G-Force (noun): a measurement of an object’s acceleration; it is the net effect of the acceleration that an object actually experiences and the acceleration that gravity is trying to impart to it.
Flying at G-Force speeds is far from an easy as they create an incredible stress on the body, and make the pilot exhausted. When a pilot hits G-force, the blood in their body rushes to the lower half of their body – leaving their brain without blood.
Therefore, they must be as fit as possible to withstand high Gs – their legs and abdominal muscles must be incredibly strong in order to prevent the blood from rushing down.
“When you see the pilot getting ready to enter into a high G turn, you see them take a deep breath, tense up their calves and thighs, and that keeps your blood up in your head, and constrains your veins to keep the blood up higher,” Red Bull Air Race pilot Michael Goulian explained.
Physical fitness is just one aspect of mastering G-Force survival. The other major component is training. “For me, the best preparation for doing G, is doing G,” according to former Red Bull Air Race pilot Paul Bonhomme. “There’s no point for me to bench press 700kg every two minutes when actually what I need is good, general overall fitness of all my muscles. So the best way of doing that, to get ready for G is actually to go and fly, and do some G training.”
With actual G-Force flying training, pilots learn how to train their muscles so they are ready for the incredible acceleration. With time, their muscles learn exactly how to respond under this force.
Click here to watch incredible G-force turns all weekend with the live coverage of the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba, Japan.