Few people outside the military have taken a ride inside a supersonic fighter jet, but a new video from photographer Blair Bunting gives an idea of how many would react.
Bunting — a commercial photographer with an impressive portfolio ranging from famous faces to supercars — got a rare opportunity to ride along in the back of an F-16 with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Along with plenty of photos, he’s uploaded a fantastic video of how he reacts to some of the maneuvers.
“With the wheels up we stay barely off the the ground blazing like hell down a runway as he is calling out speeds to me…. 100 miles per hour, 200, 300 miles and hour, 400, 500 MILES AND HOUR! and then he says the most insane words that I can remember…. HERE. COME. THE. G’s,” Bunting writes on his blog.
Throughout the two minute-plus video, there’s plenty of laughter or, at one point, Bunting exclaims, “Oh my god that’s awesome.”
After a series of maneuvers, to include a climb to the tune of about 4 G’s, barrel rolls, and some tight turns, Bunting explains on his blog the pilot asked him if he wanted to give 9 G’s a try. He answered, “Hell yeah.”
He explained what that felt like:
Firstly, in no way is it comfortable, not even close. I began to feel my face melting away as the skin in my cheeks pulled down to my mouth. The colour from my vision was the next thing to fade away, first the reds, then the greens. Squeezing like hell, I did everything I could to get air into my lungs as the G-suit wrenched it out. With all the colour of a 1950′s television set, the next thing I noticed was that waves were starting to develop in my vision and a vignette appeared. All the while I am listening to the pilot’s breathing and trying my hardest to match it. At any point I could relax and immediately be unconscious, only to wake up and wonder where I am, but I had trained too hard to let this happen. Then, just as G’s set had set in, they began to leave and normalcy appeared. However, if I were to relax at that point, the blood would leave my brain too fast and knock me out as well, so I continually squeeze as the G’s lift and my body slowly returns to what sanity it had left.
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