According to a press release, BAE Systems tested an ejection seat for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft at Martin Baker’s facility at Chalgrove Airfield in Oxfordshire. Over 30 tests have been conducted on the seat in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom to culminate in its certification for implementation on the aircraft. According to an article by Wilson Rothman or MSNBC, an ejection seat test was conducted last week where BAE Systems utilized a 600-mph rocket car to simulate the forces and overall environment that will be experienced by a pilot flying in the F-35.
The ejection seat test employed instrumentation that recorded 900,000 different measurements per second to monitor the ejection performance during the rocket car test. BAE Systems reported that the emergency escape operation requires only 3 seconds, which includes from emergency handle pull to parachute deployment. This test did not have an actual human onboard; however, a mannequin was used to simulate the pilot. The test rig was a full-scale front section of the F-35 aircraft.
BAE Systems recorded the entire test and the video can be viewed on YouTube. The ejection seat will be deployed on over 3,000 F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft.