garnetpalmetto
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Ejection Capsules

Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:57 pm

I'm aware that the B-1A and the F-111 all featured ejection capsules rather than ejection seats - do y'all know of any other aircraft to feature these? Any reason why they didn't find favor as much as ejection seats?
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covert
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Nov 03, 2003 3:42 pm

Windspeed from supersonic ejections, modern fighters with small canopies and lacking tandem seating can not afford the space or weight of a capsule.

covert
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FBU 4EVER!
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:37 pm

The B-58 Hustler used escape capsules for all three crew members.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:52 pm

I'm aware the B-58 used capsules, however, not of the type I'm referring to. I was curious about how the crew module of the F-111, for instance, could separate itself from the rest of the aircraft and serve as an escape module. Below's a link to a diagram of it.
http://f-111.net/ejection.htm
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broke
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:57 am

The Air Force Museum at Wright-Pat has both the B-58 individual crew capsule and the F-111 crew module on display, each along side the type of aircraft it was used on.
Recently, I saw a show (Discovery Wings, I think) on ejections; one was an interview of an F-15E pilot who ejected at about 800 knots. He was very badly injured and almost had one leg torn from his body. His rear seater was killed instantly upon ejecting. So a capsule of some type can be a life saver.
In another program on "X" planes, Scott Crossfield was interviewed on flying the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. Scott was the first pilot to reach Mach 2 and he did it in that airplane.
The Skyrocket was equipped with a jettisonable nose section as an emergency ejection system. Scott was not too sanguine on its usefulness. In one of the great lines of aviation gallows humor I have ever heard, Scott suggested that using the system was "Like committing suicide to avoid getting killed".
 
Cheshire
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:39 am

Cost, complexity and weight would surely be factors. And, straying marginally from the topic, is it true the USAF is going to use Russian ejector seats in the Raptor?
 
2912n
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:13 pm

The F-22 is to have (has) the ACES II ejection system.

The F-35 will have a Martin Baker seat fitten to it.

Just one of several ejection seat websites. Interesting info here:
http://www.ejectionsite.com/f22acesii.htm



[Edited 2003-11-04 04:18:06]
 
JeffM
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Sat Nov 15, 2003 2:45 pm

Capsules were used on high altitude, high speed a/c where a normal seat would not be as healthy. Standard seats allow for a closer to zero/zero ejection capability as well.

Jeff
 
shaun3000
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:44 pm

Doesn't the B-1 have a capsule system?
 
jwenting
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:17 am

no, one was planned for the B-1A but the B model is fitted with ejection seats (ACES II I think).
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HaveBlue
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:58 am

The XB-70 had crew capsules as well. When the 2nd XB-70 built was involved in a mid air during a photo shoot, Al White successfully ejected using the capsule, while Carl Cross unfortunately waited too long and was not able to get his seat back into the capsule under the tremendous G loads. The only problem with White was that he neglected to inflate the cushioning pad that would deploy underneath the capsule for landing, so he landed very hard, leaving an imprint of his ass in the actual seat. But nevertheless he survived with only injuries.
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ulfinator
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:31 am

The B-1B does infact have the ACES II ejection seats. My buddy is a WSO with the 9th Bomb Squadron out of Dyess. I went and visited him and he took me out to the aircraft and showed me around. He ran me through how the rear seats eject.

1) Feet straps pull feet in toward the seat
2) Arm guards come up on sides to keep arms in
3) Hatch blows
4) Seat slides down and back to line up with exit hatch
5) Out they go

They don't have a lot of room to go out the little hatch in the B-1B. They wear leg straps the pull there legs in as I described above.

My buddy got to talk the crew of the B-1B that went down off of Diego Garcia about 1 1/2 years ago. Even with all stuff to keep them tucked in one of the guys dislocated his shoulder when his arm hit something going out. Also talked about how they were about 1.5 inches shorter than before too.

It is good they have ejection sheets but lets hope many of them never have to be used.
 
MESP
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Sun Apr 18, 2004 4:55 pm

The Avro Vulcan was designed to have a crew capsule. Unfortunately the technology was not advanced enough at the time, so it didn't happen.
 
f4wso
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:16 pm

It is a life support nighmare to work on a capsule because every control linkage and instrument lead has to have a connection.

Limits on the Martin-Baker in the F-4 were the seat is good up to 600 knots. Above 450 knots, you will sustain a flailing injury. Didn't make a difference if it was the face curtain or the lower handle.

Optimum airspeed for ejection was 250 knots which I always thought curious since the good arched freefall speed is 120 knots. My sport parachute was used over and over whereas the parachute in the seat only had to be used once.
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN
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FTOHIST
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:56 am

Like the Skyrocket, the Bell X-2 had a jettisonable nose section. In this more primitive capsule system, the pilot was to recognize a terminal problem, jettison the nose, and then effect an escape using his parachute. In the X-2 Captain Mel Apt was the first person to fly at Mach 3, but after losing control of the airplane at high speed and jettisoning the nose, he was knocked unconscious. When he woke up, the nose section was falling to earth at a tremendous speed, and he didn't have enough time to jump clear of it and use his own parachute. Sad, he went from being the fastest man alive to being dead in just a few minutes.
 
bsergonomics
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:52 am

The problem with capsules is a simple Newtonian one - Force equals mass times acceleration. A capsule is much heavier than a seat (obviously), but it means that you need a much higher force to take the capsule clear of the remains of the airframe. This means a much larger (and heavier) rocket, which means less payload/range etc. The only real benefit of a capsule is that you are less likely to kill the pilot after ejection due to wind blast, cold and lack of oxygen if the STASS pack doesn't work.

Since these are only really problems at high altitude, a capsule would only be considered for an aircraft that NORMALLY flies at these altitudes. I have heard a number of stories (none of which confirmed - I'd be interested to hear) of high altitude fighters that had ejection seats that fired downwards; this was fine until the aircraft took on a low level role - you can imagine the results...

Another problem that I have heard of (notably the F-111) was one of latency. For some reason (again, probably one of mass), the time taken between pulling the yellow and black handle and being safely under the opened canopy is much greater with a capsule. Again, this is not a problem when you have 12 miles in which to perform the operation, but it is a problem when you only have 500 feet...
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
f4wso
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:32 pm

The F-104 originally had a downward seat to preclude an upward ejecting seat from hitting the vertical fin. Good for high altitude but not in the takeoff or landing phase. Perhaps a successful ejection could be had if the aircraft was rolled prior to pulling the handles.

A couple of guys I talked to that had ejected in the F-111 capsule said the landing was harder than any parachute landing fall they had done. I am not sure if their air cushion had deployed or not.
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN
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USAFHummer
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:11 pm

"F-104...Good for high altitude but not in the takeoff or landing phase. Perhaps a successful ejection could be had if the aircraft was rolled prior to pulling the handles."

I recall reading about such an incident where an F-104 did have a problem in either of those phases (cant remember which), and the pilot did just that, got ejected sideways and was killed...

Greg
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FTOHIST
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RE: Ejection Capsules

Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:22 am

Capt. Iven Kinchloe was killed in an early F-104A just after takeoff from Edwards in 1958. He experienced an engine failure, and had no choice but to try to roll the airplane sideways and eject out that way. I think I remember hearing that he hit something on the ground. He was far too low anyway...

A General Electric engine test F-104A flown by Whitey Van Salter in 1959 experienced a split flap condition on landing, and the pilot tried to punch out in the same manner, but he was too low also.

Those were early test model YF-104A's--I'm sure some production airplanes experienced some similar failures and ejections...

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