From the Wright Brothers to the supersonic age, the advances in aircraft design have been well documented. But the more sophisticated the aircraft become, they are still limited by one thing The Human Factor. While the aircraft have changed almost beyond recognition, the men and women who fly them have not. Trying to match the often delicate tolerances of the human mind and body to the power and capability of these great inventions led to a new science known as aviation medicine, which deals with the effects of flight on the human being.
This programme features the extraordinary work of the experts from the former RAF Institute of Aviation at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, and their American colleagues from the Army and Navy Schools of Aviation Medicine in the USA. Their often brave and daring work focused on overcoming such hazards as motion sickness, flying fatigue, crash injuries, fire, high altitude and underwater escape.
Many of their trials and experiments were captured on film. Some of this rare film archive, much of which has never been published before, was rescued from imminent destruction by the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust and is featured here in this second in a series of such compilations which celebrates the pioneering spirit of these great scientists and aviators.