The Ejection Site

Stanley/Lockheed F-104 C-1

These photos of the Stanley/Lockheed F-104 C-1 ejection seat come from Christopher Carey. Christopher is a historian and collector with special interest in the Century Series seats, NBC gear and pressure suits. Check out his company web page for some interestesting pages on the latter two.

This seat is a F-104 C-1 seat from Stanley. It was acquired intact from where it had rested for many years in the same condition it was in when it was removed from the aircraft. The seat has the original parachute pack and survival kit. Note the stowed thigh guards and the arm nets. These contrast to the unstowed ones visible on the C-2 seat page. The foot ramps which are hinged at their rears are shown folded under the seat. These ramps prevent the crewman's feet from snagging on some portion of the cockpit floor while the foot retractors function. The foot retractors are attached to the crewman's feet by a pair of stirrups which the crewman dons prior to aircraft entry. Once in the seat, the crewman places each stirrup straight down on the ball connectors in the foot shelf areas. These balls are connected via a wire rope to a set of reels on each side of the base of the seat. When the seat is fired, the reels are spun to retract the crewman's feet into the protected footrests. In normal use, the reels keep a small amount of tension on the wires, but generally allow free movement the crewman's feet.

The photo of the bottom of the seat shows one of the reels uncovered and the wire is visible leading forward to the areas where the spur balls are connected. The mechanism just above the reel in the photo of the bottom is a cable cutter which at seat separation fires to cut these cables and free the crewman's feet from the seat.

On either side of the seat pan are thigh guards which on ejection rotate forward on a torque tube mounted traversely across the front of the seat pan. These guards also have attached to them a set of arm restraint nets which are normally folded up and stowed in a pair of guards on the back of the seat pan. The rotation of the thigh guards pulls the nets out to their full open position. (Again, see the C-2 page). The parachute is a backpack type which may be left in the aircraft, or carried to the aircraft. The lap belt is an automatic design which is actuated by a pyrotechnic timer as part of the seat separation.

The ejection firing handle is the triangular handle on the front lip of the seat pan.

Left view
3/4 left
Right side
Rear view
Bottom view
Front view sans parachute and kit
Front left bare seat
Front view of the bare seat

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