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The RNLAF NBC gear 
 
by: Ron Kraan
The annual Open Day of the Netherlands Airforce gave us a small surprise. One of the exhibition tents on the airfield had a mannequin on display in full NBC flying gear. This gear is rarely seen in public and is seldom used. We had the chance to get a closer look at this outfit.
General use
To protect pilots from NBC threat, the Airforce decided to look for suitable flying gear. After examining foreign projects nothing could be found that could meet their specifications. Because of that they decided to make their own. Operations with this gear are restricted and special preparations have to be taken. Before leaving the protected environment of his crew bunker, the pilot puts on his gear as pictured here. For the short trip from the bunker to the aircraft, the pilot wears a large white coverall over his gear. The gear is self-supporting for air supply. On warm days it can get very hot in this suit and it is wise to get in your plane as soon as possible. The suit has, besides its own air supply, a radio transmitter as well. 

The helmet
The brain bucket used is a heavily modified HGU-26/P as used in the late eighties. For NBC purposes the helmet had to be stripped and build up again. Main difference is the absence of the dual visor kit. Instead of this, a hood is manufactured which also holds a clear visor. This hood is fitted to the helmet by using Velcro strips. The hood also covers the MBU-12/P mask. A dark visor is attached to two fasteners that holds a normal HGU-55/P visor. Further more the helmet shell has a tube on the back that blows filtered air in to small pipes that are coming out of the helmet liner just above the eyes. The liner is custom molded to the pilot his head, the edge roll is made by Scott and altered later. The air blown through this creates a small pressure, which prevents outside air from coming in. The helmet is finished with the usual items like lightweight oxygen mask receivers, earphones and is sprayed gray.

The suits
Besides the already mentioned white coverall, the pilot wears two other suits. Under the green flying coverall, a so-called under coverall is worn. This white coverall fits tight around the body and also covers the head. Gloves and socks from the same material are worn. The flying suit is made from Nomex and has multiple layers of carbon. As with the helmet, the suit is also custom made.

Filter, blower and radio pack
The air supply package consists of a blower and a filter unit. The filter pack, as worn on the right chest, is the CRU-80/P similar to the one used on the MBU-13/P. It is connected to the parachute harness with a CRU-60/P bracket and filters the air coming from the aircraft. On the left side a blower pack is installed that provides the pressurized air for the helmet. Together with a battery and gas mask type filter, the blower pack is connected with a hose to an inverted CRU-60/P that attaches to the harness. The radio pack allows the pilot to have two way contact with his ops room. When the pilot enters the aircraft, he switches to onboard oxygen and internal radio.

Other gear
The pilot wears the usual parachute harness with LPU-3/P life preserver and the CSU-13B/P speed jeans. The use of the SRU-21/P is very difficult due to the amount of gear already carried.At the moment, the Airforce is looking for a replacement that allows more pilots to use one set of gear. So no customized sets have to be used.

 

"Venz" /  "Hud"  flightgear on-line 2002/2003