Since I have yet to get releasable photos of the Mk. 10L used in the F/A-18 as the SJU-5/6, I refer you to the photos of a Mk. 10A on this page as the mechanisms are very similar. The seat pan and headrest shapes are somewhat different, as is the paint coloration, but some of the details are clear. I hope to have photos of the SJU-5 soon.
The above Gif is a series of still photos of a NASA test of the F/A-18 seat in the 0-0 mode to qualify a change in the parachute canopy from the standard U.S. Navy type to the same one used in the ACES II ejection seat. Any change of seat equipment that could effect the functionality of the seat is tested to make sure the seat still is reliable. This series of photos clearly illustrates a typical launch sequence. The Center of gravity was slightly low as you can see by the seat tipping forward just after the seat leaves the rails. The seat rotates slightly, also an indication of an imperfect seat CG (note this is extremely normal in all seat employment- seats are designed to handle occupants from a small pilot up to quite a large pilot, and there is virtually no way to make sure the CG of the seat man package is exactly on the centerline of the line of thrust of the rocket. A small deviation is normal, but if the deviation was too great the seat would tumble and possibly injure the occupant, or disrupt a clean parachute deployment or seat separation). In this case, the deviation was within normal limits and the seat functioned as designed.
|Seat prior to launch|
|Seat just after clearing the pad|
|Seat at rocket burnout|
|Parachute fully deployed|
|Pictures by NASA|
Note: Many of the F/A-18 aircraft in service are equipped with the Mk. 14 NACES seat under the SJU-17 designation. Hopefully photos of that version will become available soon.
|Ejection Seat Trivia||An Ejection Seat Warning|
|Fascinating Ejection Seat Facts||Underwater Ejection|
|Ejection from an OV-1 Mohawk
The Weber F-106 & Project 90
|NASA ejection seats|
|Remembering the Pioneers||Some Ejection Seat Links|
|Send email to Kevin|