T-38s Get New Ejection Seats

T-38s at Edwards AFB, Calif., are getting upgraded ejection seats with improved safety features, according to a base release. Installation of the new Martin-Baker Mk US16T seats began in July and is scheduled for completion by mid-October, states the Sept. 18 release. “The biggest benefit of this new seat is the expanded ejection envelope, which increases aircrew survivability,” said Maj. Jon Appelt, 370th Flight Test Squadron training officer. “This includes the ability to successfully eject in a zero-airspeed and zero-altitude situation as well as improving survivability in the high-altitude and high-airspeed regime,” he said. The ejection seats also have an inter-seat sequencing system to avoid seat-to-seat interference when the two T-38 pilots eject. There’s also a leg restraint system that keeps the pilot’s legs in, clear of obstacles, until the pilot separates from the seat. Further, the new seats incorporate a parachute system so that pilots no longer have to carry a 50-pound parachute with them, states the release. (Edwards report by Jet Fabara)