Mark 3 Martin-Baker Ejection Seat

Contributed by Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Martin-Baker Ejection Seat © National Museums Northern Ireland

Image 1 of 2

This ejection seat was invented by James Martin, who was born in Crossgar, Co. Down, in 1893. In 1934 he founded the Martin-Baker aircraft manufacturing company with his friend Captain Valentine Baker.
In 1944 the firm was approached by the Ministry of Defence and asked to investigate ejection systems for high-speed fighter aircraft, a task made all the more poignant by Captain Baker's own death in a flying accident two years before.
James Martin discovered that the most effective means of ejection was by an explosive charge that forced the pilot's seat up into the air. Following an intensive period of testing and research his ejection seat went into production in the late 1940s. The first life saved was that of test pilot John Lancaster, in 1949. Since then over 70,000 seats have been supplied and over 7,000 lives saved.
Martin-Baker is still in existence and continues to supply the ejection seats that save so many lives.

The Martin-Baker ejection seat has saved over 7000 lives since its introduction in the late 1940s.

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