From 1946 through 1958 Col. John Stapp Headed the U.S. Air Force Aero Medical Laboratorys studies of the human bodys ability to tolerate high accelerations during plane crashes. Conventional widsom at the time indicated that a planes negative acceleration should not exceed 180m/s^2 (18 times gravitational acceleration or 18 g). Stapp and his colleagues built a 700 kg Gee-Whiz rocket sled track and stopping pistons to measure human tolerance to high acceleration. Starting in June 1949 Stapp and other live subjects rode the sled. In one of Stapps rides the sled started at rest and 360 m later was traveling at speed 69m/s when its braking system was applied stopping the sled in 6.0 m. He demonstrated that 18 g was not a limit for human acceleration.
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