James Martin (engineer)

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Sir James Martin

Sir James Martin plaque Crossgar.jpg
A plaque commemorating Sir James Martin in his home town of Crossgar
Born(1893-09-11)11 September 1893
Died5 January 1981(1981-01-05) (aged 87)
NationalityBritish, Irish
Known forInventor of the ejector seat and founder of the Martin-Baker aircraft company
Spouse(s)Muriel Haines

Sir James Martin CBE FIMechE FRAeS CEng (11 September 1893 – 5 January 1981) was an Irish engineer who together with Captain Valentine Baker founded the Martin-Baker aircraft company which is now a leading producer of aircraft ejection seats.


James Martin was born 11 September 1893 in Glasswater Road, Crossgar, County Down in Ireland. He established his own engineering firm in 1929.[1]

In 1934, he and Valentine Baker formed Martin-Baker; Captain Baker took the test pilot role. It was in a crash of their third design, the MB 3, that Baker was killed.

In 1964 Martin was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club.

In 2004, Martin was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.[2]

Northern Bank[edit]

Martin's contribution to engineering was commemorated by the Northern Bank in its Inventor series of banknotes, which featured his portrait on the bank's £100 note. The note was discontinued in 2013 when the bank reissued its banknotes under the new Danske Bank brand.[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.devlin-family.com/martin.htm
  2. ^ Sprekelmeyer, Linda, editor. These We Honor: The International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Donning Co. Publishers, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57864-397-4.
  3. ^ "Current Banknotes: Danske Bank". The Association of Commercial Banknote Issuers. Retrieved 30 November 2013.