Know about G - Force: Fighter Pilot's Biggest Enemy

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : April 17th, 2022

Becoming an Air Force pilot is a formidable physical and psychological challenge. Those who are aspiring to become Air force officer and fly fighter jets must prove their ability to withstand a high level of G-forces or the equivalent of the force of gravity multiplied. That's why fighter pilots have to go through rigorous training in a centrifuge to prove they can handle the pressure.



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What is G Force?

G-force is an instant killer. In fact, the effects of g-force are known from WW-II, responsible for the death of pilots who either lost consciousness or were unable to quickly bail out of their planes.

G-force is described as the acceleration of an object relative to Earth's gravity. Suppose you are sitting on your chair right now, you are in a 1 G environment; Earth's standard force of gravity (G) is pushing against you as it normally does.

However, when an aircraft makes a sharp 90-degree turn, a radial acceleration is generated by it responsible for 6+ G force/ 6 x the force of Earth's gravity.


What are the impacts of G Force on Fighter Pilots?

  • Humans are used to 1 G environment, any rapid change in G-force can have immediate adverse effects. 
  • It impacts blood circulation of the body.
  • G Force/ the acceleration force the blood down the legs, making it difficult to flow back to the heart for re-circulation
  • Our brain cells have very small oxygen reserves that can keep them functioning for about 4 seconds. When that reserve is depleted, the brain will automatically "shut down," causing pilots to lose consciousness.


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How do Fighter Pilots deal with G Force?

For an untrained person as few as 3 X, G Force can be enough to deprive the brain of oxygen. Air Force pilots train in Anti-G Straining Manoeuvre (AGSM). This includes various breathing and muscle-tensing techniques to minimize downward blood flow and keep the brain as oxygenated as possible.

  1. Grey-out — Loss of peripheral vision 
  2. Blackout means complete loss of eyesight, but no loss of consciousness. 
  3. L.O.C. — Loss of consciousness. Recovery does not occur on the average for 15 to 20 seconds after the G force is terminated. 
  4. Positive G — Positive G forces exerted through the vertical axis of the body.

Do you Have the Courage to face the G Force!!

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