RARE Footage Of German Pilot Testing First Ejection Seat In 1942
Test Pilots Are A Rare Breed.
We’re extremely glad we found this footage as it was seriously buried in the depths of Youtube. We actually stumbled upon it by accident when looking at a bail out video and lo and behold, here’s a clip of Germans testing out one of the first ejection seats during World War II.
We dug a bit deeper and found out that this was not the first attempt to make this life saving device. The very first “ejection seat” was actually launched in 1910 using bungie chords. Just six years later, Everad Calthrop, the mastermind behind the parachute, patented the first ejection seat which used compressed air.
Although different methods were attempted over the years, the safest way to eject up until the end of World War II was to simply bail out. This means that when your plane was inoperable for whatever reason, you had to open your canopy (or door if you were on a bomber) and jump out. As you can imagine, that was no easy task in many situations.
It wasn’t unit Heinkel And SAAB invented a compressed air ejection seat set on a wheel track which was fitted in a Heinkel He 280 that they became functional. It was actually used successfully when test pilot Helmut Schenk used it when his control surfaces froze over. This video shows one such ejection.
Today, Martin-Baker makes the most commonly used ejection seats. They offer zero-zero ejection capabilities (meaning a pilot can safely eject with zero altitude and zero speed) and are equipped on most jets. These seats are used by 93 air forces worldwide and have thus far saved 7,450 lives.