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Good question! The idea of centripetal force actually has a lot to do with fighter pilots and their airplanes. That's because the effect that happens with centripetal force imitates what would happen if you were a fighter pilot flying at mach speeds and suddenly made a sharp turn or pulled out of a dive.

Once again, your body still is inclined to move in a straight line, but this time it's a plane, not a car, that makes you turn. The faster you are going before you change direction, the more you will feel pushed against the plane. This is the so-called G force. One "G" is equal to your weight, two "Gs" is equal to twice your weight, three "Gs" is equal to three times your weight, and so on.

G force, which can cause blood to draw away from the brain, can affect your body in ways that wouldn't be too cool if you were at the controls of an F-16 (you could faint or have trouble seeing). Air force researchers developed a way to test G force effects on the ground. What do you think they used?

  1. A centrifuge
  2. A merry-go-round.





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