May 22nd, 2002

This is the ACES II replica that Rob & I built for the F-15.  It was based upon
Chris Van Lierop's great F-16 ACES II plans.  We made the needed design changes
as required by the current ejection seat mounting and model differences in the
F-15 version of the ACES II seat.

The seat was constructed from 1/2" and 3/4" plywood.  The seat pan and back are
made from 1/8" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard).

The picture below is a right side view of the seat.  The faded pink coloring
comes from the layer of Bondo that coats the wood.  The whole seat was laminated
with Bondo to give the seat a metallic feel as well as a smooth surface.

Here you can see how I built the ejection initiator handles.  They're quite
simple and work quite well.  The microswitches tie together electrically so
pulling either or both handles will "eject" you.

Here's a pic of the seat during the final sand & fill stages.  The paint helps
to identify bumps & pits a bit more easily.  This seat took nearly 6 weeks to
complete because of the extensive finish work that was done.  The result is
very much worth the effor and 2.5 gallons of Bondo that was required.

Below you can see the first stage of painting.  The ejection initiator handles
have been heavily varnished to seal the wood.  Bondo was not used because the
very nature of the handle would lend it to being slightly bent or twisted and
Bondo would delaminate from the surface if this happened.

Here's the result of the first full base coat.  The square cutout in the back
is where one of two sonic transducers will be installed.  The cover for the
access cutout also holds the connectors needed to power the sound transducers.
The second unit is installed in the seat pan itself.

Here's the seat pan release handle before installation.  This is _not_ a metal
handle!  I obtained this finish by spraying the plywood handle with a few coats
of metallic silver paint.  After this was allowed to dry completely, I put it
into a cardboard box and just *fogged* it with metallic copper.  This picture
really doesn't do it justice.  It looks great!

Here's the finished product.  You can see the pan release handle and the 
initator handles in their final state.

The oxygen bottle has been installed as well as some of the decals I bought
from AGT.  I like text decals they make, but the ACES II badges need help.
ER kind of help.  They have two months to live kind of help. :)

The seat pads are genuine ACES II pads.  The pan pad is used and the back pad
is brand new.  The back pad is held in place by a pair of velcro (visible)

All in all, this is one bitchin' bang seat. :)