Typhoon test pi­lots be­gin Night Vi­sion Gog­gles tri­als

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENTS -

Adding to the very lat­est tech­nolo­gies that the hel­met mounted sym­bol­ogy sys­tem of­fers along with the night com­pat­i­ble cock­pit, the FENN NG2000Ti gog­gles will pro­vide pi­lots with x-ray like vi­sion right through the night.

Night Vi­sion Gog­gle tri­als are on­go­ing and demon­strate the con­tin­ued ef­forts to in­te­grate the lat­est tech­nolo­gies into the Typhoon sys­tem.

Nat Make­peace, Typhoon pro­ject pilot tells us about his ex­pe­ri­ence from the re­cent night tri­als.

“The first thing to say about Night Vi­sion Gog­gles is that they do not work in to­tal dark­ness. They need some light to work, but in prac­tice even on the dark­est night in the re­motest part of the world, there is nor­mally enough light to make them work. It should also be noted that the amount of light is pro­por­tional to the per­for­mance, i.e. the pic­ture qual­ity, so on a moon­lit night the qual­ity of the im­age is amaz­ing, but on a dark night it is grainy and hard to see any fine de­tail. This, amongst other rea­sons, is why it of­ten takes a lot of time to test mil­i­tary equip­ment. It has to cover such a wide spec­trum of use and it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand the strengths and weak­nesses be­fore op­er­a­tional use.

“So with this in mind we had to look at how they would per­form in ser­vice use. As well as the tac­ti­cal stuff I looked at for­ma­tion fly­ing. It’s quite odd be­ing sat a few feet away from an air­craft that can’t see you, I was happy but the other pilot must have been think­ing he was in­sane. We did some for­ma­tion ma­noeu­vring as well as a for­ma­tion ap­proach.

“Once that was com­plete I had to do a climb to over 50,000 feet to make sure that the breath­ing sys­tem was un­af­fected by the changes to the hel­met. At that point, even though the sun had set about two hours be­fore, there was a beau­ti­ful glow at this height to the west with some amaz­ing blue and pur­ple hues. It was a very clear night and the Milky Way was eas­ily vis­i­ble, but through Night Vi­sion Gog­gles it was in­cred­i­ble, just mil­lions of more stars be­came vis­i­ble, a truly amaz­ing sight to see. It was a bonus to an oth­er­wise rou­tine test flight. It re­ally did make the uni­verse look “out of this world.”

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