Defense

September 20, 2013

Edwards T-38 aircrew prep for new ejection seat upgrade

Tags:
Jet Fabara
Edwards AFB, Calif.

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.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>