Tomonaga (Tomonaga@xtra.co.nz)
Fri, 25 Feb 2000 08:57:54 +1300


Trent wrote:

> Can you not reverse accelerate on earth in 2 dimensions (G and resultant
> cancels out?)? Looking at the thrusts of the MS, should the pilots be dead
> (broken limbs etc.)? Fighting on Earth must be just as bad if you are in
> air, anyone in the air force on the ML? I just wonder if a fat bastard like
> me can hack it ^_^.
>

The biggest problem fighter pilots face in dogfights/aerial displays and other
extreme manoeuvres(UK spelling) is the ability to handle Gs. Under high G
situations the blood drains from you head and pools in the legs. To counteract
this transfer of blood, fighter pilots wear G-suits which inflate and squeeze
the legs to push the blood back up but this by itself isn't enough. Pilots also
have to learn to flex all their leg and butt muscles to help keep the blood up
in the head. Pilots today build up their leg muscles in the gym as necesssity.
Failure to keep sufficient blood in the brain first results in tunnel
vision/grey out and then black out - complete unconsciousness.

There is also another effect. As the Gs increase, it feels like something is
crushing down on your chest and you find it harder and harder to breath.

To give you an idea, to be under a 8+Gs for a 15-30 seconds is like sprinting
400metres/400+yards and then getting beaten up by Mike Tyson at the finish line.

If you watch and hear pilots performing aerial stunts you will see that they are
grunting and puffing and their face is clenched up struggling for breath. It's
like if they are doing breathing exercises for giving birth while trying to lift
up a car or something.

Everybody is born with different natural tolerances to high Gs. But studies
showed that the ideal body type for withstanding high Gs is short( 5ft5'-5ft10')
and muscular. The important thing is to have the shortest possible distance
between the heart and the brain.

Also women are generally more tolerant of high Gs then men despite having much
less muscle mass.

The G-suit and the muscle clenching aids in tolerance of high Gs but there are
human limitations everybody blacks out at somepoint. Using the technique you
must be able to handle a minimum of 8Gs to begin with in order to be considered
fighter pilot material (not including other abilities required) but the very
best people can handle 13-15Gs but these people are extremely rare and almost
super human. Former East German Air Force had a tremendously high number of
pilots/success rate at recruiting pilots of this calibre.

Average fighter pilots today can handle around 11Gs.

Why is it important? In a dogfight, pilots with high Gs can perform much more
violent manouevres than the other pilot and thus a great advantage.

Most people will have trouble just handling the Gs let alone pilot and fight an
enemy at the same time! You really have to be a very special person to be a
fighter pilot.

No doubt the Gs pulled during some manoeuvres by MS in space is much higher than
fighter/stunt aircraft.

Tet

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