Health & Safety

September 20, 2013

Edwards T-38 aircrew prep for new ejection seat upgrade

Tags:
Jet Fabara
412th TW Public Affairs

Edwards is working to install new ejection seats in its T-38 fleet in order to increase the overall safety of the training aircraft.

For test pilots at Edwards, their long-time trainer airframe, the T-38 Talon, is receiving an upgrade that is set to ensure the safety of T-38 aircrew now and well into the future.

The upgraded ejection seat, known as the Martin-Baker Mk US16T, brings added safety features that were not previously available.

“We have an entirely new ejection seat system for the T-38,” said Maj. Jon Appelt, 370th Flight Test Squadron training officer. “The biggest benefit of this new seat is the expanded ejection envelope which increases aircrew survivability. This includes the ability to successfully eject in a zero airspeed and zero altitude situation as well as improving survivability in the high altitude and high airspeed regime.”

In addition to the zero-zero seat feature, Appelt mentioned the seat would include an inter-seat sequencing system, which allows one of the two aircrew members to start the ejection sequence for both aircrew members and sequences the ejections to avoid seat to seat interference.

“Potential seat to seat interference during the ejection process is a serious problem with the old system, and now with the new inter-seat sequencing system, the seats are automatically de-conflicted during the ejection, avoiding this problem,” added Appelt. “Once the center ejection handle is pulled, the aft seat will always eject first, followed by the front seat, which reduces the possibility of both aircrew members colliding in-flight.”

In conjunction with the inter-sequencing system is the seat’s leg restraint system, which provides two upper and lower leg garters attached to the aircrew member’s legs.

The new seat, the Mk US16T by Martin-Baker, will replace the old Northrop Grumman seat.

“This feature draws the pilot’s legs in and retains them in a position, clear of obstacles, until man-seat separation occurs,” said Master Sgt. David Buczynski, 412th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment Quality Assurance. “The leg lines are connected to the inner pistons of the main beam assembly, which stays with the aircraft after ejection.”

Since the new seat incorporates a parachute system built into the seat just like the ACES II system on an F-16, Buczynski said the aircrew member will no longer have to carry a 50-pound, back-style parachute out to the aircraft.

“Added features of this ejection seat include the use of drogue chute stabilization, an automatic chute deployment, automatic man-seat separation and a manual override system, in the event of automatic and backup system failure,” added Appelt.

Although the new integration is ongoing, Appelt said aircrews will still be required to undergo the appropriate training before flying.

“Everybody flying in the new seat will be required to train on the new seat, which involves 30 to 45 minutes of ground training and about 30 minutes of training at the aircraft,” Appelt said. “Once the modular training seat system is available, aircrews will be able to use the system as a fundamental training device.”

The integration commenced in early July and, at this point, should end by mid-October, according to Appelt.

“Obviously, it will take a while to take all these T-38s through the modification process, but we’re near the tail-end of the mod process. There are contractors working at Vance Air Force Base, Calif., which allows us to mod one jet per week, but training has to be accomplished on both airframe ejection seats nonetheless,” said Appelt.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Air Force promotes fatigue countermeasures

Human fatigue results from sleep deprivation. Fatigue has become a growing concern in the Air Force as sustained and continuous operations, along with global deployments, are stretching the ability of our forces to meet growing mission demands. Some Airmen may question whether fatigue is really a big enough hazard to worry about. Fatigue can decrease...
 
 

TRICARE Online and MiCare have similarities, differences

TRICARE Online and MiCare Secure Messaging may seem to offer the same services, but there are important differences to these software tools, designed to enhance access to care for all military beneficiaries. “Both programs are endorsed by the Military Heath System, and although they may seem very similar, in actuality there are a few differences,”...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Melissa Buchanan

Driving distracted rivals alcohol, speeding in crashes

Air Force photograph by Melissa Buchanan Distracted driving can be deadly. One area that remains a large safety concern is unsafe and distracted driving. What is distracted driving? According to www.Distraction.gov, distracted ...
 

 
promo

Team Edwards June promotions

Team Edwards saw a dozen enlisted members pin on to the next rank during June’s promotion ceremony held June 30 at the base theater. Congratulations to all promotees! To senior airman Mitchell Mosier, 412th Aircraft Mai...
 
 
history

Break out those running shoes and get ready to ‘run with history’

The second annual Edwards Run with History 5K, 10K and Half Marathon is coming Oct. 3. Gates will open at 5 a.m. for registered runners and the event will start promptly at 7 a.m. on ramp†six on the flightline. Half marathon ...
 
 
supplements

Keeping Airmen healthy and informed through Operation Supplement Safety

For peak performance, Airmen should eat healthy and exercise regularly. But in the quest to gain an “edge,” many Airmen resort to dietary supplements. Enter Operation Supplement Safety, or OPSS. This Defense Departm...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>