Feasibility of Non-Catapult Ejection and Hazard of an Ejection Seat Rocket Plume.
NAVAL AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER WARMINSTER PA AIRCRAFT AND CREW SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE
Pagination or Media Count:
Efforts conducted by the Navy focused on feasibility of utilizing a rocket propelled ejection seat without a catapult. It was speculated that elimination of the catapult would result in significant weight reduction. However, between time of rocket ignition and the time the ejecting crewmember leaves the cockpit, there is a burn hazard to the crewmember created by the rocket exhaust plume from his own rocket as it scatters about the cockpit. The crewman may be exposed to temperatures as high as 5000 F during ejection. Extreme temperature and blast pressure also create severe erosive effects. Methods for protecting the crewmember from the rocket plume which were investigated included venting the plume, containingshielding the plume, and quenching afterburn of rocket propellant with inert gas. Engineering trade-offs such as weight penalties, complexity of maintenance, cost and anomalies on overall escape system performance were compared between utilization of the catapult and rocket plume protection methods. Based on these engineering trade-offs it was concluded that the catapult is still recommended for use in current aircraft cockpits. Author