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Aircraft rejector seat

  [vote for,

Ejector seats have saved the lives of many pilots.

However, "banging out" is a far from pleasant experience, and can cause spinal damage.

This is because the pilot must leave the aircraft with substantial vertical velocity to clear the airframe, particularly the tail; thus extreme acceleration is necessary.

However, a little consideration of relativity leads to a startling conclusion. For a passenger on a train, it is impossible to determine if the train leaves the station, or the station leaves the train.

Thus the answer is not to eject the pilot's seat, but for the seat to reject the aircraft.

In an emergency, the cockpit cover is "blown" in the usual way, but instead of the seat being launched upward on rails, a small charge simply imparts a gentle vertical acceleration to the seat. As the seat starts to rise, very much larger propellant charges mounted at critical locations drive the entire aircraft very fast in the opposite direction, i.e. downwards. After all, if the pilot has been forced to eject, the airframe's a total loss anyway.

So the pilot retains their forward momentum, and rises gently upward, while the aircraft is hurled away from them fast enough that they don't hit any part of it.

BorgCo are currently accepting applications from prospective testers of this amazing new technology, which has the potential to be a great advance in aviation safety, once we iron out one or two very minor problems.

8th of 7, Jul 12 2017


       This is pretty damned clever, but why not replace the charges with air foils that pop up to push the plane down? Getting a 250 pound man / seat combo to pop up doesn't need a lot of explosive but getting that multi ton plane to move in the opposite direction would require many times more explosives. Getting the aircraft to hold together once you pop these things might make a bad situation worse.   

       Might be able to get the plane to nosedive out from under the pilot with a simple flap on the nose that pops up, both pushing the plane downwards and affording the ejecting pilot a temporary wind screen to keep him from getting blown back into the plane until it gets out of the way.   

       In faaaact, you could have that flap just pull the pilot and seat out like a crane. He gets flipped up while the plane gets pushed down.
doctorremulac3, Jul 12 2017

       What about blowing the tail off first? In fact, not just the sticking-up part of the tailplane, but the entire rear part of the aircraft from immediately behind the pilot backwards. Gone, ejected. Luggage, cargo, fuel, passengers and all.   

       To aid airofoil stability the remaining rear fuselage could be recycled in mid-air, if mid-air recycling were to be quickly invented. Then the small pile of aluminium atoms would simply stream their way down to earth harmlessly.   

       Then the pilot could simply nudge their seat backward slightly and they'd be free of the nosey part of the plane, and can gently and serenely descend to the pile of mattresses on the ground.
Ian Tindale, Jul 12 2017

       You're close, but with enough mattresses already in the cockpit you could just skip the exiting the plane part and just bounce on the mattresses when the plane de-airs.
normzone, Jul 14 2017

       I like it, aside from the glaring flaw that the seat would still have its previous momentum making low altitude ejections impossible.
DIYMatt, Jul 14 2017

       Not impossible, just fatal.
pocmloc, Jul 14 2017

       Don't say that, it puts off potential testers ... it's hard enough to recruit as it is.
8th of 7, Jul 14 2017

       //However, a little consideration of relativity leads to a startling conclusion.//   

       I was really hoping for a consideration of ejection at v/c approaching 1. Your next statement applies only to constant velocity.   

       These days, survival after ejection from ground level is also considered important. I would recommend that a drilling rig is attached to the aircraft to allow for this situation.
TomP, Jul 15 2017

       What if you simply blew the vertical tail off the plane, faster than the pilot was rising?
Vernon, Jul 16 2017

       If so much of the plane needs to be removed before the pilot can eject, perhaps landing it would the more practical option.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2017


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