The ejection seats in the Vampire have recently been removed to undergo a ‘Bay Service’. This term originates from services that were carried out in the Squadron’s equipment ‘Bay’ or workshop. The bay service is carried out at every annual inspection, with this current service being performed by the Museum’s Engineering Supervisor Lindsay Jordan.

The bay service takes about three to four days to complete each seat. This includes removing the components fitted to the seats such as the Ejection Gun, Drogue Gun, and the Barostatic Time Release Unit (BTRU), and inspecting, testing and refitting them to the seat.

The Drogue gun and the BTRU are both tested on a special test stand to check that the time delay mechanism operates in the correct time. The BTRU is then put in an altitude test chamber to check that the barostat unit works at the correct altitude.

Normally on the bay service the Drogue Parachutes, Connecting Strops and the Withdrawal Lines are unpacked from the seat, inspected and then repacked. On this service, all those items on both seats were replaced with brand new items acquired from Martin Baker in England. These items require replacement every few years when their fitted life expires.

You can see the Vampire fly at the next Flying Weekend, which falls on the 11 & 12 April 2009 (Easter Weekend). Don’t miss it!

Check 2009’s photo gallery page to see the ejection seats being refitted to the Vampire.