ccording to reports, People's Liberation Army Air Force warplanes are now equipped with a third-generation ejector seat design.
The advanced, indigenous technology boasts hi-tech sensors, along with a microprocessor, both designed to provide maximise controllability during the ejection process, taking into account the aircraft's heading and speed at the time.
These features also work to manage the escape parachute's deployment, raising the chance of those who eject surviving the process, if it's carried out at low altitude.
Chinese Ejection Seats
Equipped with what local news sources called such ‘polymorphic development features', the PLAAF's Chinese ejection seats are, systems-wise, on a par with those used by many of its Western counterparts. Now, fourth-generation seats are being worked on, designed to give warfighters much more control over the ejection process.
While earlier developments took place with mixed results, ejection seats are fundamentally a WW2 technology. The first in-service aircraft to feature ejection seats was Heinkel's 219 nightfighter but, more than any other firm, Britain's Martin-Baker perfected and popularised the concept. To date, Martin-Baker has supplied upwards of 90 of the world's air forces with its ejection seats and among the aircraft types in which they're fitted is the brand-new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
Typically, ejection from an aircraft is a two-stage process, beginning when the canopy is jettisoned and ending when the seat's fired, exposing pilots to brief but very high G forces. Over the past 70 years, there have been an estimated 10,000 aircrew ejections, with only a handful of fatalities.
Chinese Warplane Seats
The Chinese warplanes now fitted with the new ejection seats serve with the People's Liberation Army Air Force - Asia's largest and behind only the USAF and the Russian Air Force on the global stage.
The PLAAF's massive 2,500+ aircraft fleet includes some 1,600 combat aircraft: a mixture of imports and home-grown products. These combat aircraft include Shenyang J-8 interceptors and J-11 air superiority fighters and Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKK multirole fighters.