Today in History – January 2, 1968 – Col Henry Brown and LTC Joe Jordan use the F-111 emergency escape module for the 1st time

2 January 1968 – Col. Henry Brown and Lt. Col. Joe B. Jordan became the first U.S. Air Force pilots to use the General Dynamics F-111A’s emergency escape module when their aircraft, 65-5701, c/n A1-19, of the Air Force Flight Test Center, crashed near Edwards AFB, California, due to a weapons gun bay fire.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the F-111 and B-1A introduced the method of jettisoning the entire cockpit as a means of crew escape. The crew remains strapped in the cabin, unencumbered by a parachute harness, while 27,000 lbf (120 kN) of thrust from rockets accelerates the module away from the rest of the aircraft. A single, large parachute retards the descent of the capsule. On landing, an airbag system cushions the impact. In the event of a water landing, the airbag acts as a flotation device. Additional airbags could be activated to right the capsule in the event of a water landing (similar to the Apollo capsule), or an additional airbag could be selected for auxiliary flotation. With a movement of a pin at the base of the pilot’s control stick, a bilge pump could be activated and extra air pumped into the airbags. For the F-111 escape capsule, following a successful landing on land or water, it could serve as a survival shelter for the crew until a rescue could be mounted.[11]

Source: Wikipedia Portal Aviation, Wikipedia

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