A small team of Collins Aerospace employees within our Ejection Seats & Propulsion business in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was honored recently for designing an innovative seat retrofit kit and qualifying it to meet the latest U.S. Air Force airworthiness requirements.
Big news! The U.S. Air Force recently notified Collins Aerospace of its intent to sole-source the Next Generation Ejection Seat (NGES) program with our ACES 5® ejection seat. NGES upgrades the existing ACES II ejection seats on platforms used by the Air Force that include the F-15, F-16, F-22, B-1 and A-10.
When then-U.S. Air Force (USAF) Lt. Col. Bob Harvey took off in his F-16 for a training mission at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina on Nov. 19, 1998, he had no idea he wouldn’t be landing as usual. Almost at the very instant he raised his landing gear, his engine immediately shut down. With no altitude to try any options, Harvey knew that ejection was his only chance for survival. After using some aircraft momentum to zoom to 157 feet altitude, he pulled the critical yellow handle to eject. Luckily for him, that handle connected to a Collins Aerospace ACES-II® ejection seat. In a split second, Harvey was successfully out of his disabled F-16 and under a good parachute to complete a safe landing. How safe was it? Safe enough that just 10 days later Harvey resumed flying.
With recent appearances at SAFE EU and the Paris Air Show, the ACES 5 ejection seat and team have been a busy.
Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), has conducted several major reviews on the upgraded version of its ACES II ejection seat for the U.S. Air Force’s Safety and Sustainment Improvement Program (SSIP) for B-2 bombers. After closing out final action items, deliveries are on track to begin this summer.
Recently in the news, a camera caught our ACES technology in action. Credited with saving more than 664 lives since 1978, another ACES save can be added to that counter when a pilot had to eject from a F-16. If unfortunate events happen, it’s good to know Collins Aerospace and ACES is there for aircrew who are born to fly so they can live to walk away.
View the video here.
We're excited to introduce a new series to our blog called "Meet the team." Over the next several months, this series will allow you to get to know more about the dedicated group of professionals behind the ACES 5 seat who are passionate about savings lives.
In our first profile, meet John "Barney" Fyfe. As Director of Air Force Programs, Barney interfaces with US and international Air Forces, Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to promote safety and awareness of ACES 5.
When the U.S. Air Force flies its new advanced pilot trainer from Boeing and Saab, it will be equipped with an ACES 5® ejection seat from Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), along with a fully integrated landing gear system.
The UTC Aerospace Systems ACES 5 team recently completed the latest in a series of tests. To simulate realistic conditions, the rocket-powered test rig accelerated to 600 KEAS (Knots Equivalent Airspeed) before successfully ejecting two advanced flight test manikins on ACES 5 seats. Several media outlets joined, resulting in the coverage below.
Flight Global: UTAS puts ACES 5 high with Hurricane Mesa ejection seat test
By Garrett Reim, November 1, 2018
Sitting atop a 1,200ft red rock plateau, UTAS's Hurricane Mesa facility has hosted ejection seat tests since the dawn of the Cold War in 1954. The hardscrabble land is home to a forest of pinyon pines, a scattering of Native American artefacts, such as abandoned fire pits and broken clay pottery, and a 3,660m (12,000ft)-long ejection test track.
Topics: In The News
After a spirited competition, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) has selected the Boeing/Saab team to provide 350 state-of-the-art T-X trainer aircraft and associated ground-based training systems. The T-X trainer will replace the aging fleet of USAF Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft, and will provide USAF aircrew unprecedented basic and advanced training capabilities: integrated ground-airborne training missions; modern high-G, high-angle-of-attack fighter tactics; nighttime tactics; and beyond-visual-range maneuvers.