24 Dec 2012

Bears were fired out of US supersonic jet in ejector seat tests

Russians used drugged bears to test ejector seats for fighter pilots during the Cold War

A terrified bear is unbuckled from an ejector seat after being fired out of a supersonic jet during the Cold War. He was one of six Himalayan and American Black bears used in testing of the pilot ejection systems of the Convair B-58 Hustler – only to be later put down so the impact on their bodies could be determined by postmortem.

A white paper by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, which ran the tests, said: “None of the bears received any internal injuries and no spinal fractures occurred on any test.

The animals, seen here in a US Air Force video, were drugged before the flights and were ejected at various speeds and altitudes to determine how well the system worked. "One American Black bear was discovered on autopsy to have a laceration of the liver which was attributed partially to an overdose of anaesthesia.”

Mirror Online