First Successful Escape from an Aircraft Using the Ejection Seat (1942)
Ejection seats are used in aircraft to quickly propel occupants out in an emergency. Today, they are fired by an explosive charge, but the first ejection seats were powered by compressed air. One of the first aircrafts to be fitted with such a system was the German Heinkel He 280 prototype jet fighter. While testing the He 280 during WWII, pilot Helmut Schenk became the first person to use an ejection seat to make an emergency escape from an aircraft. What went wrong during his test flight?