Stu Youds

I was in the Royal Air Force from 1990 to 2018, during that time I worked on Jaguar, Harrier and the Tornado Aircraft, amongst other Armourer and Weapons Trade jobs.

From 1993 to 1998, I worked on the Jaguar aircraft, removing and fitting the type 9B2 Mk3 seat; from 2001 to 2002 I worked in the Harrier seat bay whilst at RAF Wittering, which involved the bay maintenance of the 12A & 12H seats; from 2005 to 2008 I worked on the Harrier aircraft, removing and fitting the type 12A & 12H seats and from 2012 to 2018 I worked on the Tornado aircraft removing and fitting the type 10A seats.

From 2008 to 2012, I was an instructor at DCAE Cosford, and part of my job involved teaching trainees about the theory of seat operation and to carry out bay maintenance, removal and fitting to the training aircraft. The type 10A seat was used for this purpose.

Since leaving the RAF in 2018, I’m now part of the BAE Systems training team on the F-35B Lightning II at RAF Marham, where we train the RAF and RN students to fit and remove the US16E seat to our training rig.

Although this latest ejection seat is a huge leap forward in technology terms, there are many similarities between it and its predecessors and the knowledge I’ve gained from these older seats has allowed me to gain a firm understanding of how it works and integrates into the F-35 aircraft.

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