PDA

View Full Version : US G-Suits in the Pacific



Blutarski2004
05-15-2005, 06:29 PM
For those so interested, found this description of G-Suit use in Barrett Tillman's book, HELLCAT - The F6F in WW2.

Tillman's description gives the impression that the G-suit not only delayed the onset of blackout, but also offered a benefit to the pilot under high G loads short of the blackout point. Perhaps it also reduced or delayed the effects of tunnel vision.


QUOTE -

Palau was the first combat for the BUNKER HILL's new Air Group Eight. And it was the first comnat test of an amazing new device which Lieutenant Commander W. M. Collins VF-8 employed. This was the brand new zero-gravity, or Z-, suit. In early 1943 VF-8's tactical officer, Lieutenant E. Scott McCluskey, had been one of three instructors at Cecil Field, Florida, who tested the "zoot suit". A veteran of VF-12 at Coral Sea and Midway with six and one-half kills, McCluskey immediately recognized the value of the suit, which allowed him to pull about one and a half more Gs than he normally could without graying out. The result, of course, was improved maneuverability for almost no weight increase. The suits, with air-activated bladders over the ilot's calves, thighs, and abdomen, weighed about five pounds, and required only minor modifications to the F6Fs to install the air system.

When McCluskey reported to VF-8 in June 1943 at NAAS Pungo, virginia, he inquired about the Z-suits and was told they were unavailable. The west coast evaluation team had recommended against their use. But McCluskey remembered meeting the manufcturers of the experimental suits he had tested, and wasted no time. "I called the Gerger Brothers in Hartford, Connecticut, whom i had met at Cecil Field, and they personally provided the suits", he recalls. "Permission was granted by the Navy to equip the F6F's in VF-8 with the anti-blackout equipment". Thus did Fighting Eight become the only Hellcat squadron to receive semiofficial sanction for G-suits.

But acceptance was slow in coming. Some of the young VF-8 pilots were uncertain about using such a strange new piece of equipment. McCluskey figured the best way to get a vegetarian to eat a steak is to give him a taste. So he challenged every pilot in the squadron to a mock dogfight, he wearing his zoot suit, they without one. None could stay on his tail through mind-blurring three-to-five G maneuvers. Scotty McCluskey made his point. All but three of VF-8's 49 pilots elected to wear the suit by the end of training.

After the first few days of combat, even the three holdouts changed their minds. And small wonder. In the squadron's initial dogfight over Palau, the BUNKER HILL fighters racked up a score of 11 kils and 3 probables without a loss. McCluskey got two of the victories.

- UNQUOTE

Blutarski2004
05-15-2005, 06:29 PM
For those so interested, found this description of G-Suit use in Barrett Tillman's book, HELLCAT - The F6F in WW2.

Tillman's description gives the impression that the G-suit not only delayed the onset of blackout, but also offered a benefit to the pilot under high G loads short of the blackout point. Perhaps it also reduced or delayed the effects of tunnel vision.


QUOTE -

Palau was the first combat for the BUNKER HILL's new Air Group Eight. And it was the first comnat test of an amazing new device which Lieutenant Commander W. M. Collins VF-8 employed. This was the brand new zero-gravity, or Z-, suit. In early 1943 VF-8's tactical officer, Lieutenant E. Scott McCluskey, had been one of three instructors at Cecil Field, Florida, who tested the "zoot suit". A veteran of VF-12 at Coral Sea and Midway with six and one-half kills, McCluskey immediately recognized the value of the suit, which allowed him to pull about one and a half more Gs than he normally could without graying out. The result, of course, was improved maneuverability for almost no weight increase. The suits, with air-activated bladders over the ilot's calves, thighs, and abdomen, weighed about five pounds, and required only minor modifications to the F6Fs to install the air system.

When McCluskey reported to VF-8 in June 1943 at NAAS Pungo, virginia, he inquired about the Z-suits and was told they were unavailable. The west coast evaluation team had recommended against their use. But McCluskey remembered meeting the manufcturers of the experimental suits he had tested, and wasted no time. "I called the Gerger Brothers in Hartford, Connecticut, whom i had met at Cecil Field, and they personally provided the suits", he recalls. "Permission was granted by the Navy to equip the F6F's in VF-8 with the anti-blackout equipment". Thus did Fighting Eight become the only Hellcat squadron to receive semiofficial sanction for G-suits.

But acceptance was slow in coming. Some of the young VF-8 pilots were uncertain about using such a strange new piece of equipment. McCluskey figured the best way to get a vegetarian to eat a steak is to give him a taste. So he challenged every pilot in the squadron to a mock dogfight, he wearing his zoot suit, they without one. None could stay on his tail through mind-blurring three-to-five G maneuvers. Scotty McCluskey made his point. All but three of VF-8's 49 pilots elected to wear the suit by the end of training.

After the first few days of combat, even the three holdouts changed their minds. And small wonder. In the squadron's initial dogfight over Palau, the BUNKER HILL fighters racked up a score of 11 kils and 3 probables without a loss. McCluskey got two of the victories.

- UNQUOTE

LEXX_Luthor
05-15-2005, 08:28 PM
Good Read, thanks. Never knew about this.