Innovation

'Major Milestone': New Fast Jet G-Force Training Centre Opens

The Chief of the Air Staff has tried out the system which will train fast jet pilots to endure the effects of accelerating at top speeds.

A £44m High-G facility which will train hundreds of RAF and Royal Navy pilots has opened at RAF Cranwell.

The 'Centrifuge' is a built-in simulator, which will enable aircrew to practice missions under high levels of G-forces.

It accelerates from zero to 9G (about 60mph) in just one second, spinning 34 times a minute.

To put it in context, that's nine times the gravitational pull of the Earth.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the High-G traing and test facility opening 040219 CREDIT MOD
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the opening of the High-G traing and test facility (Picture: MOD).

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Hillier said: "I am delighted to see our new High-G Training Facility opened today and to be able to mark this step-change in how we train our pilots.

"By exposing our Typhoon, Lightning and Hawk pilots to High-G forces in a tailor-made and completely controlled environment, we are significantly enhancing safety in the air and making a major contribution to our operational effectiveness.

"Today represents another major milestone in the RAF’s impressive modernisation programme."

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (Picture: MOD).
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (Picture: MOD).

Thales built the centre and had the contract to maintain the building over the next three years.

The facility replaces the current RAF's High G trainer based in Farnborough, which dated from the 1950s.

The Centrifuge's gondala features a virtual cockpit, which will allow pilots to fly Typhoon combat aircraft, Hawk jet trainers or the new F35 vertical landing Lightning jet.

Along with wearing trousers that inflate to help push blood back towards the brain, there are other physical and breathing techniques the pilots will be able to practice to ensure they stay conscious during high levels of G-force acceleration.