24,063 Likes 341 Dislikes
Thanks to the Starrship team for arranging this! I'm also over on their channel, flying with the Blades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWY3-1gOrxk • At the Royal Air Force training centrifuge in Farnbrough, pilots learn how to avoid G-LOC: g-induced loss of consciousness. Let's talk about g-force, about jerk, and about how to keep circulation flowing to your brain.
* Isn't 3.6g a really low g-tolerance? *
Yep. Turns out I would not qualify to be a fighter pilot. The average range for g-tolerance is 4-6; no-one was expecting me to pass out. The centrifuge team do not deliberately try to G-LOC people! To be fair, though, I'd done a few earlier runs with only minor effects.
* What g was the RAF person at the start pulling? *
That's Marcus, from the Starrship team, and he was successfully pulling 6.5g with the help of g-trousers: they plug into a compressed air source in the plane (and in the centrifuge) and act as a lower-body tourniquet to keep the blood up top. They are very effective.
* Why did you shake and shudder when regaining consciousness? *
Those are called "myoclonic convulsions", which is a fancy medical term for "muscle jerks", and they're a common side effect of recovering from G-LOC.
* What did it feel like? *
I'll answer this in more detail in a video over on the Matt and Tom channel soon, but in short: I don't remember it. I was doing the breathing maneuver, then everything was wobbly, then we were stopped!
* Is this a sponsored video? *
No: the RAF and Starrship had no editorial control over this, and no money changed hands. Obviously, though, they gave me a spin in the centrifuge, and I'm collaborating with them over on their channel too!
The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, the Starrship team, and the folks at Qinetiq.
I'm at http://tomscott.com
on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott
on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott
and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo