November 2018 saw the production of the 2000th JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) ejection seat for the highly successful Textron T-6 Texan II trainer programme. The first flight of this remarkable aircraft took place in July 1998. Now over 700 aircraft are in service with US armed forces alone, with a further 9 countries ranging from Iraq to the UK using this aircraft as part of their training systems.
Martin-Bakers involvement with this programme started with the need to accommodate a very wide size and weight range to a higher physiological acceleration standard than designed for earlier seats. Previously the combined weight of the heaviest crew member and the seat was about 20% more than that of the lightest crew with seat. The requirements for the new seat saw an increase in this requirement to 50%. Even with this extended requirement 11 T-6 crew members owe their lives to the outstanding US16LA JPATS Ejection Seat.
The low seat weight requirement, very wide crew weight range and the fact that this seat met the new stringent physiological limits are testament to the design skills of Martin-Baker’s engineering staff.