My name is Ian Walford, I was stationed at RAF St Athan from 1997 to 2002. I was employed in 3rd line maintenance of the Tornado 10A ejection seat. This task involves the complete strip down of the seat down to every nut and bolt. One of the tasks that always intrigued me was the testing of the Barostatic Timer Release Unit (BTRU) to get the timing, altitude and G force settings all right was a fine art, sometimes first time which was a bonus.
We had 2 seats used in my time there, both ejections were successful which gave you a great feeling and was often followed by a generous crate of beer from the pilot. I was surprised by the condition of the seat when it came back in. After the investigation. You could almost use the seat again. Various parts were tested and they were as good as when they were out on.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on these amazing systems and have full admiration for any maintainer that puts his heart and soul into every seat and to every pilot and navigator who put their trust in us as maintainers.
“God bless the Armourers”