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What’s the best way of checking ejection seats work? Shoot a volunteer into the air at 8,000ft at a speed of 320mph of course. Ken Ellis tells the remarkable story of Martin-Baker fitter ‘Benny’ Lynch’s selfless bravery

The first live British ejection, ‘Benny’ Lynch parting company with Meteor III EE416 on July 24, 1946.

As these words appear on the computer screen, the counter on the Martin-Baker website recorded 7,567 lives saved using the world-renowned seats. Each soul represented by that statistic has many people to thank, not least James Martin and Valentine Baker, the founders of Martin-Baker Aircraft, now known as Martin-Baker (MB).

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