The stellar reputation of Martin-Baker (M-B) for saving lives has been tarnished by the inquest into the death of a UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows pilot. Flt Lt Sean Cunningham was killed on Nov. 8, 2011 when the MB Mk 10B ejection seat in his BAe Hawk T.1 jet trainer accidentally fired on the ground, and his parachute failed to open. The coroner who officiated at the three-week inquest returned a ‘narrative’ verdict that cleared the pilot of blame but was critical of M-B and the RAF.
After many years of performing MRO and modernization, Argentina’s historic military aircraft factory at Córdoba is back in business building new aircraft. Now known as Fábrica Argentina de Aviones “Brigadier San Martin” or Fadea for short, the factory has put the IA-63 jet trainer back in production in a new-generation version, which is known as Pampa III. The factory has amassed an impressive roster of international partners for the project, but there is no place for any UK supplier.
Crashworthy crew and passenger seats for military aircraft, including ejection seats, are UK-based Martin-Baker’s bread and butter. Now the company has used its military experience to develop two different crashworthy seats for the cabins of civil helicopters. Martin-Baker America plans to build the seats at its facility in Johnstown, Pa.
It’s not only movie theater seats that are now designed with the fuller figure in mind. Martin-Baker (Hall 4 Stand D4) says its system development and demonstration (SDD) ejection seat, most recently selected by Lockheed Martin for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, contains features designed to accommodate larger aircrew.
Sikorsky has taken delivery of a new, ergonomically improved crew seat for the S-92. Supplied by British manufacturer Martin-Baker, best known for fast-jet ejection seats, the new reclining seat features a headrest, adjustable armrests, thigh support and improved seat padding and meets all current FAA safety and crashworthiness requirements.