F-111 Crew Escape Module Development Report ~ 1965 US Air Force-McDonnell-General Dynamics

Aircraft playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL23A1203602337689 more at http://scitech.quickfound.net/ Subcontractor (McDonnell) report on the development and testing of the Crew Escape Module for the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark. Instead of ejection seats, the entire cockpit was ejected from the aircraft as an escape capsule. Originally a public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied. The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-111_Aardvark Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ The General Dynamics F-111 "Aardvark" was a medium-range... tactical strike aircraft that also filled the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s by General Dynamics, it first entered service in 1967 with the United States Air Force. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also ordered the type and began operating F-111Cs in 1973. The F-111 pioneered several technologies for production aircraft, including variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain-following radar for low-level, high-speed flight... USAF F-111 variants were retired in the 1990s, with the F-111Fs in 1996 and EF-111s in 1998... The RAAF was the last operator of the F-111, with its aircraft serving until December 2010... Tactical Fighter Experimental (TFX) The U.S. Air Force and Navy were both seeking new aircraft when Robert McNamara was appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense in January 1961... On 14 February 1961, McNamara formally directed the services to study the development of a single aircraft that would satisfy both requirements... Design phase The F-111A and B variants used the same airframe structural components and TF30-P-1 turbofan engines. They featured side by side crew seating in an escape capsule as required by the Navy... The F-111B was canceled by the Navy in 1968... [the Navy developed the F-14 Tomcat instead]... Production ended in 1976 after 563 F-111 aircraft were built... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_crew_capsule An escape crew capsule allows a pilot (or astronaut) to escape from their craft while it is subjected to extreme conditions such as high speed or altitude... - The B-58 Hustler and XB-70 Valkyrie had individual encapsulated seats. A cabin ejection for the XB-70 Valkyrie was also tested. The B-58's capsule had control stick, a bottle of oxygen, and a drogue chute. - The F-111 used cabin ejection where both side-by-side seats were in a single 3000 lb (1360 kg) capsule. - Three of the four B-1A prototypes also used cabin ejection. They had a single capsule "roughly the size of a mini-van" for all four crew members. Design and development The first escape capsule designed was for the U.S. Navy F4D Skyray. It was tested in 1951-52 but was never installed in the aircraft. The Bell X-2, designed for flight in excess of Mach 3, could jettison the cockpit, though the pilot would still have to jump out and descend under his own parachute. The first production aircraft with an escape crew capsule was the Mach 2 B-58 Hustler... The Mach 3 XB-70's two crew escape capsules did not work well the only time they were needed. On June 8, 1966, XB-70 airframe AV/2 was involved in a mid-air crash with an F-104 Starfighter. Maj. Carl Cross's seat was unable to retract backwards into the escape capsule due to high-g-forces as the plane spiraled downwards. He died in the crash. Maj. Al White's seat did retract but his elbow protruded from the capsule and blocked the closing clamshell doors. He struggled to free his trapped elbow. As soon as he freed the doors, he was ejected from the plane and descended by parachute as planned. However, due to pain and confusion, White failed to trigger the manually activated airbag which would normally cushion the capsule upon landing. When the capsule hit the ground, White was subjected to an estimated 33 to 44 g (320 to 430 m/s²). He received serious injuries, but nevertheless survived... In the 1960s and 1970s, the F-111 and B-1A introduced the method of jettisoning the entire front fuselage as a means of crew escape. The crew remains strapped in the cabin, unencumbered by a parachute harness, while 27,000 lbf (120 kN) of thrust from rockets pushes the module out into the air. Multiple large parachutes bring the capsule down, in a manner very similar to the Launch Escape System of the Apollo spacecraft. On landing, an airbag system cushions the landing. In the event of a water landing the airbag acts as a flotation device; on land, the airbag is also usable as a shelter...
  • 0 Hits