A British-built ejection seat used in a French fighter jet has emerged for sale with a leading antique dealer – as aerospace hardware becomes more difficult to find.
With military aviation pieces scarcer since 9/11 and fewer military aircraft being built than in the post-war years, the prices are rising.
Interior designers, businesses as well as collectors are moving into the market that is growing rapidly.
This seat for sale flew in the 1980s in a French Dassault/Dornier Alpha jet, a light attack aircraft manufactured by French and German companies.
Made from aluminium, it has a superb look that is appreciated by those with an eye for design, and comes with a price tag of £12,500.
When operational the handles above the pilot’s head or between his legs would be pulled and a series of blasts would see the seat blown free of the aeroplane, and a ‘chute would discharge.
Allan Hatchwell from the second-generation family business said: “We managed to acquire this through contacts, but they are getting much harder to find.
“Martin-Baker began making ejection seats in 1948 and they have saved many thousands of lives since.
“Ejection seats became necessary in the jet age because a pilot couldn’t simply climb out of his aeroplane – and if he did he’d probably be killed.
“It required the pilot and his seat to be blasted clear of the plane and its slip-stream. It’s like being shot upwards by a 75mm cannon.
“These seats and other aerospace parts are becoming more collectable – partly because they are becoming rarer to source, but also because people recognise the quality of engineering and the design.
“We have sold 12 to one customer who wanted to use them as dining room chairs and another re-purposed his as a gaming seat for his son.
“Listing it on the 2Covet portal brings it to a whole new audience and we’ve already had a number of enquiries.”
For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 07788392965
Notes to editors:
2Covet is an online platform for people to ‘shop the exquisite’. Top dealers only are permitted to sell but all are permitted to buy.
Its three directors are dealers Charles Wallrock and Steve Sly and web expert Zara Rowe.
Launched in 2019, the platform experienced steady growth then accelerated during the 2020 Covid lockdown.
It now has dozens of dealers from the UK and abroad and is shaking up the antiques market.
For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 07788392965 or at firstname.lastname@example.org