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Author Topic: Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?  (Read 2407 times)

Offline syhprum

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« on: 19/03/2011 14:31:03 »
I was surprised by the apparent ejector failure when a military aircraft was shot down on a mission over Benghazi.
I hold no brief for military pilots but having seen a Russian pilot eject from about 50 meters at an air show and land unharmed about 20 seconds later I would have expected a better result.
Does anyone know what make the aircraft was and who supplies the ejector seats.
ps
It has been suggested that the aircraft belonged to the rebels and may have been old and poorly maintained.   
« Last Edit: 19/03/2011 15:12:47 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« Reply #1 on: 19/03/2011 18:39:34 »
You're right that the ejector seats need to be well maintained.  Explosive charges, triggers, releases, etc.

What happens with an unconscious pilot?  A smart system might be able to detect an unconscious pilot, as well as an imminent danger, and trigger an eject.  But, often people don't like to give up that amount of control.

I believe that low altitudes, and certain spins can also be problematic.

I think I saw notes that pilots may need additional protection for ejection at supersonic speeds.
 

Offline graham.d

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« Reply #2 on: 19/03/2011 19:04:48 »
It was a Mig-23 I believe. These are probably Libyan air-force as they have about 130 of these. There was a news interview with the bloke who claims to have shot it down; he said he was untrained and the A-A gun was not fully working so he reckoned it was lucky (it probably was). Strangely, Al-Jazeera reported the plane was being flown by rebel forces so who knows.

The plane was going down quickly when the pilot ejected. It looked as though the parachute did not open sufficiently, though it looked as though it had sufficient altitude. I don't understand the subsequent news footage that showed two bodies recovered from the wreckage. This would make it a mig 23U or UB (two seater versions) and it raises the question of how this could be if someone ejected.

The fog of war!!
 

Offline syhprum

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« Reply #3 on: 20/03/2011 11:17:58 »
I recall seeing a spitfire shot down by the AA unit behind my house during the so called "Battle of Britain" I don't know if anyone was in hot water for it or whether as you say it was the fog of war.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2011 15:39:19 »
They're not magic, there's different sorts of ejector seats, and they have different range of conditions in which they will save you- if you're upside down and close to the ground, almost no seat will (except for the ones that eject out the bottom of the plane!) Also parachutes have a minimum deployment height, although some rocket propelled seats can lift you up first, and some can deal with being upside down- provided you're not too low!
« Last Edit: 20/03/2011 15:41:15 by wolfekeeper »
 

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Why do ejector seats sometimes fail?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2011 15:39:19 »

 

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