HomeNewsArticle Display

Test team looks at new parachute for ACES II ejection seat

A GR7000 parachute along with dummy descends over a drop zone near Edwards Air Force Base. A team from the 418th Flight Test Squadron conducted several drops using the parachute, which has been proposed as a replacement for the current C-9 canopy used in the ACES II ejection seat. (U.S. Air Force image provided by Brad White)

A GR7000 parachute along with dummy descends over a drop zone near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. A team from the 418th Flight Test Squadron conducted several drops using the parachute, which has been proposed as a replacement for the current C-9 canopy used in the ACES II ejection seat. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad White)

A dummy attached to a GR7000 parachute is recovered following a test drop at the ROWE drop zone south of Edwards Air Force Base. Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron are testing a new parachute canopy for the Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II, or ACES II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)

A dummy attached to a GR7000 parachute is recovered following a test drop at the Rowe drop zone south of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron are testing a new parachute canopy for the Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ethan Wagner)

Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron recover a crosswind deployment cylindrical test vehicle, which was used to test a GR7000 parachute last month. Dummies and live personnel were also used to test the parachute, which is proposed as a replacement for the current C-9 canopy currently used on ACES II ejection seats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)

Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron recover a crosswind deployment cylindrical test vehicle, which was used to test a GR7000 parachute last month. Dummies and live personnel were also used to test the parachute, which is proposed as a replacement for the current C-9 canopy currently used on Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II ejection seats. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ethan Wagner)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron are testing a new parachute canopy for the Advanced Concept Ejection Seat II. Testers are collecting data on the GR7000 parachute, which has been proposed to replace the current C-9 canopy used in the ACES II ejection seat. The testing is part of the Air Force’s ACES II Safety and Sustainability Improvement Program.  

The ACES II ejection seat system has been used for almost 40 years and brought standardization to Air Force ejection seats  in the A-10, F-15, F-16, F-22, B-1 and B-2. The standardization reduced cost and training time as maintainers and pilots only have to train on  one type of  seat.  

“The overall test objective is to demonstrate the strength of the GR7000 parachute at worst-case ejection (situations), high-altitude mode 1 deployment and evaluate the steady-state descent characteristics of the GR7000 parachute,” said Alice White, 418th FLTS ACES II SSIP project manager.  

White said since the initial fielding of ACES II in 1978, the  Air Force has made two significant changes affecting ejection seat safety. The changes were unforeseen when ACES II was initially developed. The first change was expanding the allowable aircrew weight range -- originally 140-to-211 pounds -- to 103-to-245 pounds.  

“Another significant change affecting the safety of the ACES II was the introduction of helmet-mounted devices, particularly the nuclear flash blindness goggles used by B-2A Spirit aircrew. The combination of larger allowable aircrew anthropometric range, and the added head-born weight of the helmet-mounted devices, increased the risk of having an unsafe ejection,” said Daniel Bush, 418th FLTS ACES II SSIP project flight test engineer.  

The GR7000 parachute is designed to handle the greater weight ranges for pilots and to provide a slower rate of descent and oscillation, according to the manufacturer.  

In the past several weeks, testing of the GR7000 parachute consisted of 10 dummy drops, 20 live-person jumps and five drops using a crosswind deployment cylindrical test vehicle, which looks similar to an inert bomb.  

“Key performance values for this test are airspeed, altitude, rate of descent and canopy structural integrity. Riser loads and acceleration data also will be collected and analyzed,” said Dean Van Oosterhout, 418th FLTS ACES II SSIP project engineer.  

For test purposes, the 418th FLTS contracted a Skyvan from Skydive Perris, out of Perris, California. Skyvans have been previously used for live jumps, dummy drops and airdrops. The plane has an anchor cable with a winch on the right side of the aircraft cargo hold and bench seats for parachutists and passengers running down both sides. According to the 418th FLTS ACES II SSIP project pilot, Maj. Duncan Reed, the Skyvan is able to meet test requirements to climb and level off between 16,000 and 17,000 feet median sea level and trim to between 90 and 100 knots-indicated airspeed, which is required for the cylindrical test vehicle drops. 

The ACES II Safety and Sustainment Improvement Program has been on-going for many years, according to White. She said in the past year, a critical design review was held that culminated in the final seat design and a qualification effort ensued. 

“Approximately 80 percent of the qualification testing has been completed to date.” 

Van Oosterhout said this particular testing of the GR7000 was for the B-2 version of the ACES II ejection seat, but data could be applied for all ACES II ejection seats currently using the C-9 canopy.

Engage

Twitter
Go Falcons! The @AF_Falcons played against the Boise State University Broncos during a home game at Clune Arena, i… https://t.co/TYFkhh367H
Twitter
Airmen at @RamsteinAirBase proudly show their reasons for receiving the #COVID19 vaccine. #WhyIVax 📸 by SrA Jenni… https://t.co/D8xD5VZEWw
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/vGbMwtkjNY
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: This achievement is an important milestone toward the @AFResearchLab objective of developing & adapting quantum technologies f…
Twitter
Remembering Operation Desert Storm Desert Storm was the first conflict in history to make comprehensive use of ste… https://t.co/Roncc8toL7
Twitter
Today marks 30 years since the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. Read @MitchellStudies' report on "Lessons Lea… https://t.co/6aWVGXjzNl
Twitter
“As an #AirForce, we need to create the best leaders so that our Airmen realize they can reach their full potential… https://t.co/Rk4LtjIzHl
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Recruiting, training & educating #Airmen requires force generators dedicated to their craft & to laying the foundation of o…
Twitter
AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo finalist The AFIMSC leadership team and Ventures Innovation Office picked 8 finalists to c… https://t.co/f78UDv6fYY
Twitter
RT @AirForceGaming: // TESTING COMPLETE // LOADING SEASON 001 Registration for Air Force Gaming League is now open! We're going gl…
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Airmen across the command, including our Global Strike leadership, are taking the next step in the battle against COVID…
Twitter
One team one fight @366FW's Capt. Aaron Tindall is the 1st Airman to graduate from the @USNavy Airborne Electronic… https://t.co/mvfn30OnLP
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/LtDGcVwsKi
Twitter
Honoring a pioneer. Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager live, noon EST. Live c… https://t.co/0aFqKjSWyO
Twitter
RT @CalGuard: Airmen from the Cal Guard's 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno are stepping up to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. #TheVirusStops…
Twitter
Pilot Training Next For the 1st time in @AFSpecOpsCmd history, two new graduates from @AETCommand's Pilot Training… https://t.co/TPOIM1KDEl
Twitter
Celebrating service. @GenCQBrownJr and @SpaceForceCSO thanked @SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett for her service duri… https://t.co/0uo2BGRrq9
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The remarkable consistency, the universality, in the @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD is the goodness of our people. Every d…
Twitter
Providing strategic depth The @USAFReserve’s T-56-15A engine Centralized Repair Facility, supported by the 913th A… https://t.co/wGHrc7Zdid
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,313,876
Follow Us