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Martin Baker-If it ain't broke don't fix it

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 09:10 PM
For 70 years, Martin Baker has been using a pair of Gloster Meteors to perform airborne ejection tests. They are one of the only ones that performs them, and have found that the Meteor is the perfect platform for the tests. The primary test aircraft, WA638, began testing in 1962. It flew for 15 years, before it was stored until the late 1990s. It's back flying with the company, along with WL419.

The first Meteor test occurred in 1946, with a modified Meteor that put the seat in the ammunition bin. In July of 1946, Bernard Lynch made the first of his 16 manned ejections for the company. In the 1950s, the company received a Meteor T Mk7, which was modified into the F Mk 8 configuration. It's officially been called a Mk 7 1/2.

Adhering strictly to the principle that if it isn’t broke why fix it, Martin-Baker is conducting high-speed ejection seat tests for 21st-century combat aircraft using derivatives of the same Gloster Meteor family the company first used for ejection tests 70 years ago.

In spite of its considerable vintage, the sturdy British attack aircraft has all the attributes required for a stable, high-speed test platform, says Andy Gent, Martin-Baker’s head of flying and chief pilot. “From a test perspective the Meteor is ideal. The tail boom is fairly long and the fin is not very high. The engines are also spaced out a fair way out along the wing, so the efflux from the ejection test and exhaust from the gun and rocket motor isn’t potentially going down the engine intakes,” he says.

Based at Martin-Baker’s Chalgrove, England, test facility, the fleet is made up of two Meteors, WA638 and WL419, both of which have been with the company since the 1960s. “They are doing the job so why would you ever go through the heartache of getting another aircraft?” says Gent. “If you did want another aircraft for testing you would probably want it to be a twin because we probably lose enough single-engine aircraft after takeoff through bird strikes. If you go through the expense of all the conversion for ejection-seat testing, get airborne and suck a red kite down the intake, then it’s an immediate ejection,” he adds.

posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 12:29 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

I've serviced Martin Bakers. (Macchi) Fine bit of kit. Those seats were 90 feet or 90 knots for the pilots.

Nice read, brought back memories,

kind regards,

edit on 8-3-2017 by bally001 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 02:24 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58
And one of the nicest things of all related to the meteors..... that unique droning sound of two centrifugal compressors at flat chat.....

posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 02:26 AM
a reply to: bally001
A lovely lil trainer the MB-326H....

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 03:37 AM
I was lucky to be at Langford Lodge for one of the Eurofighter tests for the MK16.

There are four things I love about Martin Baker:

1. They save lives
2. They have a plaque for every safe ejection in their entrance hall to their office near London.
3. The ejection tie club:

The Company continues as a successful family run business, jointly managed by the twin sons of the late founder, Sir James Martin. The Joint Managing Directors, like their father, are engineers. They are great enthusiasts for the products and actively run the Company, day-to-day together with an extremely loyal and skilful workforce.

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 08:53 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

The active Meteor also flew late last year to the French air force test site of Cazaux air base southwest of Bordeaux to conduct high-altitude ejection-seat activation tests.

I wonder how high they can get a Meteor up to?

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 09:07 AM
a reply to: Sammamishman

According to this info, a Gloster Meteor F.4 could reach 40,000ft.

_____________________ _________________ _______________________

spec metric english
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

wingspan 11.3 meters 37 feet 2 inches
wing area 32.51 sq_meters 350 sq_feet
length 12.5 meters 41 feet
height 3.96 meters 13 feet

empty weight 5,090 kilograms 11,220 pounds
loaded weight 6,600 kilograms 14,550 pounds

maximum speed 930 KPH 580 MPH / 505 KT
service ceiling 12,200 meters 40,000 feet
range (no tanks) 980 kilometers 610 MI / 530 NMI
_____________________ _________________ _______________________
edit on 932017 by nelloh62 because: forgot link

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: nelloh62

Thast would be the service ceiling but I wonder how high they can get her to test the seats. I imagine they could get a fair amount higher than that for a test if they performed a max power climb.

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 05:49 PM
a reply to: Sammamishman

If they're willing to risk it, probably another 10,000 in a zoom climb. Maybe a little more.

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: Sammamishman

Remember that the WB-57 was originally developed from a kissing cousin of the Meteor.

Those early British jets had some pretty amazing high altitude performance for their time (not to mention for today).

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