me froat: :doh:
"...Martin-Baker said on 15 May it has started installing modification kits to the injection seats and that the first seat was modified, and flown, on 4 May. USAF spokesperson Colonel Patrick Ryder told Jane's on 15 May the plan is to retrofit 14 aircraft per month across the USAF. The estimated time for the modification of each seat, he said, is four to five days."

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2017, 05:55
by spazsinbad
Some esoteric info for sure about JPATS 8 wot Congress mandated for Ejection Seats so the attached PDF made from PPT.

[ADDITION] Some bad cropping of some pages of PPT/PDF corrected in new version now available attached below.

Martin-Baker says for the F-35 seat:
"JPATS multi-variate body size cases 1-8"

http://www.martin-baker.com/_pdfs/mk16_f-35.pdf (0.5Mb)
THEN:
http://web.mit.edu/~yves/www/Missy/Boeing Anthro lecture.ppt (4Mb)
Current Accommodation Problems
(AFI 48-123 = 64” to 77” Standing height and 34” to 40” Sitting Height.)
Background
JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System)

• 1994 - Congress directed that the JPATS would accommodate 95% of female military population.

• This translates to a 58” Standing Height and 31” Sitting Height minimum

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2017, 14:50
by blindpilot
spazsinbad wrote:...
• 1994 - Congress directed that the JPATS would accommodate 95% of female military population.

• This translates to a 58” Standing Height and 31” Sitting Height minimum


Well if all it takes is an Act of Congress, I vote we open it up to 7 foot 2 inches and 350 pounds ....

(For the sake of USAF Academy collegiate Football and Basketball players. Go Falcons! :roll: :roll: :D )

BP

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2017, 17:05
by spazsinbad
:devil: :drool: 4ft 10in = 58 inches - a shortarse in any language - congressional or otherwise. :mrgreen: :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2017, 19:32
by wrightwing
That's one of the dumbest mandates, yet. Meet the standard, or do something else. It's maddening to think of the countless millions of dollars/delays involved, to modify/certify ejection seats for at most a handful of individuals. Keep the standard of 136+lb and save the money for more pressing priorities.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 10:05
by spazsinbad
Vintage Fighters Put Ejection Seats To the Test
20 Jun 2017 Chris Pocock

"The ejection seats made by Martin-Baker may be thoroughly modern, but they are flight-tested in two of the oldest military jets still flying. The British company keeps two Gloster Meteors airworthy at its own airfield, Chalgrove, which is not far from the seat production factory at Denham, west of London....

...The pair kept there today have both served the company for over 50 years, and are good for many more years of service. One of them – black-painted WA638 – has used only half of its fatigue life. Before entering service with the company, both of them received structural reinforcements to carry the ejection loads.

The ejection seats to be fired, along with the test dummies, are installed in the rear cockpits. Both of these aircraft were built as tandem-seat trainers designated T.7. But they are unofficially described as Mk 7 ½ because they were fitted with larger tails from the Meteor F.8 version. The reason for that, explains Martin-Baker pilot Andy Gent, was the potential for complete loss of elevator control on the T.7 and its predecessor versions if pilots forgot to retract the speed brakes before lowering the flaps and landing gear. Gent is a former Royal Air Force Tornado and Hawk pilot who later flew airliners, and airshow aerobatics.

Last year, the two Meteors flew about 25 hours. Since actual test flights usually last only some 20 minutes, the remaining time is clocked on ferry flights, since Chalgrove is no longer used for firings. In 2016, Martin-Baker made four more test ejections of the US16E seat for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter seat, flying from Cazaux airbase in France, at altitudes from 15,000 feet to 27,000 feet. The company has now satisfied the US Air Force that the head and neck injury risk to lightweight pilots if they eject in the US16E has been addressed by two modifications, plus a reduction in the weight of the F-35 pilot helmet...."

Source: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... seats-test

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2017, 10:06
by spazsinbad
This 'complex' article seems to be just raking over old news already explained by Bogdan that the risk has been accepted.

I like quotes lifted by 'SWP' on SNIFOO comments: (pretty well sums it up so deal with it naysayers - ejection DANGER)
"SpudmanWP "unless the upgraded ejection seats undergo additional testing to show they work in “off-nominal” cases — in other words, when the plane is out of control, not just in optimal flight conditions,"

How the heck do you test "off-normal" in a rocket sled test as they only go straight & fast? btw, you missed this part:
"The danger discussed in the Air Force documents is “the risk associated with lack of validated analyses, not that the F-35A ejection seat is unsafe,” he said.
Likewise, Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, said the service “has accepted risk of similar magnitude on previous ejection seats.”"

Safety Experts: Some F-35 Ejections Pose ‘Serious’ Death Risk [LONG COMPLEX ARTICLE - READ at SOURCE]
18 Sep 2017 John M. Donnelly

"The F-35 fighter jets’ flawed ejection seats, which Air Force officials said in May had been fixed, still pose a “serious” risk that will probably injure or kill nearly two dozen pilots, according to an internal Air Force safety report that service officials withheld from the press....

...Twenty-two pilots will be injured or killed in the coming decades, unless the upgraded ejection seats undergo additional testing to show they work in “off-nominal” cases — in other words, when the plane is out of control, not just in optimal flight conditions, said the May 1 report on “F-35-A Residual Risk Acceptance,” obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Such cases would be rare — perhaps 2 percent of ejections, by one estimate. But the results could be “catastrophic” for the pilots, the report said. For “no less than $1 million” worth of tests taking “nine to 12 months,” the result could be “no additional losses” of pilots, the report said. But the program office “non-concurs” with the recommended testing, the report said....

...Another concern of Pentagon testing officials — one that has gotten less attention than the ejection seat — is the F-35’s polymer cockpit canopy, which lifts and shatters by design before the ejection seat is released. The worry is that the canopy’s “fragments may hit the pilot during the ejection sequence,” Cabiness said, especially if the plane is out of control. The canopy system, too, has not been sufficiently tested to see how it will perform when the plane is out of control, the testing office has argued....

...A question of odds
Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Joint Program Office, told CQ Roll Call the F-35’s ejection seats are no riskier than others and the potential dangers might occur in only rare instances. And he maintained that the more thorough tests called for by the Air Force safety experts are not cost-effective.

The danger discussed in the Air Force documents is “the risk associated with lack of validated analyses, not that the F-35A ejection seat is unsafe,” he said. Likewise, Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, said the service “has accepted risk of similar magnitude on previous ejection seats.”...

...The Air Force and Joint Program Office spokesmen also argued that ejecting from a fighter is inherently risky....

...The risks are considered serious, the report said, because only component testing and computer modeling has been done to assess if the fixes work when the planes are out of control. Without new, more realistic tests of the reconfigured seats, the “predicted loss” is “22 pilots with minor/major/fatal injuries over the life of the fleet,” which is about 50 years — meaning an injury or death roughly every couple of years....

...New F-35s will have the somewhat improved seats, but all but four of the 235 jets that pilots are flying today have yet to be modified, according to program office figures."

Source: http://www.rollcall.com/news//safety-ex ... eath-risk/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 22:31
by spazsinbad
Martin Baker opens regional Williamtown hub
21 Sep 2017 ADM

"Manufacturer of ejection seats Martin-Baker has opened an Australian field office at Williamtown as part of its commitment to supporting the F-35 in the Asia Pacific region. The growth of the global F-35 fleet and the deployment of US Marine Corps F-35Bs to Iwakuni in Japan have dictated the need for a third location capable of supporting the aircraft. Until now two Martin Baker locations in Denham in the UK and Johnstown in the US have met the demand for ejection seat support.

Martin Baker spokesperson Andrew Martin said this had been part of the plan since the first day of the program with the company having realised it would need an extra capability for Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade of not just the US16E seat fitted to JSF, but all the support equipment associated with it...."

Photo: "A Martin Baker ejection seat being tested for the F-35. Credit: Martin Baker" http://yaffa-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/adm/i ... 20Shot.jpg



Source: http://www.australiandefence.com.au/new ... amtown-hub

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 27 Sep 2017, 06:16
by neptune
spazsinbad wrote:
Martin Baker opens regional Williamtown hub
21 Sep 2017 ADM

"Manufacturer of ejection seats Martin-Baker has opened an Australian field office at Williamtown as part of its commitment to supporting the F-35 in the Asia Pacific region. The growth of the global F-35 fleet and the deployment of US Marine Corps F-35Bs to Iwakuni in Japan have dictated the need for a third location capable of supporting the aircraft. Until now two Martin Baker locations in Denham in the UK and Johnstown in the US have met the demand for ejection seat support.

Martin Baker spokesperson Andrew Martin said this had been part of the plan since the first day of the program with the company having realised it would need an extra capability for Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade of not just the US16E seat fitted to JSF, but all the support equipment associated with it...."

Photo: "A Martin Baker ejection seat being tested for the F-35. Credit: Martin Baker" http://yaffa-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/adm/i ... 20Shot.jpg


Congrats to RAAF Willamstown F-35 Base program
:)


Source: http://www.australiandefence.com.au/new ... amtown-hub

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 16:24
by spazsinbad
From: http://aviationweek.com/air-combat-safe ... es-1529941
Meteoric Tests
“The testing of Martin-Baker’s ejection seats falls to two of the earliest jet aircraft still in operational use. A pair of Gloster Meteor Mk.7s one built in 1949, the other from 1952 are used in the ejection seat trials for the most modern fighter types including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It is the Meteor’s wing-mounted twin-engine configuration with air intakes ahead of the rear test cockpit that makes it so-suitable for ejection seat testing, as the engines are not impacted by debris or hot air resulting from the ejection seat launch. Here the JSF’s Mk.16 seat is launched from the back from Meteor WA638 during testing in France, where many of the higher altitude testing is performed. Photo: Martin-Baker”

Photo: http://aviationweek.com/site-files/avia ... Eject6.jpg

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 20:12
by ricnunes
I admit that I haven't been following the "issues" (please note the quotes) around the F-35 ejection seat, so I take this chance to ask:
- Is the F-35 ejection seat already able to safely eject Dwarfs, Leprechauns, Apes and skinny top models??

Thanks in advance... :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 20:25
by spazsinbad
There is a weight range that is better than any other ejection seat in use at moment. Info in this thread of course but you knew that so I have to search thread for it? :mrgreen: Oh well.... searching on WEIGHT + RANGE = viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=306681&hilit=weight+range#p306681
"...Safe Escape: The F-35 escape system was designed to provide safe escape for the widest range of both aircrew weight (103 to 245 pounds) and anthropometry (sizes), well beyond current legacy fighters...." http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/ ... 151021.pdf (100Kb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 20:48
by ricnunes
Hi spazsinbad,

Well I should have rephrased my previous post. I guess that I should have asked if all three improvement (reduced weight helmet, pilot “weight switch” on the ejection seat and head support) have already been implemented?
I just couldn't resist the joke about Dwarfs, Leprechauns, etc... :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 21:12
by spazsinbad
I posted a reply and my internet connection rejected it - who said they live in Guantanimo - can we swap. Meanwhile....

Be patient grasshopper: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define. ... rasshopper A recent report said only a few seats were modified with many to go soon enough - do I have to look that up - and nothing happens overnight does it. :roll:

So the new lightweight helmets have to be manufactured and delivered and fitted if need be. Seat modifications take a day or so IIRC. Do I need to look that up or does snapping my figures and saying MAKE IT SO! suit? :drool: This was always a tea in a stormcup which applied to perhaps ONE potential pilot who went on to other things but as pointed out by others different nationalities have different weight / height criteria etc - but the problem is FIXED Ffsake.

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 21:15
by juretrn
103 pounds... thats 46 kg!!!
I guess a really, really tiny, skinny woman might fit the bill. How are their necks not snapped in an ejection with any helmet... what even a F-35 one. M-B must have done a splendid job with their ejection seat!

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 21:20
by spazsinbad
Oh come on. There is a graphic showing the height / weight limits. There are all kinds of people on this planet (of apes).

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=303408&hilit=guidance#p303408

On page 1 of this thread there is this illustration at above URL: download/file.php?id=21675

Image

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 21:52
by ricnunes
Bah, with 103 pounds lower limit it still cannot safely eject Leprechauns! I guess that this means that the F-35 cannot be exported to Ireland :mrgreen:

Now seriously, thanks for the heads up spazsinbad :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 22:44
by spazsinbad
This forum has an amazing array of information - but searching for it can be easy - if you get THE KNACK.


Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 13:05
by ricnunes
spazsinbad wrote:This forum has an amazing array of information - but searching for it can be easy - if you get THE KNACK.


I believe you misunderstood my post(s).
Yes, I was aware of the three (3) LM/Martin-Baker fixes to allow small lightweight people to be ejected safely from the F-35. I remember to have read the post (also posted by you) which you kindly linked to (and thanks again for this) in the past and I done this as early as 2015 (when it was posted) or as late as 2016 (I can't accurately remember).
What I was asking for (although I admit, in a joke tone - perhaps a failed joke attempt on my part) was the status of those same three (3) fixed and from what I could gather the short answer from your part is ONGOING :wink:
(yes, I understand that such fixes take time to implement).

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 15:31
by spazsinbad
Well specifically there are IIRC two posts about one aircraft having been 'fixed' at the time of that post with fixes ongoing.

I'd rather SEARCH the forum than pull the 'dags' (bad info) out of my behind so here is one example using implement :
"...3. The head support panel and the ejection seat sequencer switch for lighter weight aircrew members are currently being tested as part of the seat qualification which is planned to be completed in October 2016. It is expected that modification kits to retrofit seats currently in operation will be available by November 2016 for F-35 fleet implementation.

4. Testing will also support the design and certification of a lighter version of the Generation 3 Helmet Mounted Display System and allow the production of these helmets to begin with initial deliveries scheduled to begin in October 2017. At that time, the services will be able to implement all three parts of the complete solution to lift the weight restriction for pilots less than 136 lbs and mitigate neck injury risks for all F-35 pilots....
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=316768&hilit=implement#p316768

Because I have a collection of PDFs made from articles about this ejection seat issue (I'm interested) I can CHEAT: using IMPROVED I get this for example:
"[18 Sep 2017] ...New F-35s will have the somewhat improved seats, but all but four of the 235 jets that pilots are flying today have yet to be modified, according to program office figures." viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=376660&hilit=improved#p376660

"..."...Martin-Baker said on 15 May [2017] it has started installing modification kits to the injection seats and that the first seat was modified, and flown, on 4 May. USAF spokesperson Colonel Patrick Ryder told Jane's on 15 May the plan is to retrofit 14 aircraft per month across the USAF. The estimated time for the modification of each seat, he said, is four to five days." viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27447&p=368049&hilit=retrofit#p368049


OTHERWISE I get this info dated 16 May 2017
"...The Air Force has developed a plan to install the improved seats across the fleet for the few pilots who might
need them. The service hopes to retrofit at least 14 aircraft each month, with contractor teams needing between 4 and 5 days to install a single seat. Any F-35As that go for maintenance at depot-level will automatically receive the seat regardless of other scheduling. Though there isn’t a fixed time frame for the modifications, the overall plan is for the jets at Luke Air Force Base to get the upgrades first, then those at Eglin in Florida, and finally the planes at Hill in Utah. The Navy, Marine Corps, and foreign operators have not yet announced whether they will upgrade to the new seat...." http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/10 ... -35a-fleet

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 15:56
by ricnunes
Thanks again spazsinbad :D

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 16:03
by spazsinbad
:mrgreen: Heheheh THE KNACK also refers to 'other social ineptitude' such as "searching the F-35 subsection of F-16.net". :devil: :doh:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2017, 08:08
by steve2267
spazsinbad wrote::mrgreen: Heheheh THE KNACK also refers to 'other social ineptitude' such as "searching the F-35 subsection of F-16.net". :devil: :doh:



I bow in the presence of your awesome searchfullness... :notworthy:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2017, 13:40
by ricnunes
steve2267 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote::mrgreen: Heheheh THE KNACK also refers to 'other social ineptitude' such as "searching the F-35 subsection of F-16.net". :devil: :doh:



I bow in the presence of your awesome searchfullness... :notworthy:



Let me put things in this perspective:
There are two "search engines" here in F-16.net:
1- The f-16.net built-in search
2- spazsinbad (TM) "search engine"

Why should I use search engine no.1 if search engine no.2 is far more effective?? :mrgreen:

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2017, 15:09
by juretrn
ricnunes wrote:Let me put things in this perspective:
There are two "search engines" here in F-16.net:
1- The f-16.net built-in search
2- spazsinbad (TM) "search engine"

Why should I use search engine no.1 if search engine no.2 is far more effective?? :mrgreen:

Maybe spaz is a flock of trained pidgeons?
https://archive.google.com/pigeonrank/

(I jest, I jest :) )

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2018, 01:14
by spazsinbad
This FLOCK OF SEAGULLS [nyet da band] found a thread to plonk this info... trained monkey pilots would do a betta job.
FY 17 DOD PROGRAMS [DOT&E] F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
Pub Jan 2018 for 2017 DOT&E

"...Pilot Escape System -- In May 2017, the Air Force and Navy announced that they were lifting restrictions on lightweight pilots flying F-35s because the fixes that were put in place to address ejection seat problems were working.

-- The JPO provided DOT&E with the F-35 System Safety Risk Assessment (SSRA) it conducted on the additional risk-reducing actions to the pilot escape system during recent testing. The JPO SSRA was informed by modeling and simulation of ejections in off-nominal conditions, along with limited ground subsystem testing with a manikin and the Head Support Panel (HSP), to assess the overall risk of injury as “Low.” The testing showed that the changes incorporated into the seat and provided to the pilot’s equipment have generally reduced the risk of neck injury to the pilot under the normal ejection conditions.

-- The JPO also provided DOT&E with an SSRA supplement from the U.S. Air Force Technical Airworthiness Authorities (TAA). In that document, due to a lack of test data in off-nominal conditions, the TAA assessed that the level of risk of injury to lighter-weight pilots (103 to 135 pounds with the Gen III Lite helmet, and 136 to 150 pounds with any Gen II/III/III Lite helmet) was categorized as “Serious” due to the absence of test data with the new changes to the ejection system and the potential for head and neck injury during off-nominal ejections at airspeeds less than 190 knots. The TAA determined that it may be possible for the head to miss the HSP for these lighter weight pilots and the result could be either death or total disability. However, the risk was reduced sufficiently during the ejection testing in nominal conditions for the Air Force to remove the restriction preventing pilots weighing less than 136 pounds from flying the F-35.

-- The program began retrofitting fielded F-35s with the modifications to the ejection seats in 2017 and plans to deliver aircraft with the upgraded seat in Lot 10, starting in January 2018. The Gen III Lite helmets will be included with the Lot 10 aircraft delivery, and will be delivered starting in November 2017. If these delivery timelines are met, the Air Force may open F-35 pilot training to lighter-weight pilots (i.e., below 136 pounds) as early as December 2017.

-- Part of the weight reduction to the Gen III Lite HMDS involved removing one of the two visors (one dark, one clear). As a result, pilots that need to use both visors during a mission (e.g., during transitions from day to night), will have to store the second visor in the cockpit. However, there is no designated storage space in the cockpit for the visor; the program is working a solution to address this problem.

-- The program has yet to complete additional testing and analysis needed to determine the risk of pilots being harmed by the Transparency Removal System (TRS), which shatters the canopy first, allowing the seat and pilot to leave the aircraft) during ejections in other than ideal, stable conditions (such as after battle damage or during out-of-control situations). Although the program completed an off-nominal rocket sled test with the TRS in CY12, several aspects of the escape system have changed since then, including significant changes to the helmet, which warrant additional testing and analyses. DOT&E recommends the program complete these tests, in a variety of off-nominal conditions, as soon as possible, so that the Services can better assess risk associated with ejections under these conditions."

Source: http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2 ... f35jsf.pdf (0.5Mb)

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2018, 00:40
by spazsinbad
Here's where the LIGHTWEIGHTS gather no moss.... All the HOOhaa about Lightweight Pilots has been justifiedly worth it.
Goldfein: Solutions for the Pilot Crisis Center on Diversity :doh: [LIGHTENING Pilotes!] :devil:
07 Mar 2018 John A. Tirpak

"​The Air Force’s pilot shortage crisis offers “an opportunity for bold moves” to build the service’s diversity while correcting the growing deficit in aviators, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Wednesday at the conclusion of a daylong summit on the problem.

Those moves might include grouping minority pilot trainees together at flight school in order to have a built-in support system, building tighter relationships with community groups that promote minorities and women in aviation, making better use of Civil Air Patrol community outreach, and having pilot trainees meet with local schoolchildren as they make stops on cross-country flights....

...Working groups brainstormed ways to attract minorities to the USAF pilot community, which is overwhelmingly male and white, and far less diverse than USAF’s enlisted force. Gen. Dick Cody, the retired former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, pointed out that the overall cohort of youth eligible for military service is shrinking, and that USAF will have to tap the full cohort to fill its needs. Participants noted that most women and minorities are simply not aware of flying opportunities with the Air Force, or don’t consider the career because they don’t see people like themselves pursuing it....

...“There has to be involvement in the community, and it has to start early,” Goldfein said. He also concluded USAF does have such initiatives but they are not “scaled” to deliver the numbers needed. He was pleased to hear of the “untapped resources” such as pilots who could talk to school kids while on cross-country trips. A sleek trainer jet parked on a tarmac is “a great visual,” for kids, Goldfein said, especially if a woman or pilot of color is standing with it. He pledged to better “use what we have” in the Air Force to conduct more outreach....

...Goldfein also heard from women pilots who asked that he make some administrative changes that would make it less punitive for them when they become pregnant, which is a typical time when women leave the pilot corps. They could still serve as simulator instructors and perform staff duties, for example, after reaching a point where they can no longer fly, they said, and airline representatives said some of them offer women the choice to decide when they will stop working. At least one woman pilot said their commanders had, inappropriately, asked about their “reproductive plans,” and such treatment made them feel unwanted among their peers....

...The Air Force is taking steps to be more institutionally friendlier to women pilots, Golfein said, finally getting around to designing flying gear and equipment uniquely designed to fit women. “They’ve been using men’s equipment for years,” he said, and it’s time to rectify that....

...“We have to get this right,” Goldfein said, adding that he hopes the “gender, race, and faith diversity of the top three” service officials — himself, Secretary Heather Wilson, and CMSAF Kaleth Wright — helps set something of an example for the force. Diversity is “part of the fabric of the Air Force,” Goldfein said. “It is part of the fabric of who we are.”" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaleth_O._Wright

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... rsity.aspx

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2018, 01:17
by spazsinbad
:devil: CHAIN is RATTLIN' - Here Come De Debil - check the stats! 8)
Aviator vying to be Navy’s first female CO of an aircraft carrier
09 Mar 2018 Victoria Leoni

"A naval aviator is in the running to become the Navy’s first female commanding officer of an aircraft carrier in the service’s history. Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt is the executive officer of the carrier Abraham Lincoln, one of 11 aircraft carriers stationed around the world. She reported to the Lincoln in September 2016 and is the first woman [I don't think this claim is true - I'll check] in naval history to hold the title of executive officer aboard a nuclear warship. Now Bauernschmidt is looking to make history again as the Navy’s next aircraft carrier commanding officer, the first ever female to do so.

“It’s by no means easy,” Bauernschmidt told FOX6 in Milwaukee. “You’re competing with people who are just as smart as you, just as accomplished as you, doing the same things you’re doing – it’s hard.” As part of the CO competition, Bauernschmidt is required to spend 15-18 months as the commanding officer of the San Diego-based amphibious transport dock Anchorage. Her performance there will help determine whether she gets selected to command an aircraft carrier....

...Bauernschmidt is a Milwaukee native and 1994 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. She was designated a naval aviator in 1996 and has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours. She earned the 2011 Admiral Jimmy Thach and Captain Arnold J. Isbell awards for tactical innovation and excellence, and in 2012, she was presented the Battle Efficiency award. [does not that last one go to a ship or squadron?]

Source: http://hrana.org/news/2018/03/aviator-v ... t-carrier/

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 18 May 2018, 05:47
by spazsinbad
Five page PDF attached is about ALL ejection seats with the F-35 Mk16 and future Martin-Baker seats highlighted as per...
Photo: "This sequence shows the function of the Martin-Baker Mk18 seat from a test rig. The company has developed the seat to meet the emerging Next Generation Escape System requirement and it’s also designed to be fully compliant with all USAF T-X programme contenders. Martin-Baker" AirForces Monthly June 2018 Issue 363

Re: The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2018, 22:04
by spazsinbad
This is the most recent thread concerning the HOO and the HAA about the deficiencies (since fixed) of the F-35 ejection seat. I was surprised to see this information in the F-16C/D Flight Manual so put it here for context about how good the ACES II seat is. NOT. The graphic below is from the two page PDF excerpt also attached below (for easier reading I guess).

Flight Manual F-16C/D BLOCKS 50 AND 52+
https://www.filefactory.com/file/34ia8o ... Manual.pdf (16Mb)

Click the chart below to zoom in for easier reading anyway. TEXT excerpt is eye-opening. Makes aviation writers look like ning nongs I reckon. EJECTION SEATS are not a cure all and must be used as the manufacturer recommends but YMMV.
"...WARNING
The ACES II ejection seat was designed for body weights in the 140 to 211 pound range. There are additional ejection injury risks associated with body weights outside this range.

For body weights less than 140 pounds, limb flailing, less seat stability, and more severe drogue chute opening shock (ejection modes 2 and 3) are concerns. The risk of injury associated with limb flailing and drogue chute opening shock increases for ejection above 420 knots. This injury risk also increases as body weight decreases below 140 pounds.

For body weights greater than 211 pounds, limb flailing, seat structural failure, and parachute landings are concerns. The risk of injury from limb flailing is high for ejection above 400 knots. The seat leg braces frequently deform during ejections above 500 knots; this deformation has led to seat side panel failures (and unsuccessful ejections) during 600 knot ejection tests. The risk of injury during parachute landing is three times the average. These injury risks also increase as body weight in creases above 211 pounds.

Wind blast exerts medium force on the body up to 400 knots, severe forces causing flailing and skin injuries between 400600 knots, and excessive force above 600 knots....

...WARNING
Failure to remove night vision goggles (NVG) prior to ejection may cause serious injury. If unable to remove NVG, a proper ejection body position (head back against the seat headrest) reduces the chance of injury from the NVG...."