Our passion has evolved over the decades.

With a history spanning over 80 years, Martin-Baker is still run by the late Sir James Martin’s descendants to this day. Originating as an aircraft manufacturer, Martin-Baker’s passion has evolved over the decades, now focussing on an issue very close to both ours and our founders’ hearts.

Sir James Martin, an Irish immigrant and innovative engineer, began producing aircraft in 1929. He had always had a great desire to invent and make things with his own hands and, by dint of hard work and continuous study, was an accomplished engineer even in his teens.

Ejection seat testing

An fearless employee, Bernard Lynch, attempted the first static ejection on 24th January 1945. He then conducted the first mid-flight test ejection on 24th July 1946. He ejected himself from the rear cockpit of a specially modified Meteor 3 at 320 mph, 8000 ft in the air. Bernard Lynch made a perfect landing and subsequently made a further 30 ejections.

First ejection

The first live, non-test ejection took place on 30th May 1949 by Jo Lancaster. Jo was flying an Armstrong Whitworth AW52 aircraft and was forced to eject using a pre-Mk1 ejection seat over Southam, Warwickshire.

From that day until now, Martin-Baker has saved the lives of more than 7,600 aircrew members.

Our timeline

  • 1929

    ‘Martin’s Aircraft Works’ established.

  • 1934

    ‘Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd.’ founded by Sir James Martin and Capt Valentine Baker.

  • 1945

    First live test ejection - Bernard Lynch.

  • 1949

    First life saved - J.O. Lancaster.

  • 1962

    First live rocket-assisted test ejection - Peter Howard.

  • 1989

    NACES enters service with the US Navy.

  • 1991

    First female ejected - Linda Maloney from a US Navy A-6 Intruder.

  • 2000

    Martin-Baker US16E selected - F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

  • 2014

    150th US16E F-35 seat delivered.

  • 2016

    7,500 lives saved.

  • 2019

    500th US16E F-35 seat delivered.

  • 2022

    1,000th US16E F-35 seat delivered.

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01347 823822 | info@gradcracker.com | Company registration number: 6370348
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