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bdt13

Ejection Seat for YA-10?

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I have been looking at a lot of photos of early Warthogs and I have noticed the ejection seat is not the Escapac or ACES II model typically referenced. See the first pic in this link for an example.

 

As this is a Republic product, I'm guessing this may be an F-105 seat. I have noted in color photos that the headrest is red; unfortunately I cannot find one on the web I can link to. 

 

Can anyone shed some light on the true identity of these seats? I am interested in modeling early A-10s and want to be as accurate as I can be.

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I agree with it probably being an F-105 seat:

 

Image result for f-105 ejection seat

 

This is an ESCAPAC seat:

 

IA_1_ft.jpg

 

And this is the ACES II as fitted to the A-10:

 

A10ACESrt.jpg

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Not sure what makes you think the protoype seat in your link isn't an ESCAPAC.  The key identification feature to me is the headrest shape: on the 105 this has a rounded top and the headrest "cushion" is a single material/finish.  On the ESCAPAC the top of the headrest is squared off, and there are two vertical pads with a gap between the two (the single loop face curtain handle is also a feature of most ESCAPAC seats, but I believe some did not have this feature so its absence isn't definitive for ID).

 

I found this shot of 71-1369 dated 1972 which seems to show the ESCAPAC headrest more clearly. First flight was May 10, 1972 so it seems unlikely they would have changed the seat that early since the ESCAPAC was already widely used in multiple airframes at that time.

 

http://www.air-and-space.com/19720517 EDW/19720517 EDW 19 A-10A 71-1369 right front l.jpg

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Hmm... OK, please help me out then. ESCAPAC has flared shoulders that slope down and back from the headrest. I am not seeing this feature in the photos of the mystery seat. Also, ESCAPAC has two very prominent or deep headrest cushions. The mystery seat has two as well, but more shallow to my eye. The back rest or chute pack is definitely missing in the mystery seat. Is this easily removable in ESCAPAC? Quixote74, thank you for the link, I had not seen that picture before. Additional evidence (to me at least) is the red color seen in your pic and in this one here and here of the second prototype. To me the headrests look rounded, not square. They also seem too short to be an ESCAPAC with the handle over the headrest.

 

I am not interested in starting a flame war. The photos we are all using are a bit on the small side and/or the canopy is closed and obscures or distorts detail. If clearer photos can be found I am very interested to see them. Seeing an ESCAPAC with a red headrest or removed back cushion might help. Ideally someone with first hand knowledge could clear this up - any test program folks or Fairchild-Republic people out there?

 

Second edit: Link here to a page with much clearer pic of seat with canopy open. What seat do we think this is?

Edited by bdt13
added link

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I did a YA-10 for an FSM article last year. Everything I read said it was fitted with an ESCAPAC seat, but I agree with you that it looks more like what you'd find on an F-105, or possibly an F-106. I never could find a definitive answer. I didn't worry about it too much because I was doing it in 1/72 scale and had a pilot in it, so the seat really wasn't visible. PM me if you need any help. 

Edited by Darren Roberts

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I'm with the Republic seat guys here. It has the seat back pan for the backpack type parachute. It has the arched headrest pad. 

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There is an AF article about MGen Gideon's ejection from one of the early A-10s during testing. It identified the prototypes and very early A-10s as being fitted with a version of the Escapac seat. Partly because of injuries from his (and several other fatalities) ejection in that seat,  the switch to ACES was accelerated. 

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There is an AF article about MGen Gideon's ejection from one of the early A-10s during testing. It identified the prototypes and very early A-10s as being fitted with a version of the Escapac seat. Partly because of injuries from his (and several other fatalities) ejection in that seat,  the switch to ACES was accelerated. 

Yes, this was of the FSD (full-scale development) aircraft, 73-1669, which crashed in June 1978 due to a double-engine flameout during gun testing. Photos of the ejection are on p.  29 of Dana Bell's Detail & Scale book on the A-10. FWIW, the eventual fix to the issue was continuous engine ignition during gun operation. An ESCAPAC was fitted and used in this incident. I'm pretty well convinced that all the FSD aircraft used ESCAPAC from manufacture (some may have gotten ACES II later), and any third type of seat was only on the YA-10s. 

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One book I have states Escapac-IE9 seat was used in rocket sled tests for the A-10 development  but switched to Escapac II for the two YA-10 and 6 YA-10A airframes. Production ac went to ACES seat. 

One thing I noticed in an accompanying pic of a just built YA-10 was that the Escapac seat had canopy breakers, inverted L shaped fairings, mounted on forward side edge of the top of the head box area and no overhead pull d handle.  Perhaps in the smaller pics you’ve come across those breakers are distorting what you’re seeing, making the headrest area look curved?

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The photos that lead me to believe it is a 105 seat are these two:

test%20pilot%20Howard%20W.%20Nelson.jpg

F105lt.jpg

Notice the lightened metal structure on the rear of the headrest. It is the same on both the first pic of Howard Nelson in a YA-10A and the second pic which is the left side of an F-105 ejection seat. The rivet pattern is the same on both. Granted there differences, but to me it looks more like a F-105 seat. Perhaps the very first airframe sported the 105 seat. My understanding is there were two prototypes (YA-10A) then a number of preproduction airframes. Perhaps the first prototype had the 105 seat for the first few flights. Maybe it never even flew with the 105 seat and the Escapac was used instead. I don't know but it just doesn't look like an Escapac seat in the photo of Nelson seated in the aircraft.

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I don't know but it just doesn't look like an Escapac seat in the photo of Nelson seated in the aircraft.

+1

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That sure does look like an F-105 seat. My question is where did you find the photo? My Googling ability must suck. When I was making my YA-10, I searched the internet but came up with only a couple of pictures.

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That sure does look like an F-105 seat. My question is where did you find the photo? My Googling ability must suck. When I was making my YA-10, I searched the internet but came up with only a couple of pictures.

 

The original picture is here. 

 

Google and other search engines can be fickle. A keystroke or two different and I find results move around or disappear entirely. Given that the pic was on a small blog, I'm not surprised it took some effort to find.

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The original picture is here. 

 

Google and other search engines can be fickle. A keystroke or two different and I find results move around or disappear entirely. Given that the pic was on a small blog, I'm not surprised it took some effort to find.

 

Small blog is an understatement. Its amazing that you found that pic. I think I saw it on one other webpage, but only a small version. The one you found is the clincher for me as far as the seat type.

 

Darren, just to clear up any confusion, it was Ben (bdt13) that found that first photo. The other one is off The Ejection Site.

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Hi,

 

Interesting topic. It does look like an F-105 seat to me.

 

I knew that there had been a fatal A-10 crash at the Paris air show in the 1970's, but  I wasn't aware that it was the pilot who had made the very first A-10 flight. 

 

Cheers, Stefan.

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Thanks, all. When/if I ever get to building a YA-10 I'll be sure to use the Republic seat.

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