Fighter Design for Human Load Limits,
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Recent studies 1 have shown that current first line fighters F-15, F-16 are being flown at very high levels of sustained acceleration with onset rates sufficiently high to provoke the unique physiological dangers inherent in rapid onset acceleration exposures. The loss of nine aircraft through G- induced loss of consciousness has been acknowledged as a result of this type of acceleration environment. As long as materials and propulsion limited the performance of the fighter aircraft to a point well within the limits of human endurance it was reasonable to design aircraft with little regard to those limits. That period is now history, and attention must now be directed to the optimum mix of man and machine capabilities. If oncoming generations of fighters are to realize their full potential, the designers of those aircraft must accommodate their designs to the realities of human capabilities. These realities will dictate new concepts in protection, radically different cockpit configurations and arrangements of display and controls, and pilot restraint systems suitable for the unique maneuvering capabilities that now appear possible. For the design community to do otherwise will result in needless loss of life and material, and a needless loss in performance capabilities that might otherwise be within reach.
- Stress Physiology
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft