Martin-Baker has been saving lives for more than 70 years. Dave Unwin examines this iconic British company, which has become synonymous with ejection seats.
“My seat is flat and not very comfortable, and, to an inquiring eye, very odd. It is mounted on rails leaning back and upwards, pointing skywards, and above my head there is a yellow-and-black striped rubber handle. The seat, however, is a marvellous life-saving device, an ejection seat. It is my last means of escape if the vast complex machine I ride should irretrievably fail. Then, if I pull the yellow-and-black handle, I am fired in the seat up the rails, and an automatic mechanism then releases me from the seat, operates my parachute, and leaves me nothing else to do until I reach earth. Thus, the handle is a good one. Reach it blind, semi-conscious, suffocating, injured, it will work just the same.”