FW 190 EJECTION SEAT TESTS

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by fubar57, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    While looking for something else I came across these photos and commentary...

    fw 190 ejection seat.jpg

    fw 190 ejection seat.jpg1.jpg

    The test pilots and operational evaluation squadron demanded these
    due to the problem of ejecting the canopy due to slipstream suction
    retaining the canopy. Weight of the pneumatic seat and its
    maintenance issues seems to have been the argument for not installing
    them and explosive ejection charges were supplied instead.

    Ejection seats were standard on all German test aircraft where
    possible. They became standard on the Heinkel He 219 combat aircraft
    and on the Do 335 and about 50 succesful operational ejections were
    made. The feature of these aircraft is that the propellers could be a
    problem for egressing crew. Some Heinkel He 177 apparently had them
    for certain crew positions as well.

    The little He 162 jet fighter received a lightweight explosive
    ejection seat. Heinkel remained in charge of ejection seat
    development in Germany. The rocket sled rail Heinkel built was taken
    to the united states as a war booty and used to further develop
    ejection technology there.

    Studies conducted in the 1940s showed that at least half the pilots
    that were conscious and attempted to bailout were unable to do so.
    This and the need to allow crew escape from dive bombers motivated
    their development.

    It would seem that the ejection seat could have reduced pilot
    attrition by around 25%, perhaps as much as 50% when accidents (ie
    running out of fuel at night, bad weather disorientation etc) are
    taken into account.

    Given the Luftwaffe's acute pilot shortage, especially of experinenced
    pilots it is interesting to ponder the effect. The most dangerous
    missions for a pilots are his first few, so ejection seat would allow
    more to get over that particularly hurdle.

    Geo
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    New to me. Thanks Geo!
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Nice find, Geo.

    Also, did you lnow that Heinkel was an ejection seat pioneer and that the He280 was one of the first aircraft to have ejection seats as a standard?

    Another first, which also involves the He280, is the first successful ejection, saving the life of test pilot Helmut Schenk when he had to deploy the ejection seat as his He280 (V1 DL+AS) lost control due to icing.
     
  4. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No 'successful' ejections were made from a Do 335. On one occasion the seat initially failed when commanded, but subsequently operated when a forced landing was made, depositing the pilot on the runway with severe injuries. That was about as good as it got. Other attempts were fatal, not due to the seat itself but the canopy striking the pilot's head when it was jettisoned, or the system did not work at all. On one occasion neither the seat, nor the tail/rear propeller jettison system operated but the pilot was still able to abandon the aircraft successfully in the 'traditional' manner.
    I can find few cases in which and ejection seat was definitely used to abandon an He 219. There are only 5 in which either the loss report or, subsequently, the crew confirm the use of their 'katapultsitz'. Even these 5 were not all successful. Feldwebel Alfred Staffa (Staffer?) was badly injured ejecting on the night of 19/20 May 1944. Oberfeldwebel Heinz Gall ejected on the night of 4th June 1944 but was found about 500m from his crashed aircraft with parachute undeployed. In both cases these Bordfunker's pilots, Leutnant Otto Fries and Haupmenn Heinz Eicke survived the ejection unscathed. The Fries/Staffa ejection is usually considered successful because both men survived, albeit with a lengthy stay in hospital.
    Leutnant Ernst Mauss ejected on 6th June, but his Bordfunker, Unteroffizzier Gunther Kraus, never left the aircraft for unknown reasons and his remains were found in the crash wreckage. As you can see, these examples only give a 50/50 chance of survival. It was a new technology, developing under wartime conditions and was not as reliable as it might have been. It cannot be compared to the immensley sophisticated 'smart' ejection systems used in modern aircraft.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Dag nab it Steve, that wasn't what I wanted to cut and paste. 99% of the time I check for typos but this time, because I copied it, I posted and left. It was supposed to be about how the test pilots and evaluation squadron wanted ejection seats due to the problem of ejecting the canopy due to slipstream suction retaining the canopy. The weight of the seat and maintenance probably killed the installation. However, given that you found fault in the part I posted above, maybe this part was incorrect as well.


    Geo
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good shots!
     
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