Shot this image on one of the 3 differnet Ejection Seat Sled Test Runs that I have been to over the years at the Hurricane Mesa Test Track in beautiful Utah. The HMTT Track is on top of a secure and secluded 5000 foot Mesa with the breech ending cliffside. In the early days the seats were shot off the end of this mesa to have the 'altitude' to simulate airborne ejections...regular safe high speed and zero airspeed ejection capabilities did not arrive until the 60's. The famous B-58 Encapsulated Ejection Seat tests run with live Bears, which despite being sedated often ended up none too pleased about being strapped into little egg shaped objects and fired off down the track at high speed and ejected up and off over the cliff. I always wonder what the recovery teams were thinking when they opened the clamshell doors to remove our not so happy bear from the straps!
This test was a 600 knot ground level shot of an ACES II F-15 Seat to prove the reliability of a parachute pack that was artificially aged to five years of being packed and in service. Goodrich Aerospace owned the HMTT Faculties and manufactured the ACES II seat production line at that time in 2005. United Technology took over Goodrich in this capacity several years ago. The test went well and the milllion dollar fully instrumented anthro-test dummy landed without any 'complaints'. It is simply impossible to describe just how fast all of this happens..6 seconds from 0 to 600 knots and back to 0 again after the shot via a water brake toward the end of the run before the breech. The seat only went up less than 100 feet or so but in the very short time it takes from firing till the chute is deployed and the occupant is slowed to a negligable slow speed and ground contact...less than a second or two...amazing that human beings can be subjected to such loads and survive. Sometimes with minor or no injuries.
300,000 lbs of thrust created from surplus 50's era 5" Zuni Rocket Motors (minus the warheads of course!). Its incredible to watch this then proceed to the landing spots for the seat and anthro test dummy as well as the still smoking sled within a few minutes. #aviation #instagramavaition #utah #rocket