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Thread: Exiting the Victor in an emergency

  1. #1
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    Exiting the Victor in an emergency

    If the 5 crew of a Victor had to make an emergency exit the 2 pilots would eject and the remaining 3 crew had to open the escape hatch and jump.
    Would they not have been killed by the rockets in the pilot's ejection seats?
    If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

  2. #2
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    No, no more than one pilot in a Victor (or a Vulcan) would have been killed by the ejection-seat of the other pilot.

    In fact, I think I'm right in saying that the Victor was originally intended to have no ejection-seats at all but that the whole cockpit section was designed to be detached as a crew escape-capsule. Unfortunately a problem with a large-scale test-model, where the capsule failed to detach and crashed with the rest of the airframe, convinced the Ministry-of-Supply (?) that the idea was unworkable!
    Last edited by Creaking Door; 8th December 2017 at 23:02.
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  3. #3
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    I don't think the V bombers had rocket pack seats anyway, only explosive ejection guns.

  4. #4
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    Actually, that hadn't occurred to me; is there much of a difference for safety of other crew members?
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  5. #5
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    I've never heard of any ill effects of adjacent seats on crewmembers going out second.
    And recall that some aircraft have systems that eject crews in a designated sequence, so designers are aware that someone will be exposed to any seat blast.

    Many, if not most, bombers have cockpit jump seats for IPs or extra crewmembers or guests. Of course, those are not ejection seats..the visitors are pretty more on their own and I expected to use various bail out doors or holes left by any downward ejection seats.
    I was very aware of my limited evacuation options when I rode in a B-52G...especially during the low level (500 ft agl) portion of the sortie.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 9th December 2017 at 02:19.
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  7. #7
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    In fact, I think I'm right in saying that the Victor was originally intended to have no ejection-seats at all but that the whole cockpit section was designed to be detached as a crew escape-capsule. Unfortunately a problem with a large-scale test-model, where the capsule failed to detach and crashed with the rest of the airframe, convinced the Ministry-of-Supply (?) that the idea was unworkable!
    The idea was that the nose would be attached to the rest of the fuselage via four explosive bolts (actually more like studs attached to the nose structure and secured to corresponding holes in the fuselage structure with massive nuts). The idea was not used in practice but I believe the attachment points existed in all examples (in non-explosive form).
    Also, you will notice that the entry/exit door in the port side has a side panel. This was to give bailing-out crew some chance of exiting "safely" and avoid being sucked into the engine air intakes by allowing them to start dropping clear before they were exposed to the airstream.
    There is also the design question of whether ejections were designed to pass under or over the tailplane (over, I think).
    Did any crews actually evacuate their aircraft in flight?
    Last edited by HP111; 10th December 2017 at 11:17.

  8. #8
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    And the rear crew had seats that rotated to face the exit door and seat-cushions that inflated with compressed-air to 'eject' them towards the open door.
    WA$.

  9. #9
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    Were there any bailouts from a Victor ?

  10. #10
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    Yes, from memory, there was one (or two?) successful all-crew bale-outs...

    ...but there were also quite a few accidents where nobody got out.
    WA$.

  11. #11
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    I can recall a diagram in RAF Flying Review (I now presume) showing how the pre-design standard of ejector seats had to be improved in order to ensure that the trajectory went over the tailplane.

  12. #12
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    B1 XA934 of 232 OCU Gaydon crashed near the village of Combrook, not far from Gaydon. The two rear crew members bailed out but were too low to survive. I had been playing football with one of them in Germany just a couple of months prior to the accident.

  13. #13
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    That's so sad when the crew should have had a chance

  14. #14
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    The Vulcan's bang-seats had telescoping tubes in their ejection guns.
    2 pairs of opposing cartridges were positioned on the outside of the main tube, to incrementally increase the vertical velocity of the seat, so that it cleared the fin. The gun, (if I remember rightly), consisted of an outer fixed tube, and 2 thinner tubes slid inside each other, the inner most one being attached to the top of the seat.
    They never had rocket packs fitted.

    I always thought that the accepted practice, where possible, was for the two pilots to remain in the aircraft until the back-seaters were safely out, unless of course they were ditching the aircraft.

  15. #15
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    And, in reading about some Victor losses, I think there was a reluctance of the two pilots to leave the rest of the crew to their fate even to the extent of costing the pilots their lives when they could have saved themselves.
    WA$.

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