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maxdecal

Vampire T.55 ejection seat Question- telescopic rails?

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Hi all,

I want to model a Vampire T.55 after one of the seats has been fired. The T.55's were equipped with Martin -Baker Mk 2 or mk 3 seats I think, so my question is what rail arrangement was used on the Vampire? Was it a twin metal rail or a solid post or was it a telescopic rail that extended once the seat was fired?

I'm attempting to model the moment when an Irish Air Corps cadet ejected from a spinning Vampire. The change in airflow following the ejection allowed the instructor to recover from the spin and fly the aircraft back to Baldonnel.

See http://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/news/military-achievement-award-for-jeremiah-30382988.html

and http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/Country-By-Country/Ireland.htm.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Joe

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I cant help you with the inside of the cockpit but took some pictures of Vampire T.11 seats removed, don't know if you can get the info from the seats?

MK3B%201.JPG

MK3B%202.JPG

MK3B%204.JPG

MK3B%205.JPG

MK3B%206.JPG

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Thanks Julien,

I found a good source of info on the Marti-baker seats at http://www.martin-baker.com/_pdfs/history_development_mk1-mk10_ejection_seats.pdf

On page 17 there is a photo showing a test firing of a Mk 3 from a Gloster Meteor and there is at telescopic arm sticking out of the fuselage> I'm trying to verify if the same thing would have been visible on the Vampire T.55.

Best regards,

Joe

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The "telescopic arm" is the gun that fires the seat.

When either ejection handle is pulled if allows a sear pin to detonate a cartridge at

the top of the gun. This starts the inner part of the gun to start moving upwards.

The seat is guided by a set of rails on either side of the gun.

As the gun moves up it uncovers a port that allows hot gas from the initiator cartridge to

detonate a second more powerful cartridge that is mounted about half way down the outer

gun casing.

This accelerates the seat clear of the aircraft, leaving the gun sticking up like a telescope.

The below is a couple of pages from the 724 Squadron (RAN) line book that shows the aftermath

of a particularly nasty Vampire pang at NAS Nowra. The seat gun can be seen in the pic on the

lower right. Note this was an uncommanded firing, the seat fired during the impact pushing

the pilot into the windscreen.

post-7-1301106012_zpslbwzersi.jpg

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Hi Steve,

That's very helpful, thank you. One more question if I may. On the Vampire T.55 or any other side by side trainer do the instructors sit on the left or the right?

Best regards,

Joe

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Bit of background to what you are seing in the previous pictures.

The MB ejection gun consists of three tubes that fit inside each other. The best visual way to describe them and how they operate is in terms of a pull out extending car radio arial. The outer and middle tubes are secured to the aircraft. The third inner tube is attached to the seat structure. The ejection gun has three seperate cartridges fitted to it in different places one at the top of the seat, the other two equidistant along its length.

When the seat gun is initially fired on seat handle pull the first cartridge explodes and starts extending the tubes upwards. When the tubes have raised and extended about 18" the second cartridge is exposed inside the tubes, and the hot gases from the first cartridge face fire the second cartridge. The gun tubes continue extending and after about another 18" travel the third cartridge is exposed and is face fired by the previous two cartridge hot gases, This explosive pressure is now sufficently powerful to fully extend the three tubes and eject the seat. These three seperate explosions give an extended staged "Push" effect (rather than one big bang) to get the seat out of the aircraft without causing injury to the pilots spine.

At full gun extension the inner third tube(attached to the seat) detaches (pulls out) from the extended inner tubes and goes away with the fully seperated seat. The first two tubes are left extended, and can be often seen on crashed aircraft pictures (as seen above).

Selwyn

Edited by Selwyn

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To expand (hopefully) on Selwyn's post above in addition to the ejection gun there are two guide rails bolted to the aircraft structure, one each side of the gun. These are typically slightly wider fore and aft than the diameter of the gun itself and have lightening holes in them. Obviously the guide rails remain in the cockpit after the ejection along with the two, now extended, inner tubes of the ejection gun.

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Blimey, it's hard to find any pictures of the ejection gun!

I did find this one of the gun obviously not extended after use. You can see the rails on each side to guide the seat on its travels

https://ehive.com/account/5372/object/549824/Ejection_seat_gun_used_in_Sea_Venoms_and_Vampire_aircraft

This whole assembly is bolted upright to the cockpit rear bulkhead.

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Hi Steve,

That's very helpful, thank you. One more question if I may. On the Vampire T.55 or any other side by side trainer do the instructors sit on the left or the right?

Best regards,

Joe

Normally, in a JP or 'fighter type a/c' the student is 'pilot in command-under training' and as such would sit in the captains(left hand) seat. In a multi crew a/c like a Comet or a Viscount etc., a student might be training as a co-pilot and would sit in his normal seat which would be the RHS.

Apparently it is totally different in helicopters (capt on the RHS) but I stay way from such scary things myself.

Cheers, Nige B

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Hi Joe,

I have in my museum both Mk.2 (from Venom) and Mk.3 (from Hunter) ejection seats. If you need any details I try to help.

Best regards

Gabor

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Apparently it is totally different in helicopters (capt on the RHS) but I stay way from such scary things myself.

Cheers, Nige B

.... except in Russian helicopters - where the capt/pilot sits in the LH seat - like aircraft.

That's why the winch on a Mi-8 is on the port (LH) side - unlike a Sea King, where it is on the starboard (RH, pilots) side.

Ken

Edited by Flankerman

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.... except in Russian helicopters - where the capt/pilot sits in the LH seat - like aircraft.

That's why the winch on a Mi-8 is on the port (LH) side - unlike a Sea King, where it is on the starboard (RH, pilots) side.

Ken

I told you earlier that such things were scary. But while I've got you, is it true that Russian helicopters carry an on board blacksmith in lieu of a flight engineer ?

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In a Mi-8/Mi-17 it is standard that the pilot is in the left hand seat, co-pilot in right hand and in the middle you have the flight enginer in a seat which swings down from the side.

Best regards

Gabor

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