Sir James Martin
Ulster-Scot James Martin was born in Crossgar in County Down in 1893.
In 1929 he established his own engineering firm and in 1934 he joined with Valentine Baker to establish the Martin-Baker engineering company.
The company designed aircraft for the Royal Air Force and Valentine Baker was a test pilot. Sadly Baker died in an air accident and it is believed that this incident may have resulted in James focusing on designing systems to improve pilot safety.
During World War 2 James Martin developed a system that could jettison aircraft canopies in order that a pilot might escape a compromised aeroplane. He went on to design the ejector seat which was fitted to many military aircrafts and is credited with saving many thousands of lives with his invention.