All I know about ejector seats and jet aircraft I learned from watching Goose hit the canopy in Top Gun. I can only imagine that pulling the ejector handle at 600 mph during a firefight or mid air crisis would be a very harrowing experience. What I never really thought about is how exactly they test those ejection seats.
A British team has recorded a test session on video so the curious sort like me can see just how it is done. If you were expecting a steely-nerved pilot strapping in and punching out while flying at mach 1, sadly, that’s not how it is done.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIz5z9VoLJU&feature=player_embedded
The reality is almost that cool though. They use a frackin’ rocket sled. The sled hurtles down some railroad tracks and a dummy strapped in the seat is ejected into the sky. I guess if the dummy has all its appendages after the test and things work OK, the seat is approved. We never get to see the dummy land in the video, so we don’t get to see how well the he or the seat did when they landed.
[via Boing Boing]