US Air Force Fighter Pilots Test New G-Suit for Women

The old version was made only for the standard male body ever since its debut in 2001.
Deniz Yildiran

US Airforce has just tested its G-suit for women on five female fighter pilots, a modified version of Advanced Technology Anti-Gravity Suit on Oct. 26-30.

ATAGS design suit is a resilient life supporter manufactured to protect aircrew members from G-forces' effects during flights while making sharp maneuvers. However, double standards stood in the way. Ever since its debut in 2001, the suit had only been designed for men and their standard body type, leaving male pilots in struggle to be able to adjust the G-suits according to their bodies, per US Air Force. 


“In the past, some pilots with a shorter torso have had issues with ATAGS that were too large riding up and causing bruising on the rib cages, while pilots who are hard-to-fit may have had one size that fits through the legs, but need a smaller size in the waist,” Charles Cruze, an AFLCMC Human Systems Division engineer explained. “Now, the waist can be darted up to 3.75 inches, allowing for a more custom and accurate fit, preventing both of those issues.”

The new version of the ATAGS offers a wider lacing panel for the waist, calves, and thighs and the user can easily adjust it better for their body. 

"Pilots were asked to evaluate based on not only the ATAGS during high-G maneuvers, but also during regular activities like sitting, standing, walking and climbing into and out of the aircraft," Sharon Rogers, lead test engineer, said.

The tests were conducted in an F-16 D-model aircraft on 20 sorties. Pilots performed basic fighter maneuvers in low- and high-G for accurate results for the design's usage. 

“As more women strap into fast jets to get the mission done, I think the Air Force is heading in the right direction,” Captain Brittany Trimble, an F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot involving in the tests, indicated.

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