Martin-Baker ejection seats
Hello Gents, The attached images show two very fine specimens of Martin-Baker Mk.4 ejection seats that may be available to a private party, if there is interest generated. These seats are entirely intact and complete in every way. They are presently in an ex-RAF Hawker Hunter that was damaged in a landing accident and is no longer flyable. The seats were operational and fully charged before this accident. They are, as I said, complete and could easily be reused in a jet aircraft (such as a warbird), after a checkover by a qualified egress specialist; location of the seats is in Southern California (USA). I promised the friend who has these seats that I would see if there is any collector interest in them before he offers them through another venue (say a private aircraft parts & assemblies retail/wholesaler, or through Barnstormers). This notice may serve as the only chance any of you will have to acquire one of the two seats available for private collections. Please get in touch if you are seriously interested. As I said, if there is no interest expressed by Flightgear Forum members, these seats will end up for sale to the highest bidder or be sold to a private company for possible reuse in a jet aircraft. Thanks, folks. The two images give a fairly good idea of the condition they are in (excellent!).
Message 2143, May 6, 2001
Hi DocBoink, Germany did indeed have a nuclear strike mission so your golden visor is genuine. One of many factors causing the large number of German F-104 crashes back in the 1960s was the fact that due to a strong sense of commitment to NATO the German Air Force had F-104s on nuclear alert instead of on the flight line for training missions in spite of the fact that they had a very low in-commission rate. In some periods pilots had as few as 2-3 flying hours per month.
Speaking of the F-104, Robert Calvert comes to mind. The song "Catch a Falling Starfighter" is not fair to the German Air Force. Once they analysed their problems properly and took the right precautions they were more safe than other F-104 users. The Germans ended up with a final accident rate of 1.59 per 10,000 hours. The Canadian was 1.96!
Also, during the first ten years of service, Germany lost 10% of their total number of F-104s. Comparable figures for Belgium, Canada and Italy are 11%, 23% and 24% respectively. My guess is that the Germans crashes were more visible because they had so many F-104s - 917 a/c all in all.
Message 2146, May 6, 2001
Addendum: This reminds me of the unique M-B/F104G egress display that may be found at the Deutsches Museum in Munchen. The attached images show the F104G' s M-B GQ-7W seat in mid-ejection sequence. I found that a most instructive and informative display when visiting there in the mid-80s.