James Nicholas

I have served in the Royal Air Force for 12 years.

My first experience of working on Martin-Baker Ejection Seats was with the Mk10’s on Tornado Gr4 Aircraft. As an armourer, being able to work on Ejection Seats was a huge achievement for me. To engineer an item of equipment that has the potential to save somebody’s life is critical and certainly a high point in my career. At first obviously I found the Seats complex and challenging, especially with all of that Lockwire! As I got more and more into it, I never wanted to leave the job. I loved it and enjoyed going to work. With the Mk10’s I also armed, disarmed, installed and removed them to the Aircraft- the tempo was high and the output was constant so we were always busy.

I then moved on from the Mk10’s on Tornado to the Mk16’s for Typhoon Aircraft. Now obviously I was used to the Mk10’s so when I first laid eyes on the Mk16’s and saw the lack of lockwire and a computer on board- my mind was blown! This was a whole new challenge for me. Again, being able to carry out servicings, modifications on life saving equipment was a highlight of my career as an Armourer, I’m very privileged to have worked on Ejection Seats- we always hope they never have to be used but with the maintenance the team and myself carried out, I have every faith. Highlights for me are releasing the Seats from maintenance knowing that if they needed to work- they would.

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