When you get to the point in this video where the earnest—OK nerdy—guy explains how Martin Baker plans to blast pilots out of a cockpit with a cordite canon, you’ll understand what the British slang “boffin” means. You may also be seized with an overwhelming desire to know what the reaction to this proposal must have been from the pilots and engineers first hearing it.

But by the end of World War II, there no other choices. The footage in the initial part of the video shows how difficult it was to exit an airplane at 300 MPH and jets were soon flying a lot faster than that. This post-wartime film gives an interesting history of how Martin Baker, the leader in ejection systems, developed the technology that has ultimately saved thousands of pilots. It does not, however, explain how they got Lynch to do the second ejection after he had been through the first. (Credit: Martin Baker)


  1. About 50 years ago when I was a helicopter flight instructor at Ft Rucker. A group of us requested ejection seat training. The army had OV1s, so they had an ejection seat trainer. They gave classroom training and then we went outside to the training device. You strap in and then pull the handle. There is no sensation of going up. There is a bang which is a kick on your backside and then you coast down. The device is different from the video. There is shorter tower and a mechanism like a door closer that lowers the seat at a set rate.

  2. I always wondered how helicopter ejection seats worked. Some Soviet choppers blew the blades off first, which must have been disconcerting for anyone not sitting in an ejection seat. At least one design timed the firing so you were shot up between blade passage, which would seem to be cutting it a little fine. Ejecting downward would seem to be a non-starter, given the low-alt missions. What do they do now?