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.
UTAS is increasingly making use of this desert site to test its latest ejection seat – ACES 5 – which comes with additional pop-up restraints intended to safely hold a pilot’s head, arms and legs in place during an ejection. Also new is an improved parachute designed to slow and steady a pilot's descent.
Aviation Week: UTAS Completes ACES-5 Ejection Seat F-16D Sled Test
By Lee Hudson, October 26, 2018
HURRICANE MESA TEST CENTER, Utah—UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) has completed a 600-kt. F-16D Viper dual-shot Advanced Concept Ejection Seat-5 (ACES-5) sled test before completing an egress feasibility study that will pave the way for the lucrative next-generation ejection seat competition. The ACES-5 is an upgrade for the legacy ACES-2 system that entered the fleet in 1978 and is installed on the majority of U.S. Air Force combat aircraft.
Inside the Air Force: USAF staging ejection seat risk-reduction demo as it eyes 2019 competition
By Courtney Albon, November 1, 2018
…Using a mock-up of an F-16 cockpit, the company performed a two-seat ejection at a speed of 600 knots using its new ACES 5 ejection seat.
[John Fyfe, director of Air Force programs at UTAS] told reporters during the media day that UTAS plans to propose its ACES 5 ejection seat for the NGES competition. ACES 5 has been selected to replace the service's B-2 ejection seat and Fyfe said it has been selected in four other recent acquisition efforts, though he couldn't discuss the programs due to government or prime contractor restrictions. Fyfe would not confirm whether the ACES 5 will fly on Boeing's T-X trainer, however the company claims to be "the only seat with test data demonstrating compliance to all 62 USAF requirements for the T-X trainer program."