LONDON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- A 58-million-U.S.-dollar training center able to propel military pilots to a force of 9G was opened Monday by the British Royal Air Force (RAF).
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier opened the state-of-the-art High-G training and test facility at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
The center will be used by fast jet pilots in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to replicate flights in military 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.
"The new facility revolutionises High-G training as pilots are not simply strapped into the device and exposed to G-force but are able to 'fly' as they would in a flight simulator as the pilot manoeuvres the aircraft and applies the G-force," said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense (MOD).
Hillier said the center will provide a step-change in how British military pilots are trained. "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," he said.
Pilots benefit from a cockpit which closely represents that of their normal aircraft enabling them to conduct a plethora of training scenarios from air-to-air combat to dealing with in-bound missile threats.
The new facility replaces a High-G trainer that dates from the 1950s and no longer matches the performance of the modern fast jet aircraft such as the F-35 and Typhoon. Up to 300 aircrews will receive training on the centrifuge each year.