The F-35’s Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

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krorvik

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Unread post24 Feb 2016, 08:02

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.
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Unread post01 Mar 2016, 11:28

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)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post05 Mar 2016, 22:16

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
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 02:58

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:
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 07:36

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?
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 15:02

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?
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 17:51

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?
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 18:01

:devil: :mrgreen: I geddit. :roll: Only LIGHTweights fly F-22s :devil: :doh:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post06 Mar 2016, 18:10

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:
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 02:24

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/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 05:02

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
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 06:08

:mrgreen: Hehheh - thanks - gacked indeedy. :doh:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 14:45

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/
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 14:54

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."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Mar 2016, 16:36

Does anybody have an overview of what pilot weight, and height, limitations other fighters have?
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