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Red Bull Air Race G Force

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Uploaded on Jul 4, 2008

Changes in gravity pull which occur when accelerating or decelerating are referred to as G's. The first noticeable physical effect is the force of gravity acting on the body. There are two types of G -- positive G, which the pilots experience as they pull the controls back and negative G which happens when the pilots carry out inverted or upside down manoeuvres. The number of G's is measured on a multiple of 1 G which is the normal compression force on our body that holds us to the earth, enabling us to stand on the ground. An increase to 2 G's would double the force or weight on the body. The closest a regular human being will have come to experiencing the effects of positive G's is most likely on a roller coaster or driving quickly over steep hills. Most manoeuvres in the Red Bull Air Race involve a much higher level of G-force of between 3 and 10 G.

So what exactly are the physical effects of G-force? The whole body feels heavy, it takes effort to raise the arms and the head will try to drop down on to the chest with the cheeks hanging down near the jaw. To counteract this, a person will tense their neck and stomach muscles to try and stop the blood flow. "The ugly facial expressions are all part of the straining process the body goes through to survive the high G-forces" explains Mangold, "It's very similar to boxing; lots of hard blows while the body stays tense most of the time in anticipation of being hit".

The circulatory system has difficulty maintaining proper blood pressure under high G's which can lead to grayout, blackout or lack of consciousness. Prolonged G force leads to loss of vision and eventually to blacking out because the blood is forced to the lower parts of the body thus reducing the output of blood from the heart as well as the eyes and brain. Diminished blood supply and thus oxygen to the head can lead to visual disturbances, inability to coordinate muscular activity and unconsciousness. Inverted or upside down manoeuvres lead to negative G which feels easier to deal with but can lead to small burst blood vessels in the eyes called red eye. Doing a headstand is similar to the experience of a force of minus 1 G.
More on http://redbullairrace.com

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