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Ejector seat

As soon as a technical damage arises and according to the flight, the crew can be ejected by ejector seats.

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Installation of the ejector seats in the cockpit.
1-Cabin; 2-Trap door of ejection; 3-Support of the actuators; 4-Actuators; 5-Hinges; 6-Guidance rails of the armchair; 7-Ejector seat
Ejector seat of Buran К-36РБ (according to other sources the reference of the seat is К-36РM)

The ejector seats of Buran were designed at the engineering and design department КБ "Звезда" (KB "Star") under the direction of the head clerk Gaïa Severina (Гая Северина). The seats К-36M were modified to be ejected and they become К-36РБ of class "0-0", the broad range of ejection's possibilities includes speeds until Mach 3.5 and a height of operation which can go from 50 m (on the launching pad) to 35 km.

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The crew ejection system is carried out by К-36М seats. Worked out for aviation, they make it possible to eject the crew in a protective whole at speeds of Mach 2.2-2.5 and an altitude of 22-25 km as well as on the takeoff and the landing of the plane. Such characteristics corresponded to the requirements of Buran. During the first seconds of flight an incident or worse an explosion of Energia can occur, this is why the crew must be evacuated as soon as possible at a long distance.
For that the ejector seats had:

  • rockets to move away the seat at a distance from 500m and an altitude of 300m.
  • a trajectory which take into account the possible fall of Energia after the damage.
  • to be functional up to 35 km of altitude and Mach 3.5.

The ejector seats К-36РБ of Buran, whose member must cover a protective diving-suit, ensure the distance of the crew of 500 m in 9-10 s. They are been equipped with ergonomic handles and 2 rocket motors of 600 and 3 000 kgf. The electronic installation of the trajectory software of the seats is associated with the on-board system of the shuttle, ensuring an immediate catapult-launching on the launching pad, until the altitude of operation (25 km), during the descent of the shuttle (starting from 30 km) and at the landing until the full stop (null speed and altitude).

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Caption:
H: height in km, V: speed in Mach; 1-Buran-Energia on the launching pad; 2-Buran-Energia in flight; 3-Buran during the descent; 4-Landing of Buran; 5-Work volume of the ejector seats; 6-Seat in flight; 7-Deployment of the parachutes; 8-Trajectory of catapult-launching

The zone of catapult-launching finishes when speed and altitude are beyond the limit values to ensure the protection of the crew. For Buran, this limit is reached at 102 s of flight (according to the normal orbiting trajectory).

The ejector seats were tested on ships "Progress" with working numbers "Progress - 38..42". The empty seats were replaced by those intended for Buran. The tests were led up to 40 km of altitude and Mach 3.5. After these tests, the use of the К-36РБ seat for Buran was validated.

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Test mannequin on its ejector seat. System of catapult-launching of the seats.

Moving of the catapult

The catapult was moved during the month of November from the Zhukovski air base (near Moscow).

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