Jerry Lewarn

I had the privilege of serving in the RAF as an Armourer for nearly 30 years. However the only period that I actually maintained seats as opposed to lifting them in and out, was during my first posting after my apprentice training. I was posted to RAF Scampton and carried out most armourer roles on the Vulcans there. I latterly worked in the Ejection Seat bay, servicing the Mk 3KS seats. Although none were required to be used in anger, whilst I was there, all the guys who worked on the seats carried out the servicing with great diligence and pride in our work as we knew the consequences if we got it wrong! Compared to the modern seats the Vulcan seat was really old school relying on cog wheels and racks to time the sequence and testing was done on a mechanical rig. I’m sure some of the practices would now be frowned upon by health and safety, such as degreasing and cleaning with Trichloroethane by hand with no PPE or decent ventilation, but we live and learn.

It was always thought of as a privilege to work in the seat bay and was only given to those of us who showed the necessary dedication. I always look back on that time with fond memories as I’m sure do many of my maintainer colleagues.

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