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The MBU-20, HA/LP mask
by: Sven Scheffers
Gentex High Altitude/Low Profile (HA/LP) Oxygen masks are designed for use in both Pressure Breathing for G (PBG) equipped high performance fighter/attack aircraft and Non-PBG equipped aircraft. HA/LP Oxygen masks are used by the US and foreign military services throughout the world.

The biggest different between the MBU-20/P and the HA/LP consist in the compatibility for Combat Edge equipped helmets. Instead of the HA/LP the MBU-20/P provide a bladder supply hose that connects the mask to an occipital bladder in the helmet to provide automatic mask tensioning during high G maneuvers. The non-PBG HA/LP Oxygen masks are direct replacements for both MBU-5/P and MBU-12/P masks. The navy versions of this masks are the MBU-23 (HA/LP) and the MBU-24 (combat edge).

Similar to the MBU-20/P the HA/LP masks provide a +600kt windblast protection. Separate inhalation and exhalation valves minimizing the breathing resistance. The mask utilize a lightweight hardshell that may be custom fitted. The silicone rubber facepiece incorporates a reflective seal design and a chincup which provides injury protection following high speed or high altitude ejection.

An optional anti-suffocation valve can be incorporated in the HA/LP Oxygen masks. Also a variety of microphones can be configured to the HA/LP masks like the NATO compatible microphone, the modified M-169/A/AIC and the Electret (USN compatible) microphone.

The silicone hose can be replaced with a hose that incorporates a tap off for a PBG helmet bladder supply hose. (Gentex mask conversion kit, P/N G000-1044-01)

For better fitting Gentex provide 4 sizes of the HA/LP mask. (small narrow, medium narrow, medium wide, large wide). For the female aviator there is a 5th size developed (extra small narrow). This size is available on a limited basis.

The HALP Mask (Photo:Gentex)

Source: Gentex corp.


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