By autumn 1944, G-suits had been developed for pilots, and the 339th and 357th were amongst the groups which combat-tested them. They were filled with either water or air, and were designed to prevent black-outs during high speed manoeuvres, as ‘Bud’ Anderson recounts.
“The Mustangs, generally speaking, could take harder turns than the people who flew them. Long before the wings flew off, the pilots would simply lose consciousness. The blood drained from his head by centrifugal force, measured in Gs. Five Gs and you might ‘gray out’ but be able to function. Six or so and you could ‘black out’ and lose consciousness. The form-fitting suits simply inflated as the airplane pulled Gs, hugging you, and preventing your blood from running from your brain all at once.”
“They were strictly experimental, which was why we had two different kinds. The water suits were like overalls. The crew chief filled them up at the top with a funnel and pitcher (as I recall, it took several pitchers) and when the mission was done you would sit on the wing, open two little drains at your ankles and the water would simply empty in two silver streams. The problem with the water suits was that they were cold, and I only wore one a couple of times. We tried filling them with warm water, but at six miles up they cooled quickly. The air suits, attached to a G-sensitive valve, drew air through a line that ran from the pressure side of the engine’s vacuum pump. These suits wrapped around your abdomen, thighs and calves in three sections that looked like a cowboy’s chaps, and they inflated automatically. Those worked much better.”
“With the G suits, we could fly a little harder, turn a little bit tighter. We could pull maybe one extra G now, which gave us an edge. There was no resistence to wearing them as we understood what they meant right away: Wearing one was the same as making the airplane better.”
“Mustang Aces of the Eight Air Force” by Jerry Scoutts, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces Nº 1, ISBN 1-8553244-74, Osprey Publishing 1994
|Quoting Blackbird (Thread starter):|
What was the typical G-figures for fighter-aircraft of WW2? Such as the F4U, and F6F, the P-40, P-47, P-51,
|Quoting Blackbird (Reply 10):|
You mean they flex so bad they it each other? Wouldn't that be a fatal problem?