When the U.S. Air Force was designing its first supersonic jet bomber in the 1950s, it turns out bears were an essential part of the process, helping to test the plane’s new ejection seats during the Cold War, according to i09.com.
The website has put together a summary of the role bears played in testing the supersonic Convair B-58 Hustler. Apparently, because Himalayan and American black bears are reasonably close in size to humans, they were deemed acceptable substitutes, after a team of humans died in an early ejection test.
I knew about the capsules, but didn’t know they’d live-fire tested them on bears.
Can you just imagine the howls from PETA if they did that today?