B-1A Ejection Capsule Design Drawing & Artifacts
Brother and sister Todd and Sarah Panning were at the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum on October 26, 2023, to present a donation of artifacts relating to the B-1A bomber on behalf of their late father, engineer Don Panning. The donation was arranged by Dick Trapp, Lt Col (ret) USAF, a retired WPAFB engineer and representative of Aerospace Social Group. On hand to receive the items were Aviation Trail President Steve Brown, Parachute Museum Curator Randy Zuercher, plus Parachute Museum Committee members Andrew Kididis and Marty Andries.
The items donated were a B-1A ejection capsule design drawing, an emergency locator radio used by pilots who would have ejected in the capsule, and a pair of pilot's gloves. The crew escape capsule was designed to eject as a unit to improve crew survivability if the crew had to abandon the aircraft at high speed (Mach 2.2). The first three B-1As featured the escape capsule. Only four B-1A prototypes were built, and no production units were manufactured. (It was replaced by the B-1B). A video of a capsule test can be seen in the link below.
Parachute Museum Curator Randy Zuercher says of the donation:
“We are delighted to receive these donations that serve more than the purpose of permanent archiving and display. They also go to helping preserve the memory of their father and his work. Many thanks to the Panning family.”
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum
16 South Williams Street
Dayton, OH 45402
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum is Site #1b on the Aviation Trail