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?
- A centrifuge
- A merry-go-round.
Top Gun Home | In the Cockpit | Russian Air Force
Remembering Jeffrey Ethell | Pulling Cs & Gs | Links
Support provided by
For new content
visit the redesigned