With their steely nerves and cool demeanor, fighter pilots seem born to fly.
Yet even the toughest human beings are unequipped to survive, much less thrive,
in combat airplanes. Soaring at up to 60,000 feet and more than 1,875 miles per
hour—the altitude ceiling and top speed of an F-15—a pilot would quickly
black out without his flight gear, a 40-pound collection of vital clothing and
equipment designed to counteract the effects of altitude and high speed.
In this interactive, find out what an F-15 fighter pilot wears in the air and
what he carries in case he must eject. Like the test pilots who flew the
prototype Boeing and Lockheed Martin X-Planes (see Meet a Test Pilot), the military
pilots who fly the next-generation fighters will wear flight suits similar to
the one seen in this feature.