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Charles Best, Gordon Murray & Louis Jacques

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Wilbur Franks

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Home » Hall of Fame Wilbur Franks

The Anti-G Suit

In the early years of the Second World War, the lives of Allied fighter pilots were threatened by an invisible enemy: blackout. The extreme gravity of high-speed maneuvres would rob the brain of its necessary blood supply, rendering the pilot unconscious. Realizing this dangerous problem, Dr. Wilbur Franks developed the world's first anti-gravity suit. Dr. Franks' invention gave a major tactical advantage to allied pilots and saved thousands of lives. Today the specialized anti-G pressure suits, worn by jet pilots and astronauts around the world, are based on his original design.

Photo courtesy of NASA