Hello! The “Military Review” show of NTV Channel is on air. Sergey Kuznetsov is with you. Watch in this episode Automatic Ejection System – a life saving black box for pilots Evolution of ejection seats is tightly related with evolution of jet aviation Speeds of jet aviation usually don’t provide the possibility for pilots to jump out with a parachute Leaving an airplane in case of emergency situation during vertical take-off and landing is even more difficult Only automatization systems can save pilots in this case Unique system of automatic ejection was created in our country The first ejection seats appeared back in the late-30s. Nazi Germany was a leader in their development And that wasn’t a coincidence. The most successful examples of jet fighters were developed in the 3rd Reich And life saving systems were designed specifically for them By the end of the World War II, Luftwaffe had several dozens of incidents of successful ejections More and more advanced ejection systems were in development in the Soviet Union, the USA and Britain, in after-war period Cases of pilots’ rescue even from extremely low or even zero altitudes have become common However, even the most modern ejection seats operated manually were not suitable for vertical take-off and landing jet aircrafts Airplane was instantly loosing stability in case of malfunction of one of the engines or breakdown of turning ends of jet nozzles, regardless of power-plant layout for that airplane The margin between allowed and emergency roll angles is too narrow How can a man decide in a matter of one hundredth of a second that his plane will continue the flight or will fall down? Naturally no one, even the most experienced pilot, would have time needed to estimate the situation correctly, and of course he won’t be able to eject in time The firstborn of domestic VTOL aircraft building – the experimental Yak-36 – was taking-off thanks to two engines located next to each other EVGENIY GOLUBKOV: Manager of the Lab for Means of Escape and Crew Life Support – The simulations, which we conducted during design of this airplane, show that in case of malfunction of one of two engines, – the plane rolls over in just 1.5 – 2 seconds It was obvious that development of automatic ejection system was needed It would be a black box, which will estimate the situation all by itself and take the decision Problem of such level of difficulty wasn’t solved nowhere in the World before Except of Yakovlev’s Design Bureau, scientists of LII and experts from companies producing components of life support systems, were involved in the process for solution of this very difficult problem – Well, the history of automatic ejection system started exactly from that reference about such a black box – Well, taking in consideration a totally fresh approach and breaking of old mentality, – the road of introduction of automatic ejection system for real use wasn’t simple Specific feature of the system was that it was active only during phases of vertical take-off and landing If it was necessary, then manual ejection had to be performed in horizontal flight – The most tough technical problem probably was a selection of parameters for activating of automatic ejection system – No one has faced such problem before – We were testing various parameters, by simulating the entire process. Including parameters characterizing engines’ malfunctions – Many parameters… but after all we came to conclusion – that the most objective parameters defining appearance and irrevocable movement of the plane in emergency situation – is a combination of angles and angular speeds in all four directions of the roll and pitch – Meaning that if you have reached some specific angle, that is much bigger than allowed angle for piloting Meaning that if a plane reached some specific angle, that is bigger than allowed angle for piloting,

and if at that moment the angular speed is directed toward the rotation and is more than some specific parameter, then these factors witness the irreversibility of the process Huge work for research of foreign experience preceded the actual development of the system Layouts of all main VTOL aircrafts being in development at that moment all around the World were examined This gave the possibility to formulate main requirements for the automatic ejection system – Many experts working in sphere of creation of rescue measures were skeptical about this – Well, the very first statement was that pilots will never accept a black box, which will suddenly throw them out of the plane – And that was correct. This statement was absolutely correct, which followed the development process forever – Secondly, the system of automatic ejection itself must perfectly distinguish an emergency situation from a non-emergency one, – by some parameters. And there are too many of such parameters on a plane The most important elements of rescue system were ejection seats The K-20 seat was installed on Yak-36. It was developed by Yakovlev EDB Modification of that seat – K-21 – was installed on prototypes and first serial Yak-38s Later on, modifications of standardized K-36 seat were getting installed in Yak-38 starting from the 15th serial aircraft and all other new combat aircrafts It was designed by Scientific Production Company “Zvezda” (a star) This seat is not inferior to the best foreign examples even today While some technical solutions, which were used during its development, are unique VLADIMIR RAFEENKOV: Deputy of Head Designer of SPC “Zvezda” – The seat for single-seat planes was named K-36VM, while K-36VMU was the seat for two-seat planes – Specific feature of these seats was that while they retained the great properties of K-36 itself, – our specialists endowed them with a row of unique features, unusual for that time – Specifically, the seat was correcting the trajectory longitudinal plane in single-seat and two-seat planes, – and in addition for two-seat planes, the system was also correcting the trajectory of the seats in transverse plane, – i.e. it was separating the seats from each other giving them different trajectories, in order to prevent their collision Especial attention was paid for procedure of how safely the pilot will pass through canopy’s debris – One of the main problem was to provide safety during pilot’s passing through the canopy, – in such a way, that canopy’s debris wouldn’t harm the pilot, but they also shouldn’t harm the integrity of pilot’s equipment – Because it was a naval airplane and pilots were flying in VMSK, and violation of hermetically sealed suit could simply drown the pilot Watch in the second part of this episode How the automatic ejection system was saving pilots’ lives. And what the prospects for this unique equipment are A regular ejection seat takes correct position in the air thanks to anti-roll bars They can’t pass through the hole in the canopy. However, this problem was solved too – At the moment of ejection, the bars of “VM” seats were turned off. So, they were not extracting. This was one of specific features They managed to achieve an absolutely safe ejection after big number of experiments for passing through canopy’s glass It was safe not only for the pilot himself, but for his gear as well However, it was practically the same thing, in case of flights over cold seas The set of measures for emergency evacuation installed on Yak-38s of all versions consisted of an onboard electric system, which was controlling the logic of operation of system’s elements, ejection seats and systems of automatic ejection for vertical take-off and landing modes Entire row of technical know-how was implemented in the ejection system, for maximum intensification of the escape, including ejection through the canopy glass Except the above, two-seat planes also got simultaneous ejection of both crew members with lateral separation of their ejection trajectories – Well we had two ejections from two-seat airplanes – Specific feature of ejection procedure from two-seat airplane… because of shortage of time… is that the ejection is simultaneous – This was also a novelty in sphere of ejection. Both, front and back pilots eject simultaneously through canopy’s glass – We invented the system for separation of trajectories

– Meaning that after the ejection they were flying away from each other in such a V-shape manner Automatic activation of means providing pilot’s survivability in case of his fall into the water – was used for the first time in domestic aviation on Yak-38 aircrafts NAZ – (a Portable Emergency Reserve), a rescue belt, a raft, an oxygen system for underwater breathing and a radio-beacon Test-pilots were not trusting the automatic ejection system for a long time They were saying: “If designers think that such a system must be installed, then they must install it, but the only must have a choice to turn it on or off, deciding for himself if he will fly with a safety net in form of black box or without it.” Yak-36 was used exactly in this, compromise, variant There were no serious incidents with use of AES in this aircraft. There wasn’t any emergency situation when the system would be needed Pilots were gradually getting used to it, but the psychological barrier hasn’t been completely overcome Anyhow, it was apparent that the basic design of AES was successful Automatic Ejection System for Yak-38 was built following the same design, but with more perfected electronics – Unfortunately, we’ve lost the first round in psychological confrontation Pilot vs System – Ironically, the first automatic ejection from Yak-38 was a false one, as we call it – That was the case, when the Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel Khomyakov was pushed out of the cockpit – in a totally innocent situation during acceptance flight, being at low altitude and in horizontal position of the plane – It happened… we all remember that date very well… on 4th of March 1976 Indeed, on March 4 1976, on the penultimate day of the 25th Congress of the KPSS (the CPSU), pilot Khomyakov took off vertically and turned the automatic ejection system on He turned the aircraft toward Volga river and started accelerating with a climb Ejection happened already over the Volga, at the 49th second of the flight, at the altitude of 135m and speed of 375km/h Vladelen Pavlovich safely landed on Volga’s ice under the canopy of his parachute, just two kilometers away from point of take-off The aircraft turned into a “Flying Dutchman” and was in flight steady keeping its course Meanwhile the improvised UAV wasn’t responding to signals of the Soviet Air Defence The matter is that Friend-or-Foe identification system is one of the biggest military secrets of any country That’s why the transmitter automatically destroys its codes in case of ejection As a result, not just an unmanned, but Unidentified Flying Object, appeared in the air Missilemen sounded the alarm, when they detected the UFO The situation was complicated by the fact that the 25th Congress of the CPSU was working specifically those days And suddenly they have a jet plane out of control. What will happen if it will attack the Congress Palace? The command came from the very top. “Destroy the rebellious machine!” The aircraft flew about 125 kilometers following an arc like path and it was at altitude of 8000m Its speed reduced till 225km/h and it went into a flat spin After another 2 minutes and after completing 18 spins, the airplane with almost zero roll, pitch and horizontal speed crashed into the ground 32km away from the point of take-off It disintegrated and partially burned The domestic system was significantly superior to foreign models in safety of ejection It is enough to say that after a similar occasion of spontaneous ejection from the British Harrier, the aircraft also continued its flight, but the pilot has died A whole month of difficult experiments was needed in order to determine the reason of false activation of the black box The reason was a traditional one. As all other electronic devices, the automatic ejection system doesn’t go alone disruptions in power supply – There was a short period of power supply interruption. It was microscopical – During the change of position of the nozzle, the microswitch got into a so called “buzzer” mode. It started rattling

– And that rippling caused malfunction operation of the system and its activation – Of course, we all were strictly punished by designers of the system, when the reason was found, – while the aircraft continued its test flights However, the AES displayed soon enough what it was designed for. The system saved a pilot’s life, some months after the unpleasant incident During his landing, he missed the fact that he didn’t bring the nozzle of the vertical thrust engine to a fully vertical position And he was trying to brake the plane by bringing it at high angle of attack and abruptly reducing engine’s thrust The aircraft started falling quickly, but the system reacted to excess of the angle and it ejected the pilot Examination of the flight data recorders has shown that the pilot was thrown out of the plane 0.2 of the second prior impact with the ground Needless to explain, that possibility of manual ejection was out of the question in such conditions That was a real demonstration of capabilities of the life-saving black box. The attitude toward AES started changing Anyhow, pilots were not always turning the system on It led to a tragedy once. An experienced test pilot died, because of his own inattentiveness He had an alarm signal for malfunction of gyro-vertical stabilization, when he was on landing approach to Kirovskoe airport in Feodosya This is a device, which outputs a signal to the automatic ejection system The former Deputy of Head of Scientific Research Institute of the Air Force, Stepan Mikoyan remembers: – In case of such a malfunction the system has to be turned off, but then it is prohibited to land vertically – The runway of Kirovskoe airport was under repairs – So, the pilot had to go to neighbor airfield in order to land as a regular airplane – However, it was the end of the week and some guests had arrived to him – Apparently he was in a hurry to get home and so, he didn’t report the malfunction to the Flight Control and decided to land vertically – After he started vertical thrust engines, he could turn the automatic ejection system on again – And it was in operational condition as it was proved later. But he decided to land with the system turned off – This was allowed in some exceptional cases upon condition of increased pilot’s attention – However, during landing approach, when one of two lifting engines didn’t start, the pilot didn’t see it, despite the alarm signals – The half of frontal thrust vector was lost as a result – It was quite steady during initial phase of braking, while aerodynamic forces were keeping the aircraft and engines’ power wasn’t high – With fast decrease of speed and increase of vertical thrust of the engines, the plane’s nose-down moment was increasing quickly – which already couldn’t be compensated by control surfaces – After estimation of the situation in the last seconds, the pilot tried to eject manually.” According to Stepan Mikoyan, the pilot tried to grab the ejection handle with one of his hands, but instead of that he pulled a harness, which floated in the cockpit because of negative loads He fell on the ground with the plane and that harness squeezed in his hand. Meanwhile, the automatic system would eject him – After that incident, one document was placed in action, – which was forcing all pilots to turn the system on and off strictly according to the manuals – And these operations were recorded by recorder of emergency parameters, – in order to allow checking of correctness of pilot’s actions after the flight – After that they were operating following the manuals Existence of activated AES onboard wasn’t stopping the pilots from manual ejections in case of necessity There were more than 10 of such cases. All of them were in phase of horizontal part of the flight Pilot’s rescue was successful in all those cases This way, a plane equipped with an automatic ejection system was practically totally safe The AES was ensuring pilots’ saving with 100% probability. There was nothing like that in history of World Aviation before Pilots’ opinion about the system has changed radically. The AES started being called as “our lifesaver” 19 automatic ejections from vertical modes were registered during the service of Yak-38 aircrafts of all variants Including two double ejections from two-seat aircraft Yak-38U Similar systems of emergency ejections haven’t been installed in the foreign combat VSTOL aircrafts

For many decades those were only Harrier family of aircrafts of all versions Because it was considered, (while the real life proved that it was completely wrong), that such a system is unnecessary with use of united powerplant with a minimum diversity of thrust vectors One of well known catastrophes of Harrier aircrafts happened because of one of four engine’s turning nozzles broke away, during passing from one flight mode to another When Yak-141 was in design phase, there were no doubts already about how the future system must look like The practice has proved that AES is an effective approach for increase of crew safety in VTOL aircrafts However, contrary to its predecessors the new system was developed based on digital technologies, with modern multi-plex data-buses Yak-141 didn’t get chances for activation of the system The only ejection happened on the deck of aircraft carrier by pilot’s command – manually The automatic ejection system didn’t get any further development for domestic STOVL aircrafts yet, because of shut down of Yak-141 project, but the experience in creation of automatic savior was handy for development of new generation ejection seats Right now the Western Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing fighter – F-35B, the launch of its flight tests are scheduled for May 2008, has a single poweplant designed by a longitudinal vector layout with a separated lift fan Consequences in case of malfunction of such fan’s parts, like a drive shaft, a connecting gear, reducing gear box and the fan itself, in vertical modes are similar to malfunction of Yak-38’s lift engine That’s why an automatic ejection system of Martin-Baker Company is provided for the aircraft It is similar to the system developed for Yak-141 Development of automatic ejection systems for VTOL airplanes is a part of huge work for saving lives of pilots, cosmonauts and sailors Domestic designs in this field received the world wide recognition Many of them were designed under management of legendary designer – Guy Severin Guy Ilyich Severin passed away on February 7 2007, during the 82nd year of his life Guy Severin was dreaming about aviation from his childhood He passed exams to Moscow Aviation Institute in 1942, which was evacuated to the capital of the Soviet Kazakhstan He trains seriously in mountaineering and mountain skiing Guy Ilyich will retain his love for sports for the entire life. He became twice champion of the Soviet Union in mountain skiing After graduation from MAI, Guy Severin went to LII – the Flight Research Institute, but not everyone has a fate to become an ace And according to his own confession, Guy Ilyich decided that it’s better to be a good engineer, than a bad test-pilot Severin worked in legendary “Zvezda” located in Moscow Region since 1952, since the moment of foundation of the company He was assigned as Head Designer of the plant in 1963 Guy Ilyich Severin remained as an irreplaceable director of the company till his last day The designer participated in preparation of flights of Gagarin and Titov, space-walk of Leonov He was developing a space suit for the Soviet Moon project Modern space suit for the International Space Station was designed under his management Aviation ejection seats are a special merit of this designer They’ve saved lives of hundreds of pilots in the most difficult situations One of representative incidents happened in 1999, at the 43rd Paris Air Show The crew of SU-30MK was saved after the aircraft hit the ground with its tail Meanwhile pilots stood up on their feet even before the ambulance crew arrived to the spot Effective systems, created under management of Guy Ilyich Severin, serve in every field where the highest of values – a human life – must be saved

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