What Happens During a Zero-Gravity Plane Flight

Zero-gravity planes require three pilots simultaneously controlling the plane.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Zero-gravity planes fly along a radical flight pattern resembling a parabola that requires three pilots simultaneously controlling the plane during parabolic flight.

One pilot controls the pitch of the plane while another controls the roll movement. The third pilot handles the engine speed and monitors flight parameters.

After reaching a safe altitude, one of the pilots starts a sharp climb called the pull-up. The plane peaks at 426 mph (685 km/h) during this maneuver, subjecting everyone onboard to a gravitational force 1.8 times greater than what’s on the ground for about 20 seconds.

Once the pull-up is complete, the plane can finally enter the phase of weightlessness. This is where, for 22-seconds, the opposing forces of gravity and the ‘falling’ plane immediately cancel each other out creating weightlessness!

What happens next? What does weightlessness feel like? What have people used weightlessness for? What is the vomit comet and when does it occur? What is the engineering and technology behind this process? We answer all these questions and more and bring you footage of people experiencing weightlessness and using it for some pretty cool activities on zero-gravity flights.

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