G-Suits - Definitions for the Clothing & Textile Industry

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A G-suit is worn by aviators and astronauts subject to high levels of acceleration in order to prevent loss of consciousness, commonly called blackout or G-LOC (G-induced Loss Of Consciousness). Various shapes and sizes of the G-suit have been developed, but all current and past ones utilise compressed air to cause the suit to exert force on the lower body and legs during flight and flight manoeuvring subject to high G-force loading. The pressure prevents the wearer's blood from being forced to lower areas of the body, thus ensuring the brain is not deprived of blood (as such deprivation is the cause of blackouts).

The first G-suit was developed by a team led by Wilbur R. Franks at the University of Toronto's Banting and Best Institute in 1941. The G-suits were made to be used by the Royal Air Force pilots during the war.

A new design of G-suit has been developed in Germany, called the Libelle G-suit. It is filled with liquid. As the pilot is subjected to G-forces, the liquid is pushed down to the pilot's leg by the same G-force. The result is a much faster response than the pneumatic version. Preliminary testing shows that pilot wearing the Libelle G-suit can withstand a force of 10G with ease while the same pilot can barely withstand 9G wearing a regular G-suit. 'Libelle' is the German word for dragonfly, the inspiration for the idea.


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