ABOUT | The Fuge 2019
Subscribe for updates and specials

Follow us:

©2019by The Fuge. 

about

Our Venue

Take your party to the next level here at The Fuge!  No party is too big or too outrageous here.  Whether it’s a spectacular surprise party you’re scheming, a super Sweet 16, a school prom, retirement or anniversary party, or you want to gather a few hundred of your closest friends on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop on 37’ screens, we’ve got your venue!

 

 

 

Steeped in fascinating history, yet transformed into something from the future, The Fuge is without question the most unique event venue in Bucks County.  The 11,000 square foot main room is completely customizable to suit all of your needs.  High-tech sound and lighting and two 37’ movie screens are included to ensure that your event sounds and looks spectacular even before you add anything to the room.  World-class onsite food service is provided  by award-winning In-house catering, whose specialty is preparing delicious cuisine designed to your exact specifications.

 

Call to arrange your tour today—it will be out of this world!

 

our

History

From the mid 1940's through 1996 the US Navy operated 31 development laboratories in Warminster, Pennsylvania. These labs worked on military applications of technologies that we all take for granted today; including flight data recorder or "black box" technology, GPS and photosensitive lenses, generating over 50 patents annually. Among the labs at the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center (NADC) was the Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory (AMAL) the centerpiece of which was the largest and most powerful human centrifuge that the world has ever seen.

A centrifuge is a machine that swings a capsule or "gondola" around in a circle on the end of a long arm. The purpose is to simulate gravitational forces, or "Gs", on a test subject. The "G load" (often expressed as multiples of ordinary earth gravity) is a function of the speed at which the centrifuge spins and the length of the arm on which the gondola is mounted.

When it began operations in 1949 the Johnsville Centrifuge was an engineering marvel of its day. Housed in a 125 foot diameter room and driven by a 180 ton, 4000 horsepower GE motor with a peak burst output of 16,000 horsepower, the gondola at the end of the 50 foot arm of the centrifuge could accelerate from a standstill to 178 MPH in less than 7 seconds and generate up to 40 Gs. The performance was staggering considering that the fastest car in the Indianapolis 500 that year only reached a top speed just short of 133 MPH. The motor was so powerful and the centrifuge generated such force that the motor had to be bolted directly into the bedrock and the local power company had to be notified when the centrifuge was going to be run. Just as amazing is the fact that the combined 80 ton arm and counterweight is so well balanced that it can be moved by hand.

 

The centrifuge was built to test the limits of the human body relative to the high acceleration generated by the post-WWII fighter jets. Until then, fighter planes were driven by traditional propeller engines. Jet engines meant that planes could accelerate faster during take off and fly faster during evasive maneuvers like quick turns, generating high G loads. One of the dangers of the new jet planes was that the high G's generated during climbs and steeply banked turns, draw the blood out of the pilot's brain causing G-LOC, or Gravity induced Loss of Consciousness. Researchers used the Johnsville Centrifuge to experiment with different equipment and techniques to mitigate the effects of these G forces. In a milestone experiment in 1958, researcher R. Flanagan Gray climbed into the "iron maiden"; a human shaped capsule that was then filled with water, and withstood 31.25 Gs for a full 5 seconds, a human endurance record that stands to this day.

 

Initially, the Johnsville Centrifuge was only capable of running pre-programmed or "closed loop" profiles. The test subject had no control over the speed or acceleration of the centrifuge. By 1959 it was connected to the then emerging computer technology to become the world's first dynamic flight simulator, capable of changing speed and attitude based on the inputs of the subject. This development allowed pilots to feel how a plane would react based on how they handled the controls, permitting them to safely gain valuable experience in a controlled environment. 

In the 1950s America was deep in the throes of the Cold War. School children were learning to "duck and cover" and a satellite named Sputnik was beeping its way around the earth. Into this context, the US manned space program was launched. The engineers and scientists knew that the rockets used to propel spacecraft into orbit and beyond would subject America's pioneering astronauts to high Gs. Knowing that, there was no better place to train America's first astronauts than Johnsville.

 

 

 

So it was, in August of 1959 that the Mercury Seven came to Johnsville to begin their centrifuge training. M. Scott Carpenter, Donald K. ("Deke") Slayton, L. Gordon Cooper, Walter M. Schirra, Alan B. Sheppard, Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom, and John H. Glenn made the trip to Bucks County to train on what John Glenn called the "dreaded" and "sadistic" Johnsville Centrifuge. Throughout the 60's the space program progressed as the United States came ever closer to the goal of "landing a man on the moon and retuning him safely to the Earth". Eventually, all of America's early astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin received centrifuge training at Johnsville. By the end of 1972, the Apollo program was winding down but the Johnsville Centrifuge continued to be of service, training Space Shuttle astronauts and F-14 pilots into the 80's. To a man, the astronauts credit their centrifuge training as invaluable in preparing them for the bodily rigors of the high G forces encountered during the lift off and re-entry phases of their space flights. By the 1990s operations at the Centrifuge were largely contracted out; with the last run occurring in 2005.