by John Nichol
'I thought the ejection seat was a rather dangerous, ingenious, somewhat curious contraption. But that I would never need it...'
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.
Since those first post-Second World War ejections, many tens of thousands of lives have been saved by increasingly sophisticated escape systems. When John Nichol's Tornado was blasted out of the sky during the 1991 Gulf War, a mere 2.5 seconds elapsed between pulling the ejection handle and his parachute opening. Today, the latest generation of seat can automatically initiate ejection if the system decides the pilot faces mortal danger and cannot react quickly enough.
Now Nichol tells the incredible story of the ejection seat in war and in peace - of the pioneers who risked everything during the early days of development in the 1940s and 50s, of the designers who went head to head with the authorities in order to realise their vision, and of the extraordinary men and women who were given a second chance at life after facing disaster.
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.
Packed with gripping action and cutting-edge science, Eject! Eject! is fuelled by deeply moving, often dramatic and previously unheard first-hand accounts by ejectees and their families.
Because pulling the yellow-and-black ejection handle is just the start of the story.
Usually despatched in 2-5 working days.
Date of Publication: 25/05/2023