Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the first life saved in a Martin-Baker ejection seat. It was on the 30th May 1949 that a young test pilot named Jo Lancaster sealed his fate as Ejectee #1, successfully ejecting during the test flight of an Armstrong Whitworth AW.52 in a pre-Mk1 seat.
70 years on, the Martin-Baker lives saved counter reads 7,605 and the company is still dedicated to saving the lives of aircrew from around the world.
2019 is a special year not just because it is the 70th anniversary of Ejectee #1, but also because it is the year that Jo celebrated his 100th birthday!
The pictures below show Jo (Right) shortly after his ejection in 1949 talking with Martin-Baker’s 31 time ejection seat tester Benny Lynch (Left); the photographs kindly sent to us by the RAF Benevolent Fund at Jo’s 100th birthday party; Jo at the Martin-Baker chalet at Farnborough in 2018; and finally Jo with the company directors (Robert Martin, Jim Martin, John Martin and Andrew Martin) in 2013.