MARCH 2010 – A very interesting and mostly unknown part of WW2 aerial combat, is the use by the USAAF of anti g force suits or more commonly known nowdays as “G suits”.
Extensive testing was undertaken by the USAAF research labs at various bases during early WW2. Various trial designs were built and tested until a workable design was chosen and rushed into production.
The Berger Brothers G-3 and G-3A was the type chose as the most suitable anti g suit , due to it been a easy to wear, light weight and snug fitting G suit. The suit had a mesh material and inside the mesh was bladders which air would be pumped into and thus inflating the g suit when g force pressure was applied in flight by turning etc.
The hose found on the left side, connected up to a pump installed in the aircraft. A gauge in the cockpit regulated the pressure to the suit by measuring the G force of the plane, thus inflating and deflating the suit as required.
The introduction of the G suit gave the well trained and well equipped USAAF fighter pilots in P-47 and P-51 aircraft, even more chances to kill the Luftwaffe pilots in dogfights as they could now handle more g forces better and turn tighter in the air.
I am extremely fortunate to own 2 such G suits in my collection, 1 a rarer and high sort after large size virtually impossible to see anywhere in the world.
My small sized G-3 suit is brand new and is clean as the day it was made in 1944.
It is interesting to note since the humble beginning way back in 1944, the USAF has taken the basic design of the G-3 and refined it into a more capable G suit.
The CSU-3 g suit was a late 1950s design, that improved the material and styling over the G-3A and then the 1970s era CSU-13 /15 models appeared to further improve the USAF capabilities.
New g suits under are trial for use in the F-35 in the next few years.
Below are shown a variety of official USAAF photos, showing WW2 era pilots all wearing the G-3 anti g suit in use in mainly Europe area.