The Ejection Site
Installing an GRU-7EA

Ever wonder how they put a live seat into an airplane? Well, here it is. This set of photos shows the installation of the ECMO-1 seat in an EA-6B Prowler last year in the Persian Gulf. The photo to the left shows one of the Aircraft Mechanics (AMEs) guiding the Mk. GRU-7EA seat towards the aircraft mounted catapult gun. Martin-Baker seats use a telescoping catapult gun which has integral rails on the outer barrel (tube). The seat is aligned with the catapult gun, and is then slid down the rails on the slippers (metal runners) mounted on the inside of the main beam assembly. The GRU-7EA is based on the GRU-7 seat used in the Grumman A-6 Intruder. The Grumman F-14A uses the GRU-7A version.

Once the seat is aligned with the catapult gun, a second AME or the crew chief or as in this case, the QA man helps guide the seat down into the cockpit as seen here. He will also connect the leg restraint lines to the cockpit floor. The leg restraint lines are visible in the first picture dangling alongside the cockpit rail as the seat is swung into position. Here, the AME has moved to the side step and is assisting on the hookup of the leg restraints.

Once the seat is fully down the rail, it is locked to the catapult gun by means of a top latch mechanism. This mechanism, and the catapult itself, are described in the mechanisms page. Then, the trip rods on either side of the seat for the TRM and drogue gun are connected to the cockpit bulkhead.

Before the ECMO-1 seat was installed, the pilot's seat was installed. Here it is aligned with the catapult and is being lowered into position. This picture shows the AMEs finishing lowering the pilot seat into place. It was taken from the other side of the Prowler.

The men in these pictures are among the many that this site is dedicated to. Those who are out there day in, day out, working on these seats and systems to make sure that when the aircrew needs to use them, they will work. Thanks to you all!

Special thanks to the AME who sent me these photos!

Additional Photos of another Prowler's seats
EA-6B GRUEA-7 Headrest (Pilot)
EA-6B GRUEA7 Headrest (ECMO-3)
EA-6B Pilot's GRUEA-7
EA-6B Pilot's GRUEA-7 second view
Thanks to a friendly aviator!

Ejection Seat Trivia An Ejection Seat Warning
Fascinating Ejection Seat Facts Underwater Ejection
Ejection from an OV-1 Mohawk
(Animated GIF)

Seat Gallery
Ejection Seat

Ejection Anecdotes
Zero-Zero Ejection
The Weber F-106 & Project 90
NASA ejection seats
Remembering the Pioneers Some Ejection Seat Links
Send email to Kevin

A Man's virtual home is his virtual castle