Dan Snow's History Hit

The History of the Ejector Seat

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Episode notes

An ejector seat propels a human at speeds reaching 200 miles in less than a second. It can save a life... or snap a neck. John Nichol remembers pulling the ejector handle in his Tornado aircraft flying at over 500mph above the Iraqi desert, launching him back down to earth. It saved his life, but he wasn't able to recover in a hospital because he was captured and taken straight to an Iraqi prison. This makes him the most appropriate guest to take Dan through the history of the invention of the ejector seat, how it works and what it was like to eject. He delves into the incredible history of the Martin Baker ejector seat, still being made in London today and astonishing stories of the first ejection in combat, of American soldiers ejecting out of burning aircraft over Vietnam in the 80s and how they were all given a second chance at life by ejecting.

This episode was produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.

His new book is called 'Eject! Eject!'

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