Relaxed acceleration tolerance in female pilot trainees.Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002 Nov; 73(11):1106-8.AS
Female pilots now fly many types of aircraft including military fighters capable of maneuvers that produce high, sustained acceleration in the +Gz axis. Although women have participated as subjects in various centrifuge studies, little is known about the acceleration tolerance of female pilots.
Between April 1995 and December 1997, 17 female pilot trainees were studied at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bangalore, India. The subjects were 23.2 +/- 1.4 yr old and led physically active lives. Their relaxed +Gz tolerance limits (defined as peripheral light loss) were tested using the High G and Disorientation Demonstrator. The protocol included a series of rapid onset runs (RORs) to tolerance followed by a single gradual onset run (GOR) to tolerance.
The mean ROR tolerance was 4.2 +/- 0.4 G. The mean GOR tolerance was 5.2 +/- 0.6 G. Three of the subjects were unable to complete the GOR due to severe nausea. Two women reported breast discomfort at levels of 3.5 G and beyond. No other problems were reported.
The acceleration tolerances for the female pilot trainees were comparable to those for male pilots previously studied in our laboratory.