Posted by lex, on February 7, 2009
It appears perhaps that the IAF are not quite the hard men that many of us took them for:
It might harm their reputation, but Israel’s air force is considering giving its combat pilots Viagra to improve their performance — in the air.
A recent study conducted by Israeli doctors among mountain climbers in Africa found a link between erectile dysfunction drugs and improved performance in high altitudes, the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot reported on Thursday.
The active ingredient in the drugs was found to make climbers perform better in an environment with less oxygen, which causes fatigue and dizziness.
This has led army doctors to consider giving jet fighter pilots — who can fly at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet (15,000 metres) — the same drug, the report said.
Flying a high performance fighter requires a finely balanced combination of physical endurance and mental agility. Rapid and complex mathematical calculations and precise mnemonic retrievals must be performed with exactitude under extraordinary physical pressures. It also requires a continuous and exquisitely sensitive re-sampling of the risk/benefit environment.
While your correspondent remains an uninitiate into the mysteries of the little blue pill, he has some glancing familiarity with its intended effects. He remains dubious that whatever gains may be achieved in the physical domain will make up for the deleterious effects upon the mental.
History is littered, etc.
(H/T to occasional reader Cardoso for the link)