The Ejection Site

F-86 Ejection Seat
The F-86 Ejection seat is a good example of the first generation ejection seat. Designed to do little more than keep the pilot in place in the aircraft, and toss him out, it was of little value below 1000 feet. The seat included a seat height adjustment that only differs from the currect style of office chair in the location of the handle. The seat height was adjusted by use of the lever to the right of the headrest and by removing the pilots weight from the seat to go up, or pushing down to lower the seat. The ejection sequence was complicated by the tight fit of the canopy and its low frame at the front. Accordingly, after actuating the emergency O2 bottle, the pilot was to lower his head and pull up on the right handgrip to jettison the canopy. The canopy slid straight aft along its rails and then the pilot could sit upright and lock the harness with the left handgrip. He then was to bring his feet back to the footrests and brace his arms on the armrests. His head was to be pushed back against the headrest with his chin tucked in.

The ejection trigger under the handgrip was then squeezed. The seat catapult would fire and the seat would clear the aircraft. The pilots connections to the aircraft were automatically disconnected by the connectors between the footrests. Once clear of the aircraft the pilot had to release his safety harness and kick away from the seat. Then he had to manually activate his parachute once he had descended to a safe altitude.

The photos below show an F-86E seat manufactured by Canadair.

Front View
Bottom/rear View
Looking down at the right side handle
Thanks to Vince Menza and John of Depot41 for use of the photos.

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