F-35 ejector seat shown off at 600mph (Video)

275x250.jpg Boffins at BAE Systems have successfully tested the ejector seat for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet... but only after building a rocket sled first. As you do.

Because the fighter jet will be capable of travelling at 600mph, they needed to be sure the ejector seat would work fast enough, and they needed to test it.

So they set about building a 600mph rocket sled on rails at Chalgrove Airfield in Oxfordshire, and then gave the job of testing it to a crashtest dummy.

The dummy was then fired from the replicated F-35 cockpit as the sled sped along with flames coming out of the back... Wow our job feels boring now, how can we become BAE engineers?

Witnessing the final test, BAE Systems’ Test Manager Rick Whittaker commented “Ejecting from an aircraft like F-35 typically takes no more than three seconds from the time the ejection handle is pulled to the pilot being on a parachute. You can imagine how quickly everything happens.  

"Incredibly, during the tests up to 900,000 measurements were recorded every second and I am pleased to say the systems performed really well.”

Chris Garside, BAE Systems’ Chief Engineer on the F-35 programme added:  “Achieving this certification marks the culmination of several years’ hard work across an integrated team and across a range of functions.  It’s a major achievement.

"The system has consistently performed as expected through a progressive series of tests. The escape system standard that underwent the final tests is now being implemented into the production aircraft.”

BAE Systems

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