RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine (RAF CAM) is a medical organisation run by the Royal Air Force and based at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire. It is the main organisation conducting aviation medicine research in the UK.
|RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine|
|Active||1 December 1998 – present|
|Role||Defence medicine/scientific centre|
|Part of||Royal Air Force Medical Services|
|Motto(s)||Ut secure volent|
(Latin for That they may fly free from care)
|Aircraft||BAE Systems Hawk T1|
The centre was formed on 1 December 1998 as a result of the merger of the School of Aviation Medicine based at Farnborough in Hampshire and the Aviation Medicine Training Centre based at RAF North Luffenham in Rutland.
The centre's predecessor was the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine (RAF IAM), which closed in 1994.
The centre researches the medical effects of flying, such as hypoxia and the effects of G-force. Flying fast-jet aircraft puts the cardiovascular physiology of the human body under extreme physical stress. Without intervention, exposure to high G force would cause a pilot to lose consciousness through lack of blood to the brain, otherwise known as G-induced loss of consciousness or G-LOC. Eurofighter Typhoon pilots regularly experience 9G. Other dangers include rapid uncontrolled decompression from failure of cabin pressurisation, and the centre has four hypobaric chambers.
Airlines that do not have their own aviation medicine research establishments (e.g. British Airways) have contracted out work to the RAF's Centre.
King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Guy's Hospital has run a MSc programme in aviation medicine, which involves the RAF's Centre, specifically the practical experience of G-forces, decompression, whole-body vibration, and vestibular (balance sensory system) and visual disorientation.
The centre's Aviation Medicine operates two BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft used for trials, which operate from MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. These aircraft were also used by the previous organisation.
The new RAF High G Training and Test Facility at RAF College Cranwell was opened on 4 February 2019 and is used to provide high-G training.