The Aero Club of New England (ACONE) will present the prestigious Godfrey L. Cabot Award to Martin-Baker Aircraft Company on Friday, June 7, 2019 at a luncheon at the Harvard Club in Boston, MA.
The award will be presented to the company in recognition of their successful development and manufacture of aircraft ejection seats. Martin-Baker ejection seats have saved more than 7,500 pilot’s lives, and by doing so have increased pilot safety throughout the world.
The first use of an ejection seat in a practical application was by a British pilot, involved with the Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52 flying wing experimental aircraft, in 1949. Martin-Baker was a pioneer in expanding the operational envelope of the ejection seat enabling it to be used at low altitudes and airspeeds, leading eventually to a “zero-zero” capability seat.
Martin-Baker, originally formed in 1934 to continue work on aircraft development, designed an unconventional, two-seat, low wing monoplane, the MB1. After Baker’s unfortunate death in 1942 during a test flight of the MB3 aircraft, pilot safety became Martin’s primary focus.
In 1944, the company was approached by the Ministry of Aircraft Production to investigate ejection systems enabling pilots to bail out safely from high speed fighter aircraft. Martin-Baker concluded that an explosive powered ejection seat was the best solution. The company currently supplies ejection seats for 93 air forces worldwide, and they have been fitted into more than 200 fixed-wing and rotary type aircraft.
The Cabot Award, named to commemorate Dr. Godfrey L. Cabot (now deceased), is presented each year by ACONE to an individual or team who has made unique and unparalleled contributions to encourage and advance aviation and space flight.
The Aero Club of New England (ACONE), the oldest aero club in the Americas, was organized on January 2, 1902 nearly two full years before the Wright brothers made their landmark flight of December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina.
The award will be presented at a luncheon, Friday, June 7, 2019 at the Harvard Club in Boston, MA. For reservations or additional information, visit the ACONE website at www.acone.org or contact Georgia Pappas — CabotAward@acone.org