A Saudi Air Force Tornado aircraft crashed near Yemen, both pilot and navigator ejected successfully. Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd. reached the unbelievable figure of 7557 lives saved in 2017, having had 11 ejection throughout the year.
In July 2016, there was a celebration for the 7500 lives saved, after being in the aircraft safety business for 70 years, with currently 17.000 installed seats and having received 11 Queen’s Awards.
First ejection took place in 1949, when Jo Lancaster was flying an Armstrong Whitworth AW52, and after an engine failure, was forced to eject, using a pre-MK1 over Southam, Warwickshire.
It all started when Sir James Martin, an innovative engineer, Irish immigrant, started manufacturing aircraft in 1929. He had always been keen of inventing, even from his teens.
It was during this first entrepreneurial activity when he met and started a great friendship with Captain Valentine Baker. Martin-Baker was established then. Captain Baker was very important for the design of the company prototypes.
In 1942, Captain Baker died tragically while performing a test flight with the MB3 prototype. An engine failure forced him to carry out an emergency landing, and died after after having on wing hit a tree stump.
Sir James Martin was highly affected by this tragic loss, and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to aircraft safety, designing and manufacturing ejection seats, establishing one of the most important aircraft family businesses in the world: Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd.