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Martin-Baker

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A British aircraft firm who make ejection seats and crashworthy seats, M-B also recently entered the space market, designing and manufacturing descent systems for space probes.

The company was founded by Sir James Martin and Captain Valentine Baker. Originally made aircraft, but in 1944 created the ejection seat. This was where the company headed and to this day are the worlds leading ejection seat manufacturers and have saved thousands of lives (on average, 2 per week).

They are based in Denham, but have a facility at Chalgrove near Bicester, an old wartime bomber station, where the testing is carried out. The company have two modified Gloster Meteor aircraft for testing airborne ejections and a ramp for testing crashworthy seats (by dropping them and crashing them into a buffer, very quickly). The company also has a rocket sled track in Northern Ireland for testing ejection seats.

Martin-Baker ejection seats are pretty much installed in most Western fast jets. Those that are unfortunate enough to have had to eject get a tie and membership to the exclusive Ejection Club.

Life membership of the Martin-Baker Tie Club is confined solely to persons who have ejected from an aircraft in an emergency using a Martin-Baker-designed ejection seat, and thereby saved their life. Membership currently numbers 7270.[1]