Up, Up & Away: New Ejection Seat Design for Military

IDGA Editor

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The military’s advanced-concept ejection seat, ACES II®, is one of the most successful aircrew escape systems in U.S. Air Force history and is credited with saving more than 450 lives since it was introduced in 1976. With more than 8,000 seats delivered to date, the ACES II is currently used on F-15, F-16, B-1B, B-2, A-10, F-117 and F-22 aircraft. Using the strengths of the ACES II as a foundation, Goodrich Aircraft Interiors and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), both in the United States, developed the nextgeneration ACES 5 seat for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The new seat was optimized to enhance safety for aircrew, to reduce maintenance downtime, to reduce weight and to integrate with the F-35 cockpit. However, the biggest challenge was developing and delivering a brand new seat structure in less than 14 months.

The parametric link between the ANSYS Workbench platform and Pro/ENGINEER® Wildfire® software was a critical factor in successfully developing a design that met all the requirements while maintaining the aggressive schedule. Engineers at CTC were able to quickly update simulations for multiple design iterations. This concurrent design and analysis approach enabled the team to optimize the seat for both function and weight from the earliest developmental stage.