Major Donation of Aircraft Ejection Seats:
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum is in the process of acquiring a large collection of Aircraft Ejection Seats to add to the museum’s permanent collections. Parachute expert and ejection seat collector Dr. Jean Potvin, a research physicist at St. Louis University and accomplished skydiver and parachute rigger, is in the process of donating his large collection of ejection seats to the museum, along with all the parachutes and accessories and documentations on the objects. The Parachute Museum has been working with Dr.Potvin for some time and has been since July of 2021 fully detailing and assessing his ejection seat collection. The final decision of accessioning of the collection was made in the summer of 2022 and acquiring the assets began shortly after. We expect to house the collection planning for and initiating our Museum expansion which will include curated ejection seat exhibits.
Randy Zuercher, the Aviation Trail, Inc. Parachute Museum Curator, speaks of the gift .
“We are excited to announce receipt of the first six Ejection Seats of the full Dr.Jean Potvin Collection This collection is a total of 22 seats and support materials including parachutes. What’s the big deal about so many ejection seats? Early in their development ejection seats had numerous designs and methodologies to accomplish what today has become standardized across different aircraft models. Early on in the 50s-70’s and into the 80s each aircraft model had its own ejection seat design for the most part. Imagine being a pilot and learning a new ejection routine for each aircraft that you piloted with no real-world practice and then only used in the most extreme circumstance of split-second decision making. Today the variety of seats is just a few major ones adapted to all the different aircraft. We will have all these different approaches to safely ejecting/saving the pilot/crew in one place as an historical reference and aviation first – perhaps unlike any other and will show the world what these advancements have been in numerous different curated exhibits across our expanding Parachute Museum”.
For some additional photos and stories of Dr. Potvin’s visits to the Parachute Museum, see these stories on the Aviation Trail website:
https://www.aviationtrailinc.org/events-and-projects-c4lp (scroll down to the second story on the events page)
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum
16 South Williams Street
Dayton, OH 45402
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum is Site #1b on the Aviation Trail