The Ejection Site

K-36D Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program

In a unique show of co-operation made possible by the end of the Cold war, The United States and Russia have been involved in a testing program of the Russian made Zvezda K-36D ejection seat. This seat is the standard seat of the Mig 29, SU-27 and many other aircraft of the former Soviet Union. Zvezda has many years of experience in the egress technology field. Seats from Zvezda have been in many different aircraft, and spacecraft.

The test program was jointly done in both Russia and in the United States to take advantage of the unique test equipment in both hemispheres. In Russia, special test facilities included the Big Vertical Catapult (BVC) tower, the Zvezda Aerodvnamic facility, and the Flight Institute of Aviation MIG-25 Flying Laboratory, as well as sled test facilities. In the United States, the primary test facility was the test track at Holloman AFB, and the Multi-Axis Sled Ejection system. Testing was done under the control of Armstrong Laboratories, Wright-Patterson AFB

The MASE is an improved rocket sled design that allows for adverse attitude ejection testing on a sled track. The MASE allows for yaw positioning off axis up to 20 degrees, some 45 degrees of pitch, and a roll capability of 90 degrees either side of center with the capability of rolling during the ejection of the test seat.

The BVC is a typical catapult tower used to validate the +Gz experienced on ejection. The Zvezda Aerodynamic facility is a well designed 'wind tunnel' design which allows for testing the effect of wind blast on a seat and occupant as it enters the high speed airstream from the protective cockpit area. This facility is essentially a set of rails that begins below floor level and rises up into the exhausted from a 1.25 meter diameter wind tunnel with a wind speed of up to 1400km/hr.

The MIG-25 FLying Laboratory is a modified MIG-25 with the actual cockpit moved into the radardome area and the regular cockpit instrumented to allow for a seat to be fired in flight. Tests were accomplished at altitudes in excess of 55000 ft and Mach numbers up to Mach 2.5 from the MIG.

More info to follow...

USAF MASE test sled in 20 Degree yaw
K-36 Seat clearing the rails of a F-16 forebody
Seat clearing the rails in high pitch attitude
Front View of rocket boost from F-16 forebody
Fractions of a second later...
MIG-25 Flying Laboratory Test Video
Pictures and video from USAF,
and Boeing North American Aviation
(Formerly Rockwell North American Aviation)
Thanks to John Plaga, System Research Laboratories USAF
and Rob Zegler, Boing North American Aviation
Ejection Seat Trivia Underwater Ejection
Fascinating Ejection Seat Facts An Ejection Seat Warning
Ejection from an OV-1 Mohawk
(Animated GIF)

Seat Gallery
Remembering the Pioneers Ejection Anecdotes
Zero-Zero Ejection
The Weber F-106 Seat & Project 90
Coming soon... The Ejection Descision
Some Ejection Seat Links
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