Environmental Tectonics Corp. of Southampton, Pa., presented the check to the Air Force Research Laboratory's human effectiveness directorate for pilot research being done here on pilot response to simulated maneuvers in a centrifuge.
A cooperative research and development agreement between AFRL and ETC allows researchers to study the responses and determine the best orientation for pilots to simulate gravity effects from airborne maneuvers.
"Negative, followed by positive, gravity maneuvers are critical to air dominance, yet they are the most dangerous to practice in a real airplane," said Tamara Chelette, directorate biomedical engineer and principal investigator. "This experiment is one of hundreds of AFRL's projects that improve Air Force system performance while reducing operating costs."
Since 1960, the U.S. armed services have lost three times as many pilots and airplanes in training accidents as in combat, according to service safety officials.
And training accidents are the biggest enemy the Air Force has faced since World War II, according to Air Force Safety Center officials at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Since 1996, the Air Force has lost 189 pilots and crewmembers and $3.5 billion in aircraft assets, because of training accidents.
AFRL and the Air Force Institute of Technology are collaborating with ETC to develop an improved high-fidelity, full-motion centrifuge. (Courtesy of Air Force Material Command News Service)