Farnborough Air Sciences Museum
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Aviation Medicine Reports
Aviation Medicine research moved to RAE at the start of WW2 and was set up to investigate and find solutions to the physiological problems and limitations of aircrew. The FPRC (Flying Personnel Research Committee) was then set up to evaluate, under realistic conditions, the applied physiology and psychology of flight (as distinct from the solely medical research) and report the findings back to the RAF for implementation into Squadron use or not.
At the end of the War a new establishment was set up on the far south of the RAE airfield – the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM) – in order to expand aviation medicine research and development in the forthcoming Cold War.
With this new Establishment came new test facilities, the most important of which was a Man-rated Centrifuge in order to better understand the effects of high speed flight on the body – particularly high accelerations – and the solutions needed to be able to maintain efficient performance for the aircrew. Other significant areas of research were the effects of high altitude flight.
The aviation doctors and engineers had always worked with the research departments of the RAE, with only a few differences of opinion between medical and engineering disciplines, with individual and co-authored reports being issued. A large number of these reports were transferred to FAST as the two establishments morphed into smaller institutions and moved away from Farnborough.
This archive holds some 1630 RAF IAM Reports, Technical Memoranda and Aircrew Equipment Groups, as well as over 250 FPRC Reports. The FPRC Collection is not complete but does start in 1939 and continue through the Cold War and beyond and the list of titles issued is virtually complete.
Enquiries & Access
If you wish to see any of our archives or artefacts, or to enquire whether we have a particular item, please see Enquiries & Access for details and forms.
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