RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
|Royal Air Force Centre of Aviation Medicine|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Defence scientific institute|
|Part of||Royal Air Force Medical Services and RAF Air Command|
|Based at||RAF Henlow|
|Motto(s)||Ut Secure Volent|
The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine is a medical organisation run by the Royal Air Force at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire. It is the main site of aviation medicine research in the UK.
The RAF CAM was formed on 1 December 1998. It was pre-dated by the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, which closed in 1994. CAM was formed by a merger of the School of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough and the Aviation Medicine Training Centre at RAF North Luffenham.
It was formerly part of RAF Personnel and Training Command, becoming part of RAF Air Command in 2007.
The RAF Medical Board was moved to RAF CAM and on 1 June 2000 the RAF Institute of Health moved from RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire to the centre, becoming the Occupation and Environmental Medicine Wing.
Flying fast-jet aircraft puts the cardiovascular physiology of the human body under extreme physical stress. For example, without intervention exposure to high G force would cause the pilots to lose consciousness through lack of blood to the brain - G-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC). Medical effects caused by flying, such hypoxia and the effects of G-force are researched at the Centre (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 (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.
It provides training for aircrew from the RAF and other organisations (via International Defence Training or Horizon Training) in subjects such as using night vision goggles  and dealing with hypoxia.
The RAF CAM has two black-coloured BAE Hawk T1 aircraft used for trials, which operate from MoD Boscombe Down. These two aircraft were also used by the previous organisation.
The former IAM centrifuge operated by QinetiQ at Farnborough is used for G-force simulation.
- Diving Diseases Research Centre, in Plymouth
- Luftwaffe Institute of Aviation Medicine
- MoD Boscombe Down
- USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) at Brooks City-Base
- Netherlands Aeromedical Institute at Soesterberg Air Base
- Aerospace Medical Association
- Online catalogue
- Aviation photography showing the two Hawk aircraft
- Medical training support website
- Bear Grylls learns about hypoxia during parachute training in 2005
- BBC's Inside Out visits the hypobaric chamber to test the effects of hypoxia
- Price Edward tours the centre in October 2006