Students to start using Air Force Research Laboratory's $34.4M centrifuge at Wright-Patt

The only human rated centrifuge owned by the Department of Defense is located at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Aircrew acceleration training and research/testing missions are conducted in the centrifuge.


By MAX FILBY | The Dayton Daily News | Published: July 30, 2018

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will dedicate the world’s most advanced centrifuge next month before students start using it later this fall.

The lab’s 711th Human Performance Wing will dedicate the centrifuge at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony Thursday, according to the base. The Brig. Gen. Mark Koeniger, commander of the 711th Human Performance Wing, will speak at the ceremony.

The centrifuge became fully operational on May 30. Air Force students will begin training with the centrifuge on Oct. 1 and the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine will provide acceleration training for all Air Force fast-jet aviators in the centrifuge, according to Wright-Patt.

All three projects were built at Wright-Patt to consolidate aeromedical research for the Air Force and Navy in one place. The consolidation followed the 2005 base closure process, which moved operations to the Ohio base from San Antonio, Texas and Pensacola, Fla.

Around 1,200 Air Force pilots per year will train in the centrifuge, according to the base. The $34.4 million centrifuge will test the limits of thousands of military pilots over the next several decades.

Students will be able to experience up to “9 Gs” or nine times the normal force of gravity in the centrifuge. The centrifuge will be used to teach students about the effects of G-forces on human physiology an.

They will also have the chance to measure a person’s ability to counteract the effects and prevent “G-induced loss of consciousness,” according to Wright-Patt.

The centrifuge, four new research altitude chambers and a recently commissioned Navy disorientation research device – all within walking distance — are part of a $92 million array of projects authorities say will designate Wright-Patterson as the hub for research in aerospace physiology.

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