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Old 15th Jul 2017, 14:19   #1 (permalink)
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NVG's The Good, The Bad and the ugly

Looking for input from those who are using NVG's as to what you are using or what you wish you were using. Whats the latest and greatest, what to stay away from, who is the best OEM, who has the best support, green vs white, etc.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 15:28   #2 (permalink)
 
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You can narrow it down to those you are able to get-and those you can afford...

They are still restricted, so not available in most parts of the world..

You got 50k+ to spend, go for white phosphorus....
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 16:21   #3 (permalink)
 
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And it depends what roles you are going to use them in - low level night flight in very poor light levels then go for the best you can get. Otherwise, pretty much anything past gen 3 ought to do fine.

Then you have to look at the design - where are the batteries and do you need a counterweight - the smaller the mass of the assembly and the better the balance, the fewer problems your crews will have with neck and head fatigue and injury.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 17:33   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Outwest View Post
Looking for input from those who are using NVG's as to what you are using or what you wish you were using. Whats the latest and greatest, what to stay away from, who is the best OEM, who has the best support, green vs white, etc.
Where do you plan to operate, and which country is the company (headquarters) based? That wil make a big difference in which manufacturers you purchase from.

For example in Australia while it's fairly easy to get ITAR approval to import and operate all the US brands, your eyes will water at the ongoing maintenance requirements (with on one or two service centers in Australia) as well as all the security requirements for transporting them. Whereas point trading in Melbourne, makes all the latest and greatest NVG's that are TSO'd for a fraction of the cost and without any of the ITAR hassles.

In the US then L3, night flight concepts, ASU etc and the rest of the usual suspects all pretty much offer the same sets of goggles if you don't go to the back of the queue due to the Army and all the other agencies purchasing them as they come out of production.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 18:42   #5 (permalink)
 
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Only know the ones provided...
Don't risk going further cause you think you can see more... Just stay within the limits
Drizzle and snow is a pain in the a.... flying NVG
Nearly all scary moments in the last years were while flying NVG (1.000 hrs +)...
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 18:54   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by havick View Post
Where do you plan to operate, and which country is the company (headquarters) based? That wil make a big difference in which manufacturers you purchase from.

For example in Australia while it's fairly easy to get ITAR approval to import and operate all the US brands, your eyes will water at the ongoing maintenance requirements (with on one or two service centers in Australia) as well as all the security requirements for transporting them. Whereas point trading in Melbourne, makes all the latest and greatest NVG's that are TSO'd for a fraction of the cost and without any of the ITAR hassles.

In the US then L3, night flight concepts, ASU etc and the rest of the usual suspects all pretty much offer the same sets of goggles if you don't go to the back of the queue due to the Army and all the other agencies purchasing them as they come out of production.
In Canada and an EMS role primarily. So the OEM's you mention are all pretty much the same?
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 19:25   #7 (permalink)
 
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Make sure they're compatible with your cockpit lighting.
Got myself in a pickle a few years ago when the two didn't match up.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 20:49   #8 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Outwest View Post
In Canada and an EMS role primarily. So the OEM's you mention are all pretty much the same?
Of course there are differences but some companies use the same tubes. Some OEM's do trade ins of other brands depending on the tubes in the trade in sets.

As a very general rule of thumb, and this is dumbed down, most of the US sets of the same gen/model are pretty much the same as far as a civvie is concerned doing ems work.

The main competitor/difference are the Israeli sets/technology. The Israeli nvg's (someone feel free to correct me) were the first to commercially use auto-gating as opposed to auto-gain as in the US sets.

I'm by no means an expert in the field at all, many more pilots with far more experience on NVG's than me.

My personal opinions are as follows:
- Auto-gated tended to work better in lit areas with a crisper picture, however I did notice I little streaking with say car headlights when you moved your head.
- Auto-gain, gen III or better I think had a better picture but were far more susceptible to exterior illumination and would gain down in well lit areas a lot more.
- green vs white phos, white gave a more crisp picture and a little better depth perception compared to green. Though the one con I noticed with white goggles was the time taken for your eyes to transition off goggles was a little longer.

Just my personal observations but take it with a grain of salt as everyone has their own opinions. It's a lot like finding the right flight helmet to fit you, ask 5 people and get 5 different answers.

Personally if I were in your shoes I would go for something like the Point Trading white phos set that avoids all the USA ITAR issues.

**edit: as for point trading I know they are approved to be used by CASA in Australia but I have no idea if they have transport Canada or FAA stamp of approval, so you would have to check on that.

Last edited by havick; 15th Jul 2017 at 21:03.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 04:12   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by havick View Post
Of course there are differences but some companies use the same tubes. Some OEM's do trade ins of other brands depending on the tubes in the trade in sets.

As a very general rule of thumb, and this is dumbed down, most of the US sets of the same gen/model are pretty much the same as far as a civvie is concerned doing ems work.

The main competitor/difference are the Israeli sets/technology. The Israeli nvg's (someone feel free to correct me) were the first to commercially use auto-gating as opposed to auto-gain as in the US sets.

I'm by no means an expert in the field at all, many more pilots with far more experience on NVG's than me.

My personal opinions are as follows:
- Auto-gated tended to work better in lit areas with a crisper picture, however I did notice I little streaking with say car headlights when you moved your head.
- Auto-gain, gen III or better I think had a better picture but were far more susceptible to exterior illumination and would gain down in well lit areas a lot more.
- green vs white phos, white gave a more crisp picture and a little better depth perception compared to green. Though the one con I noticed with white goggles was the time taken for your eyes to transition off goggles was a little longer.

Just my personal observations but take it with a grain of salt as everyone has their own opinions. It's a lot like finding the right flight helmet to fit you, ask 5 people and get 5 different answers.

Personally if I were in your shoes I would go for something like the Point Trading white phos set that avoids all the USA ITAR issues.

**edit: as for point trading I know they are approved to be used by CASA in Australia but I have no idea if they have transport Canada or FAA stamp of approval, so you would have to check on that.
Thanks very much, that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for and especially the part about the Israeli and/or Oz connection, as you say that might avoid a lot of complications.
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