An interesting seat from Martin-Baker, this seat was fitted in the early Harrier jets. As the follow on to the Mk. 8A seat for the T.S.R. 2 aircraft, it included several features not previously seen in earlier Martin-Baker seats. The most obvious change from most Mk. 6/7 seats was to place the main recovery parachute in a flatter parachute box which doubled as the back rest. The parachute withdrawal line is routed via a slot in the center of the headrest cushion then through the guillitine mechanism which is visible in the front view just above the seat back.
This seat was also the first full-production Martin-Baker to use the newer form of bucket mounting which consists of four tubes mounted to the front of the beams with bolts attached to sliders on the tubes to allow the seat to be unbolted from the inside of the seat pan. This allows the bucket to be removed in the cockpit if necessary.
The earlier versions of the seat were equipped with US-style torso harnesses, which were attached to the seat via a set of Koch fittings on the risers. This was changed in the early 1980s to the harness shown here. This harness uses four straps which connect to the center buckle just behind the seat firing handle. The shoulder straps are here held by clips tot he side of the headrest to allow for ease of the crew ingress and strapping in.
|3/4 left view|
|3/4 right view|
Thanks Chris for the use of the photos! Additional thanks go out to Steve Murray, former RAF armourer, for correcting some of my description!
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