Ejection seats have saved many pilots through the decades. But how, exactly, do those ejection seats work, and how do pilots train for their use?

 

Bail Out!

In the early days of aviation, pilots had basically one option to get out of a damaged or disabled aircraft, and that was to jump! Bailing out was the only way to get clear, and you better hope your parachute was strapped on tight. Early ejection seat prototypes used compressed air as the means of forcing the pilot’s seat out. This soon changed to a powder-actuated cartridge design.