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Early A-12 Oxcart ejection seat


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#1 HUD69

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 12:15 AM

Hi,

 

This is my first post here and I have a question about the early A-12 Oxcart ejection seat.

There was an example on Ebay a couple of weeks ago, it looked like an altered C-2 (F-104) seat.

(missing the arm restraints, different headrest and entrance holes in the seatpan for the suit oxygen)A-12 hookup.JPG

 

Now here is the question, what nomenclature was given to this seat, the list I have so far:

 

Stanley B                                XF-104

Stanley C                                F-104A/B 

Stanley C-1                             F-104A/B/C/D

Lockheed C-2                         F-104G

Lockheed S/R-2                      F-104B/J and? (Jordan and Japanese air forces for instance)

Lockheed ?                             A-12 and early SR-71

Lockheed S/R-1 (RQ201)       U-2/TR-1/ SR-71

 

According to an former A-12 pilot, the seat was designated K-1, but it seems impossible to find prove of that.

 

Any clues?

 

Thanks,

Ron 

 

 

 



#2 northcoastaero

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 10:22 AM

I would try to find a flight manual on CD or take a look at the Aerofax book on the A-12/SR-71.  Hope this helps.



#3 HUD69

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 02:04 AM

I would try to find a flight manual on CD or take a look at the Aerofax book on the A-12/SR-71.  Hope this helps.

 

Thanks!

 

The book by Jim Tuttle gives the wrong designation by the way.

Also on the seat there are no markings (also no data plate) Only markings are Skunk Works stamps.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron



#4 HUD69

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:08 PM

Closer inspection of the seat shows a Feb66 date on the lap belt.

A partnumber on the backrest starting with 4AQ.... (indicating indeed A-12/ SR-71)

 

This example also shows the letters FWD (for Forward seat) on that backrest, so it was probably used in a SR-71 probably and not A-12 (as only in 2 seater exists) Besides that also number 9013 is visible, but that is not a known serial number for Blackbirds.

 

Attached image of the numbers.

 

Cheers

Ron

 

20170329_144305.jpg


Edited by HUD69, 30 March 2017 - 11:08 PM.


#5 northcoastaero

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:32 PM

Ron,

Interesting discovery. I will keep you in mind for A-12/YF-12/SR-71 information.

Edited by northcoastaero, 30 March 2017 - 11:33 PM.


#6 HUD69

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:14 AM

Ron,

Interesting discovery. I will keep you in mind for A-12/YF-12/SR-71 information.

 

Thank you very much! I also work closely with Jeannette Remak, who did some great books on this topic.

 

If someone visits Pima air museum, can he/she take some detailed images of the seat they have on display? (with the SR-71 pilot in it)

 

Thanks!

Ron

Attached Images

  • 20170329_180535.gif


#7 velo-ct

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:56 AM

I looked through the pics from my last visit to Pima and only have this terrible blocked partial view but it does seem to match the sheetmetal stamping shape on the front lower portions.   You can probably match up some more features if you compare to your seat from the side.   Next time I go I will get you some better shots without tourists in the way.  Sorry was not focused on the seat that visit.

 

Regards,

Frank

 

Attached Images

  • srseat.JPG


#8 HUD69

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:21 PM

I looked through the pics from my last visit to Pima and only have this terrible blocked partial view but it does seem to match the sheetmetal stamping shape on the front lower portions.   You can probably match up some more features if you compare to your seat from the side.   Next time I go I will get you some better shots without tourists in the way.  Sorry was not focused on the seat that visit.

 

Regards,

Frank

 

HI Frank,

 

That's indeed the same kind of seat. I noticed it still having some of the parts mine is missing (they look professionally removed upon changing this seat type for the SR-1) These parts are likely the same as on most other (older) C-2 ejection seats, like the ones used in the German Luftwaffe before switching to Martin Baker seats.

 

in the image attached you find 3 versions of the C-2 family I have. SR-2 from Jordanian F-104B, the modified C-2 from the Blackbird and in the back a C-2 from a Dutch F-104G.

 

Would be great to see images!

 

Thanks,

Ron

Attached Images

  • Seats.jpg


#9 HUD69

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:49 AM

Hi,

 

After reading around 1120 pages of (de)classified CIA material on the A-12 Oxcart, I have learned the following.

My seat was modified (after a crash in '67, when a pilot got stuck after ejection)

In the reports the life support units talk about: "Modified C-2 Rocket-Catapult Upward" and F-104 rocket type.

 

Seems the seat never got his own designation, the K-1 Ken Collins was talking about, seems to have been a pressure helmet type.

Also learned from the reports is that the seat kit/container was of the "MD-1 type" in my opinion a modified version then.

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

Modified C-2 seat.jpg

 

 

 

 



#10 HUD69

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:00 AM

And I also had some help in repairing the damage to the seat (as can be seen in one of the images above this one)

 

Now for the small bits and pieces.

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

repairs.jpg

 

 

 



#11 HUD69

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

In the meantime I was able to gather more information on this type of ejection seat:

 

Because the SR Seat was being developed, the A-12 seat was installed on the first sixteen SR’s. Later the A-12 seats were replaced with the SR seats.
 
The main chute on both seats is a thirty-five foot parachute. The A-12 seat has the drogue chute mounted on top of the main chute, and two emergency oxygen bottle and face heats defogging batteries mounted inside the main chute. The later S/R-1 seat in the Blackbird, has the drogue chute mounted in the seats head rest. The emergency oxygen bottles (2) are mounted inside the survival kit and the face heat defogging battery is mounted on the life side of the ejection seat. 
 
How many were made
 
Fifty-six A-12 seats were installed (18 on A-12, 6 on YF-12 & 32 on SR-71)
Seventy SR-71 seats were installed (64 on SR-71 & 6 on YF-12). The SR seat replaced the A-12 seats in the three YF-12’s & the sixteen SR-71’s
 
I found this image on Facebook, showing a slightly modified version of my seat (later date I guess) with different headrest and two straps as man seat separator in stead of one?
 
12832509_488996587974685_5694970743801066484_n.jpg
 
Enjoy
Ron

 

 



#12 HUD69

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 04:23 AM

Hi all,

 

A small update in the listing and I try to give some more information on other modifications and versions:


 

Stanley B                               XF-104

Stanley B-1                            ?

Stanley C                               F-104A/B 

Stanley C-1                            F-104A/B/C/D

Lockheed C-2                        F-104G

Lockheed D                           Prototype with wind blast protection (see image)

Lockheed S/R-2                     F-104B/J and? (Jordan and Japanese air forces for instance)

Lockheed SR-1 (RQ201)       U-2/TR-1/ SR-71

Lockheed E                           ?? 

Lockheed F-1                         A-12 and early SR-71 (to be confirmed see image of article in Dutch language)

Lockheed ?                            Sled / capsule proposal/prototype

 

In the first literature about the modifications to S/R-2, there was talk of removing the arm nets, as this would give more stability.

This modification was however not given to the seats, but it did show up on the early A-12 and SR-71 seats. (probably even more stable at high speeds without the nets?)

 

If anyone has more info, please let me know.

 

Thanks,

Ron

 

D-1 seat

D-1.jpg

 

F-1 seat

20180113_073840.jpg

 

 



#13 Patchcollector

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 06:41 AM

Interesting item.Do you know what material the seat is made of?



#14 HUD69

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 05:44 AM

Interesting item.Do you know what material the seat is made of?

 

First, it seems that the F-1 nomenclature might have been used on the SR-71/YF-12's in service with NASA Dryden, but need confirmation.

The E series was likely not there as there was also no A version? (need also confirmation)

The material of the early example was mostly the same as the normal C-2 seats, as many parts where the same.

It is an aluminium alloy (different alloy types on different parts of the seat, stiffness and thickness are different)

 

Cheers,

Ron



#15 MWalsh

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:06 AM

I may have some pictures of the seat in the A12 at CIA HQ in Langley, the one they stole from the Minnesota Air Guard Museum. 

 

The MNANG used to have "open cockpit" days where you could sit in some of their aircraft and take all the pics you wanted, with the canopies open. I think I got a bunch of pics then. They are packed away but if you want them I will set them aside when they surface. 



#16 HUD69

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:44 PM



I may have some pictures of the seat in the A12 at CIA HQ in Langley, the one they stole from the Minnesota Air Guard Museum. 

 

The MNANG used to have "open cockpit" days where you could sit in some of their aircraft and take all the pics you wanted, with the canopies open. I think I got a bunch of pics then. They are packed away but if you want them I will set them aside when they surface. 

 

That would be great! I am very interested in these images.

 

Came across this image on Ebay, showing the same kind of seat.

 

20180402_091437.jpg

 

Cheers,

Ron


Edited by HUD69, 03 April 2018 - 10:56 PM.



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