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Centrifuge Training Program with “Push-Pull” Elements

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Mikuliszyn R, Zebrowski M, Kowalczuk K. Centrifuge training program with “push-pull” elements. Aviat Space Environ Med 2005; 76:493–495.

Introduction: Pilots of fighter aircraft are often exposed to maneuvers that produce negative acceleration (−Gz) immediately followed by positive acceleration (+Gz). This sequence has been found to reduce tolerance to +Gz, a phenomenon known as the “push-pull” effect. We devised a centrifuge training program to demonstrate this phenomenon to pilots. Methods: The centrifuge of the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine in Warsaw, Poland, was modified in 1996 to allow active positioning of the gondola during rotation. Head-down position of −6° to −40° were used to produce relative −Gz (r-Gz) in a range down to 0.2. As a side effect, this produces Gy acceleration between −1.3 Gy and −1.6 Gy. Pilots completed normal centrifuge training, including a relaxed, gradual-onset run and three rapid-onset runs. They were then exposed to a profile that included a series of push-pull exposures where r-Gz was followed by +Gz with stepwise increases in the latter from +2.5 to +5 Gz. The final profile was a simulated aerial combat maneuver with push-pull elements. Results: The trainees expressed surprise at the push-pull effect, which forced them to begin an anti-G straining maneuver at lower levels than normal. They complained about the presence of the Gy, which rarely occurs in aircraft. Discussion: This type of profile appears useful for training pilots about the push-pull phenomenon. After collection of additional data, the profiles may be refined.

Keywords: G-training; acceleration; push-pull effect; simulated aerial combat maneuvers

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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