The US Air Force (USAF) is set to replace the existing anti-smoke goggles (ASGs) for the aircrew of the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft with new ones.
The new ASGs represent an improvement over the current system that has been used for more than 20 years at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, US.
While the current ASGs are a basic four-part system, the new ones due to be delivered by the middle of next month consist of a three-part system.
The key difference between the ASGs is the goggles and oxygen mask are combined into one piece in the new model to simplify operation.
This will allow aircrew to save time by putting on the goggles and oxygen mask together.
Although the suspension frame in both models comes with the nape pad attached, the new ASG features upgraded goggles and an oxygen mask portion.
US Army 403rd Operation Support Squadron (OSS) aircrew flight equipment craftsman technical sergeant Ronald Patton said: “The ones that we are replacing have the same basic frame, but the goggles and the oxygen mask are two separate pieces.
“Before, you would need to put the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose, then pull the frame up and place the nape pad at the back of your head. Once that was in place you would put the goggles on and pull the straps on both sides to tighten them.”
US Army 403rd OSS aircrew flight equipment supervisor master sergeant Ray Reynolds observed that the key benefit delivered by the new ASG is the ability to enable peripheral vision, in contrast to the narrower field of view offered by the older goggles.
Reynolds said: “Every part on the ASG system is replaceable, which helps to make sure they last. Looking at the order of parts that could be damaged from easiest to hardest, the first thing is the hose, the second thing being the communication cord and the third is the microphone and then onto the remaining parts.”