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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Martin-Baker's Oxford testing facility hosts ‘explosive’ episode of the Fighter Show

The Business Magazine article image for: Martin-Baker's Oxford testing facility hosts  ‘explosive’ episode of the Fighter Show
3 July 2024

Martin-Baker, the global designer and manufacturer of ejection seats, which has its testing facility at Chalgrove Airfield, Oxfordshire – is the setting for the latest episode of the award-winning Eurofighter Typhoon YouTube series The Fighter Show. 

The episode – Fast & Furious Ejections – takes a behind-the-scenes look at how the aircraft ejection seat and escape system specialist, whose headquarters are in Denham, Buckinghamshire, has saved the lives of 7,724 pilots over the last 70 years. Over the years 869 seats have been made for Typhoon aircraft.

The show is hosted by Eurofighter’s Flo Taitsch, who describes the Martin-Baker episode as “the most explosive day in the history of the Fighter Show”. 

Experts explain that when an ejection seat is deployed it produces a thunderous 15,000 horsepower thrust.

Pyro Cell Leader Daniel Milverton tells Flo: “The pilot is projected from the aircraft to 100 metres above in just 0.67 of a second!”

Flo describes Martin-Baker, which employs more than 1,000 staff worldwide, as the ‘mother of all ejection seats’.

Steve Roberts, Head of Business Development, says: “Our ejection seat is really complex. It’s not just a chair — it has an incredible ballistic system because we have to get a pilot out of the cockpit very quickly.

“We have electronics within the seat to determine the time to deploy the in-built parachute. The pilot is also sitting on a survival aids container which comprises all the emergency items they might need after reaching the ground.”

The episode reveals some of the mysteries of Martin-Baker’s designs, such as the unique process of preparing and packing the parachute can take several days.

 “After the parachute has been folded using special tools we have developed, three-ton presses press the parachute into their container,” Steve Roberts explains. “After about 10 hours all of the air is squeezed out but the whole process from start to finish takes up to three days.”

Launched in April 2023, The Fighter Show is a world-first YouTube series owned and produced by Eurofighter Typhoon – the backbone of European air defence.

With episodes filmed at a variety of outdoor locations including Air Bases and Air Shows across Europe, studio episodes with a live audience, and guest interviews with pilots, engineers, technicians and authors.

The Fighter Show is often described as “Top Gear meets Top Gun.”

The latest episode of The Fighter Show is available to view here, on Eurofighter’s YouTube channel:

The Fighter Show is broadcast every three weeks and episodes have attracted more than one million views.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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