TWENTY‐ONE years devoted to the development of ejection seats, 24,000 seats built for more than forty nations and now one thousand lives saved—that is the proud record of the Martin‐Baker Aircraft Company. To coincide with these achievements, the following article describes the technical development of the range of seats—from the first swinging arm concept through the early manually‐operated seat to the rocket‐assisted completely automatic zero/zero ejection seats of today. From whatever standpoint Martin‐Baker's record is examined, the result is impressive. In terms of mechanical engineering, a series of ingenious features allied to robust design have resulted in ejection seats of unparalleled performance yet renowned for their simplicity and reliability. In terms of sales, this comparatively small firm has, in effect, conquered the world and won substantial export contracts—not least those for over 7,000 seats for the United States armed forces. In human terms, the company has won the grateful thanks of all those aircrew members—a long roll of highly‐skilled and dedicated young men whom some might call the cream of manhood—who but for Martin‐Baker ejection seats would have perished. Small wonder that the name Martin‐Baker has become synonymous with successful ejection.
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