MK3 Ejection Seat

The first seat to feature true Aircrew Services


The first seat to feature true Aircrew Services

First Mk3 ejection was on 1st November 1955

255 lives saved using a Mk3 ejection seat.

The Mk2 automatic seats were successful in providing safe escape from the aircraft in service at the period, but there was still room for improvement at very low altitudes and very high speeds. In addition, the advent of aircraft such as the Javelin and the V bombers with their high-fin projections and higher operating speeds made it necessary to increase the height of the ejection trajectory, any increase also improving the chance of a successful ejection at low altitudes.

Aircraft fitted: Vickers Valiant, Canberra, Hawker Hunter, Supermarine Swift, Vampire, Javelin, Victor, Fairey Delta 2, Bristol 221, Handley Page, Vulcan
Operating ceiling40,000+ ft (12,192m)
Minimum height/speedUnknown
Crew boarding mass range 70.4 to 101.7kg
Crew size range 5th to 95th percentile
Maximum speed for ejection 400+KIAS
Parachute type Irvin I 24
Parachute deployment Drogue assisted
Drogue parachute typeDuplex drogues 22 in. and 5ft
Drogue deploymentDrogue gun. Cartridge generated gas. Initiated by 0.5 sec clockwork time-delay, tripped during ejection sequence
Harness typeSeparate parachute, seat harness
Ejection seat operation typeEjection gun
Ejection gun80ft/sec. One primary cartridge, two or four, secondary cartridges, 72 in. stroke
Ejection initiationFace screen and seat pan firing
Barostatic time-release unitYes, tripped during ejection sequence
Manual override handleNo, but provision for manual separation
TimersTime-release unit for man/seat separation
Seat adjustmentUp/down
Arm restraints No
Leg restraintsYes, two garters
Oxygen supplyBottled oxygen
Personal survival packLiferaft pack
Aircrew servicesPersonal equipment connector (PEC) provides connections for main oxygen, emergency oxygen, air ventilated suit, anti-g suit and mic/tel
Canopy jettisonOption, aircraft variant dependent

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