For most of us, G-force is most commonly experienced on a roller-coaster, drop towers, and bright machines designed to shoot your body straight into the air, with nothing in your mind but the pure adrenaline rushing to your temples. The combination of which is always exhilarating and leaves you thinking – “LET’S DO THAT AGAIN!”.
So, what happens when you trade up those fleeting moments of weightlessness for the real thing? In fact, what do pilots experience?
We first need to talk about the force of gravity. Did you know that all objects exert a gravitational force over one another; gravitational force is intimately tied to the object’s mass and can act over large distances? Because the Earth is so large, it essentially makes other objects’ gravitational force inconsequential. That’s right, your body actually has its own gravitational force, but because of the Earth being way larger than you, its gravitational force (a.k.a. 1G) is actually what keeps you on the ground.
What is cool is that pilots experience more than 1G during a powered flight. When you hear pilots say “pulling 3G’s”, this means that they are experiencing three times the normal gravitational force. Imagine a person who weights 200 lbs at 1G will actually weigh 600 lbs at 3Gs – crazy, eh?!
Watch the Alberta International Airshow pilots pull *all* the Gs August 4-6, 2023 at Villeneuve Airport.