Posted 20 hours ago

Eject! Eject!

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Since those first post-Second World War ejections, many tens of thousands of lives have been saved by increasingly sophisticated escape systems. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. When Jo Lancaster, the first British pilot to eject in an emergency, triggered his ejection seat in 1949, it took thirty seconds before he was safely away from the aircraft and under his parachute. Most works of popular narrative non-fiction could be written by anyone with a small amount of talent, as well as enough time, energy, commitment and a decent library.

We see how the technology was adapted when the prospect of crashing in North Vietnam was sometimes preferable to ejecting and risking capture; what happens to the body when it is catapulted from an aircraft under great force; how an ejectee can be rescued from enemy territory. He has taken the time to let the reader know that he has taken that ride, but hasn't fallen into the trap of the book being about him. Nichol tells the story of the brave men who risked their lives testing those early devices, and interviewed the first British pilot to eject back in 1949, when ejection, from pulling the handle to being under the parachute, took thirty seconds. I especially liked the way several airmen’s and navigator’s stories were interwoven through the book as it progressed.For me , the amount of technical information was just about right and it was great reading about one of our leading edge companies that develops fabulous products that are sold at home and abroad. He has served around the world from the Nevada Desert to the Middle East and Norway to the Falkland Islands. The events in war, about the way the Vietnam pilots were treated for instance was beaten only by the dreadful, dreadful injuries that they used to receive as a result of ejecting. On active duty during the first Gulf War in 1991, his Tornado bomber was shot down during a mission over Iraq.

It was only after Baker died in 1942 during the test flight of a prototype fighter plane that Martin turned his thoughts to designing an ejection seat. As the author has had to be diplomatic in some areas, feelings run deep and memories are long, the book has a feel of 'now it can be told' just not completely. Nichol is perhaps at his best in his account of the early work of the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, the pioneering British manufacturer of ejection seats, whose products – as of the date of publication – have saved 7,681 lives. is fuelled by dramatic, deeply moving and previously unheard first-hand accounts by ejectees and their families. Come down the travelators, exit Sainsbury's, turn right and follow the pedestrianised walkway to Crown Walk and turn right - and Coles will be right in front of you.

Captured, tortured and held as a prisoner of war, John was paraded on television, provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the most enduring images of the conflict.

If I had a any criticism at all, it would be that the people who maintain these seats day in day out get short shrift- this is all about the occupants. In 1928, he moved to Denham in Buckinghamshire, where he hung a sign on the front of an old linoleum factory, “Martin’s Aircraft Works”.Captured and tortured, he was paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of the conflict. He has written for The Times, The Mail on Sunday and The Observer and is a widely quoted commentator on military affairs.

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