Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, has opened a new training and test facility at RAF Cranwell.
The RAF say in a release that the £44m project is to be used by fast jet pilots in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to replicate flight in aircraft such as the Hawk, Typhoon and new F-35 Lightning aircraft.
“Pilots are able to experience up to 9G – nine times the normal gravitational pull of the Earth – and learn how to use their specialist in-cockpit flying equipment to help them cope with these stresses. The centrifuge can accelerate up to 9G in one second and rotate up to 34 times a minute.”
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.”
Director of Air Support at DE&S, Richard Murray said:
“This new and exciting facility is replacing the High-G trainer until recently used by Defence; that dates from the 1950s and no longer matches the performance of the modern fast jet aircraft such as the F-35 and Typhoon.
The Centrifuge is capable of accelerating up to 9-G in just one second, but rather than just sitting in it, the replica, flyable cockpit delivers realistic and immersive training, helping to simulate real-life missions while teaching pilots to deal with acceleration and High G-forces.”
The RAF state that the new facility at RAF Cranwell is used by fast jet pilots progressing through the UK Military Flying Training System and into their flying careers. Fast jet pilots will refresh their training at least every 5 years to keep them as safe as possible and current in the techniques used to handle High-G forces in flight.