In-flight urination devices expected to improve quality of life for Air Force pilots
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Pilots in the U.S. Air Force are receiving new and improved bladder-relieving devices after aircrew were routinely found to be dehydrating themselves in an effort to delay the need for in-flight urination, causing reduced endurance and G-force tolerance as well as negative health issues.
The Omni Gen. 3 Skydrate is the optimal in-flight bladder relief device, according to a press announcement, which said the Air Force realized current devices were not made for long deployments or sorties.
“This is just one of the programs we are working on here that will make it easier for Airmen to train and execute their missions,” Scott Cota, aircrew flight equipment program analyst with the Air Combat Command Plans, Programs and Requirements directorate at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, stated in the announcement.
In collaboration with the Air Force Material Command and other Air Force units, ACC developed and tested the Skydrate in one year.
Thirty females participated in a multi-hour wear test at the Omni facility, although Skydrate is available for men and women. However, according to the Air Force announcement, a greater need was placed on developing a device for female aircrew.
Maj. Nikki Yogi, assigned to the 356th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, participated in the Omni device tests. As an F-35A Lightning II pilot, she must be prepared for long sorties, with some routine flights lasting as long as 10 hours.
“A pilot should be focused on taking the flight to the enemy, not on whether their bladder relief device is going to work or be comfortable to use,” she said in the press announcement.
The Skydrate will be widely available to aircrew by spring of 2022.