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Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests 

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2012, 09:43 AM
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Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

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A terrified bear is unbuckled from an ejector seat after being fired out of a supersonic jet during the Cold War.

He was one of six Himalayan and American Black bears used in testing of the pilot ejection systems of the Convair B-58 Hustler – only to be later put down so the impact on their bodies could be determined by postmortem.

The animals, seen here in a US Air Force video, were drugged before the flights and were ejected at various speeds and altitudes to determine how well the system worked.

A white paper by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, which ran the tests, said: “None of the bears received any internal injuries and no spinal fractures occurred on any test.

"One American Black bear was discovered on autopsy to have a laceration of the liver which was attributed partially to an overdose of anaesthesia.”

The four-engined B-58 Hustler flew at Mach 2 – twice the speed of sound – and was created at the height of the Cold War to drop bombs in case of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

The animals were ejected at speeds up to Mach 1.6 at 45,000 feet in the tests, which took place in 1961 at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas.

The bear in the video can be seen with its jaws tied shut being unfastened from a capsule by airmen after it landed and being stretchered away.

Science writer Ed Grabianowski, of i09.com, said: “On one hand, using bears for these tests was an extremely practical solution to the problem.

“The Air Force was working on a fix for something that had already caused human deaths.

“On the other hand, it’s hard not to cringe when you imagine the terror and confusion these animals experienced.

"Luckily, the testing programme didn’t last very long.”

The pilot ejection system was two-stage: A first handle drew the pilot’s legs in and enclosed him in a shell and a second handle fired the capsule out with a rocket burst.

A parachute then automatically deployed. The capsule could float and contained survival supplies in the event of a crash.

Detailing what the bears were put through, the white paper states: “They were subjected to vertical and horizontal velocity in head-forward, buttock-forward and right-side-forward positions, landing on hard dirt.”
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:51 PM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests


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Old 12-24-2012, 02:22 AM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests


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Old 12-24-2012, 06:56 AM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

Strange times

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Old 12-24-2012, 12:53 PM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

poor things.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:59 AM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

must have been terrified

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Old 12-25-2012, 12:33 PM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

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Originally Posted by kellyhound View Post
must have been terrified
No. They must have been happy to be so drugged.

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Old 12-25-2012, 02:37 PM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

I'll believe this when pigs fly.

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Old 12-25-2012, 06:20 PM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

Would have been better to use live humans involved in the development of this programme in the latter stages, and then autopsy performed post mortem after euthanisising the subject human.

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Old 12-26-2012, 12:13 AM
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Re: Bears Were Fired Out of US Supersonic Jet in Ejector Seat Tests

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Originally Posted by sixmilehighguy69 View Post
Would have been better to use live humans involved in the development of this programme in the latter stages, and then autopsy performed post mortem after euthanisising the subject human.
i wish i could give you 100 thanks for this quote because i agree 100%.

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