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There are companies that sell "zero g" rides, where the aircraft is configured specifically to take people and possibly experiments through a parabolic dive to experience a short period of micro-gravity (possibly not the proper term).

This question asks about possible risks associated with the maneuver.

I'm interested in what specific techniques, tools, or instruments are in the cockpit that allow the pilots to properly follow the proper trajectory, while not pounding the occupants against the walls of the aircraft?

A G meter seems pretty obvious, but are there other less common things used? Are there special techniques for managing energy buildup, or for reminding the pilot when to pull out of the dive so as not to over-stress the air-frame?

Any other interesting information that I may not be thinking of in a similar vein is also welcome.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you interested from a commercial aircraft perspective, or aerobatics in general? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Mar 1 '17 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ Heh, your use of "reminding" is amusing. As if the pilot might "forget" that the aircraft is in freefall! :) $\endgroup$ – Greg Hewgill Mar 1 '17 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer More specifically, what might be in use on an aircraft used by this company or this company. Due to the specific mission of the aircraft, there might be specialized things in the cockpit. $\endgroup$ – Steve Mar 2 '17 at 0:27
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Airbus A310 Zero-G. Nothing is really explained, just "With a glass cockpit and a new flight control system...". On the other hand it doesn't seem so difficult. $\endgroup$ – mins Mar 2 '17 at 7:15
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    $\begingroup$ I tagged my own question as a duplicate, as the answer in that question should be pretty definitive, as it came from someone at one of those companies. The question is different, but the answer applies. $\endgroup$ – Steve Mar 2 '17 at 21:04
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I'm an aerobatic pilot, with exactly 0 hours of turbine time, so this is a guess:

  1. Climb to altitude and establish a predetermined airspeed.
  2. Gently push to an 'A' degree nose down attitude, and maintain throttles at 'B'
    (accelerate to the highest airspeed permitted)
  3. When airspeed indicator shows 'C', gently pull up to a nose-up attitude of 'D'
    (use the G meter to ensure you do not exceed 'E' Gs)
  4. When airspeed indicator indicates 'F', reference the G meter and slowly push over to 0 Gs.
  5. Monitor the changing pitch attitude and airspeed. Warn the passengers when certain limits are passed. (i.e., 10 seconds to recovery)
  6. When nose-down pitch of 'G' is achieved, stop pushing and begin pulling back to level flight, taking extreme care not to exceed Vne (or other appropriate limit) and the G limit of the airplane.

Instruments required: Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, G-meter, Attitude Indicator

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no single moment where the attitude would be fixed. You are either pushing 0 G, which is a parabolic trajectory, or pulling 2 G, which is also parabolic trajectory, just upside down. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Mar 2 '17 at 20:27

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