Llangeinor, South Wales, UK - Airborne Systems, Llangeinor, Bridgend, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of military parachute and aerial delivery systems, continues to demonstrate its expertise in the development of exceptional ejection seat parachute systems, with the recent completion of the final tests for the US16E Ejection Seat system of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft.
The Martin Baker US16E Ejection Seat contains several parachutes designed by Airborne Systems Europe at Llangeinor which have been certified for flight release after a series of rigorous parachute and ejection tests conducted by Martin-Baker. Martin-Baker has worked with Airborne Systems companies for more than 60 years from the advent of the first autonomous ejection system developed in 1951.
The escape system ensures aircrew can eject safely in an emergency situation however extreme and will be fitted to all 3000-plus F-35 aircraft which will be flown by armed forces across the globe.
Dr. Adrian Jones, Airborne Systems Europe Technical Director, explained: ”The ejection seat is initially stabilised after ejection by a reefed conical ribbon drogue parachute. The inflation characteristics of this drogue parachute allow the reduction of the effect of the deceleration on the seat and pilot. After separation from the seat, the pilot is saved by Airborne Systems Aeroconical® Type 6000 main parachute. The Aeroconical® parachutes are the most technically advanced parachute in the world as they enable safe recovery in the most extreme conditions.
Jones continued: “The Type 6000 main parachute is packed into a parachute container which is ballistically deployed from the seat. The parachute container is also equipped with an Airborne Systems auxiliary parachute which controls its flight trajectory in order to prevent potentially the striking of the pilot or its main parachute by the container itself.”
The US16E Ejection Seat is qualified from 0 knots at 0 altitude (stationary aircraft on ground) to 600 knots at 50 000ft (15 240m), with the widest possible pilot nude weight range (103lbs to 245lbs – 46kgs to 111kgs).
The system has been tested to its limits from a full scale front section of the aircraft, complete with ejection seat and mannequin at launch speeds in excess of 600 mph down the Martin-Baker test track. More than 30 ejection seat tests have been completed with the production configuration in the UK, France and in the US.
Chris Rowe, Managing Director for Airborne Systems commented: “Airborne Systems ejection seats parachutes systems are already fitment to all Martin Baker ejection seat as used in fighter aircraft such as the Typhoon, Euro Fighter and we are delighted that our engineering expertise here in Llangeinor is once more being recognised and will continue to save pilots’ lives in all emergency situations and around the world.”