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.[2][failed verification]

In 2004, Martin was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.[3]

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.[4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.devlin-family.com/martin.htm
  2. ^ "The Medals & Awards of the Royal Aero Club". The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  3. ^ Sprekelmeyer, Linda, editor. These We Honor: The International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Donning Co. Publishers, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57864-397-4.
  4. ^ "Current Banknotes: Danske Bank". The Association of Commercial Banknote Issuers. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2013.