The F-86 Sabre Weber ejection seat is a good example of the first generation ejection seat.  This ejection seat was designed basically to do little more than keep a pilot firmly in place in the aircraft cockpit and in an emergency, “toss him out” of the aircraft.  The ejection seat was of little value if the pilot had to exit the aircraft below 1000 feet.

The seat included a seat height adjustment that is very similar to the mechanism used on an ordinary office chair except that the location handle was in a different position.  The seat height was adjusted by using a lever situated to the right of the headrest and by simply removing the pilots weight from the seat, it could go up or pushing down to lower.

The ejection sequence was complicated by the tight fit of the canopy and its low frame at the front which is why a simulator was necessary where pilots could practice the ejection sequence should it be required during an emergency.  Should a pilot have to eject, he would first actuate the emergency oxygen bottle.  He then had to lower his head and pull up on the right handgrip to jettison the canopy which would slide directly backwards along its rails.  The pilot would then sit upright and lock the harness with the left handgrip, bring his feet back to the footrests, brace his arms on the armrests and push his head backwards against the headrest, keeping his chin tucked in.  The pilot would then squeeze the ejection trigger located under the handgrip to activate the ejection sequence.

The seat catapult would fire, ejecting the pilot and seat clear of the aircraft.  The pilot’s connections to the aircraft were automatically disconnected by the connectors between the footrests.  The pilot then had to release his safety harness and kick away the seat after which he would manually activate his parachute once he had descended to a safe altitude.