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COLLECTION  >  SPECIALIST ROOMS  >  Air Crew Life Support
Air Crew Life Support Flight Suits and Helmets collected by Mal Deeley at the Ulster Aviation Society. Image: Mark J. Cairns

AIR CREW LIFE SUPPORT

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Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

Aircrew Life Support / Personal Survival & Safety Equipment room including our collection of Martin-Baker Ejection Seats.

 

We have a growing collection of Martin-Baker Ejection seats and other personal survival & safety equipment.

 

A dedicated new room created by hangar volunteers, Donna Lappin and Mal Deeley during 2019~2022.

Also within the collection of Life support equipment are, life rafts from modern day jet aircraft, flying suits and protective flight clothing, life preservers (Mae West) and a complete Personal Survival Pack, PSP from our Canberra PR9 XH131 plane; Rescue equipment from the Irish Coast guard & Irish Air Corps.

 

We also have an extensive range of uniforms and protection clothing displayed on mannequins, plus clothing badges from the various collections. 

Towards the end of the Second World War, emergency parachute escapes from military aircraft were becoming increasingly difficult and with the introduction of jet powered aircraft virtually eliminated the possibility of a successful over the wing bale-out

 

in 1944, James Martin (later Sir James Martin), Managing Director and chief designer of Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd was invited by the then Ministry of Aircraft Production to investigate the practicability of providing fighter aircraft with a means of assisted escape for pilots, after his friend Capt Valentine Baker was killed during an MB3 test flight in 1942 during the Second World War because he couldn't escape from his aircraft.

Extensive range of Flightsuits, survival and safety suits in the UAS' Aircrew Life Support annex room. Image: Mark J. Cairns

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

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Fire retardant suit for aircraft firefighters, collected by hangar volunteer Mal Deeley at the Ulster Aviation Society. Image: Mark J. Cairns

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

Amongst our collection of aircraft is a unique display of Aircrew Life Support Equipment from WW2 to the present day, include: Martin Baker ejections seats, which are tested here in Northern Ireland at the old USAF airbase at Langford Lodge (where the Ulster Aviation Society used to be).

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Ejection Seats

History of Martin-Baker Ejection Seats

Image: MAL DEELEY

After investigating alternative schemes it soon became apparent that the most attractive means would be by forced ejection of the seat with the occupant still in it.

 

The ejector seat was born and today has saved over 7638+ aircrew lives, and is in use with over 75 air forces around the world.

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Sir James Martin

Capt Valentine Baker

The Ejection Tie Club

Martin-Baker run an exclusive club that unifies all pilots whose lives we’ve helped save: life membership of the Ejection Tie Club is confined solely to those who have emergency ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker ejection seat, which has thereby saved their life.
 

The primary objective of the Club is to provide a distinctive tie to be worn with civilian clothing which provides a visible sign of the members' common bond. Every Club member is given a certificate, membership card, patch, tie, pin or a brooch for the women. All Tie Club memorabilia depicts a red triangle warning sign, the recognised international danger symbol for an ejection seat.

The Ejection Tie Club was founded by Sir James Martin and is now run by Andrew Martin, the grandson of Sir James.

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS