Peter J Bennett tp. MRAeS ..... "The History of the Ejector Seat"
Thursday 29th October 2015
Tipsy Nipper, Fife Airport
Remember Sdn Ldr Mark Richardson's talk back in June about his mid-air Tornado collision in which he had to make a rapid exit from the aircraft? Well, at our next Club Night, Peter Bennett, ex-RAF Squadron Leader and Test Pilot, will give us a talk on the history and development of the piece of equipment to which Mark owes his life ..... the Ejector Seat.
Peter entered the RAF in 1966 via the Royal Air Force College Cranwell and did a short tour on Wessex helicopters before becoming one of the first pilots to convert to the Harrier VSTOL fighter. After operational tours in Germany, UK and Belize, he attended the Empire Test Pilots’ School and after graduation, did experimental research flying at the Royal Aircraft Establishment Bedford.
During 9 years with the RAE, he undertook Harrier Ski Jump trials for the Navy, was project pilot for the Sea Harrier Poor Weather and Night Approach System and developed the new RAF fast-jet HUD symbology for which he was awarded the L G Groves memorial prize for aircraft safety. He jointly conceived and developed the novel Unified Control System for VSTOL aircraft that is now in the Lockheed F35 Lightning II aircraft.
In the BAC 1-11 airliner, he undertook advanced cockpit trials and blind landing research.
In 1983, following an aircraft accident caused by vortex wake, he transferred to RAE Farnborough to direct a research programme which involved the conversion of a two seat Harrier aircraft with Forward Looking Infra-Red and Night Vision Goggles.
Peter's talk promises to provide a fascinating insight into the development of such a life-saving piece of equipment so please do come along on the 29th to hear him.