Aviator Sunglasses: How Do You Choose?

When considering the purchase of a pair of aviator sunglasses, most people don't give a thought about the lenses and just consider how "cool" they look when they put them on. While looks may seem to be important, the ability of the lenses to provide adequate protection for your eyes is far more important.
A quality pair of aviator sunglasses starts with the selection of the lenses. The lens material must have a uniform composition and be perfectly transparent. In addition, the lenses must be ground and treated in such a way as to provide maximum protection from harmful uv radiation.
What Are The Choices In Lens Material?
Generally speaking there are three choices in lens material: 
  1. Plastic
  2. Polycarbonate
  3. Glass
At first the only choice for lenses was glass, but as technology improved plastic and then polycarbonate became available for making sunglass lenses. With several choices on the market available it may be confusing as to which would be best for you.

Plastic Lenses
Plastic lenses have become popular mainly because they are light in weight and therefore more comfortable to wear. They eliminate the problem of glass lenses which sometimes slip down your nose and having to constantly push them back up.
One of the problems with plastic lenses, however, is that they can easily be scratched. To solve this problem plastic lenses have a scratch resistant coating applied to the lens and, if kept clean, will remain scratch free for a long time.

Polycarbonate Lenses
The advantage of polycarbonate lenses is that they are thinner, lighter and shatterproof. Because these lenses are impact resistant you could drop a steel ball on the lens from quite a distance and the lens would not break or shatter.
Glasses with polycarbonate lenses are known as safety glasses because they do a great job in protecting your eyes from injury. They are impact resistant because the lenses are made of a very soft, pliable material; however, they will scratch very easily without proper care.

Glass Lenses
Glass lenses are heavier than either plastic or polycarbonate lenses and are scratch resistant eliminating the need for a scratch resistant coating. However, drop a pair of glasses with glass lenses and they very likely will shatter.
On the other hand, glass lenses provide the very best visual acuity. Visual acuity is the acuteness or clearness of vision, which means everything you see through glass lenses will be sharper than with any other lens material.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)
Today we are surrounded with devices like smart phones, car dashboard displays and computer screens which use liquid crystal displays to present information to us.
Because LCDs use a polarizing filter with a vertical axis the information displayed on these screens can be difficult or impossible to see with polarized lenses. Polarized lens are specially designed to eliminate vertically polarized light waves, which means trying to view an LCD screen with polarized glasses or sunglasses is a problem.
The solution, of course, is to wear aviator sunglasses that are not polarized. In fact, the only real advantage for wearing polarized sunglasses is when you are on the water which then allows you to see some depth into the water.
The Best Choice For Pilots
A pilot's eyes are their most important asset, and pilots need to be able to see everything as clearly as possible, including the LCD displays which provide flight and navigation information to them from the aircraft's panel.
This means that aviator sunglasses with non-polarized glass lenses are the very best choice for pilots. In fact, these would also be the best choice for anyone who drives an automobile with an LCD instrument panel as well.
Recommended Manufacturers

Today the 3 leading manufacturers of non-polarized glass lens aviator sunglasses are: 
  1. American Optical Original Pilot Sunglasses
  2. Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses
  3. Serengeti Aviator Sunglasses

Both American Optical and Randolph Engineering supply aviator sunglasses to the U.S. military, but in my experience Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses are preferred by more pilots than any other brand.
As an ATP pilot with an MBA in business, the author writes a daily blog about aviation called "All Things Aviation." In order to serve his community the author reviews pilot supplies for pilots.

Protecting a pilot's most important sensory asset, their eyes, is of special interest and the author provides a great resource for the best aviator sunglasses for pilots.
Pilot sunglasses are an important tool for all pilots whenever flying their aircraft.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6273658

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Skopje success for Wizz Air

Wizz Air plans Skopje expansion
The low cost airline Wizz Air, which began flights from London Luton to Skopje only 10 days ago, is recording strong passenger figures and vows to expand its services from the Macedonian capital. From September 20 the airline will launch flights from Treviso in Italy to Skopje with more routes to be added during the 2011/2012 winter season. The airline has already sold some 8.250 one way tickets from Skopje to London. Furthermore, it expects to handle approximately 25.000 passengers on flights from Skopje to London and Treviso by the end of the year.

Gyorgy Abran, Wizz Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, said at a press conference in Skopje that this was only the beginning of the airline’s presence on the Macedonian market as the no frills carrier plans to introduce new routes soon. “This is a very good start and we plan to introduce more routes, but we will first wait and see how our current offer performs”, Abran told the press.

Wizz Air has big ambitions for the EX-YU region and it plans to base a second aircraft in Belgrade by the end of the year. The airline also serves Croatia on a seasonal summer basis.

To view flight details for the upcoming Treviso - Skopje service, click here.

Australia Plots Biggest Postwar Military Sale

30 Juni 2011

Leopard AS1 MBT of the Australian Armed Forces (photo : Redbubble)

SYDNEY - Australia said June 29 that it would undertake its biggest disposal of military equipment since World War II to fund a major upgrade, with combat aircraft, helicopters and ships all up for grabs.

Over the next 15 years, the Australian Defence Force will replace or upgrade up to 85 percent of its equipment, said Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare.

This means the force will dispose of up to 24 ships, 70 combat aircraft, 110 other aircraft, 120 helicopters and 600 armored vehicles in the next decade. The government wants to use the revenue generated to fund new purchases.

Clare said Britain has generated 650 million pounds ($1 billion) since 1997 by disposing of its unwanted military assets, but Australia has spent about $20 million Australian dollars ($21.2 million) offloading similar equipment in that time.

"That's why I am reforming Australia's system of military disposals - to reduce costs, generate potential revenue and provide opportunities for defense industry involvement," he said.

As it plans to spend billions on new submarines, naval helicopters and F-35 stealth fighter jets over the next 20 years, Australia also is positioning for bulk sell-offs, with the first offer of up to 24 ships over the next decade.

Companies can bid for all ships, a class of ships or a single ship, Clare said.
"By disposing of this equipment in bulk, it will increase the amount of revenue Defence can raise and reinvest in new equipment," Clare said in a statement.
"It also provides the scale which gives real opportunities for business," he added.

Clare said the government would attempt to help preserve important historic pieces of military equipment.

PAF to Receive P14 Billion for Modernization

28 Juni 2011

Although grounded in 2002 the F-5 was officially retired in October 2005. (photo : Timawa)

MANILA, Philippines - About P14 billion of the P40 billion allotted by Malacañang to upgrade military capability will go to the Philippine Air Force, PAF chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena said over the weekend.

Under its modernization plan, the PAF will acquire a long-range aircraft to patrol the country’s territorial waters.

Rabena said the P14 billion would be used to acquire radar and aircraft that would enhance the PAF’s patrol capability.

“Those in the lineup are air defense surveillance radars, surface attack aircraft – we call it close air support aircraft – combat utility helicopters... the total is P14 billion... over a period of five years,” he said.

These acquisitions would help the PAF conduct patrols and search and rescue operations and improve its ability to perform its mandate, Rabena said.

“(The acquisitions) will give us greater domain awareness, in what is happening in our territorial waters and in our territorial air space,” he said.

Last week, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the government is ready to implement a P40-billion military modernization project over the next five years starting 2012 to secure the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The government would allot P8 billion for the next five years for the Armed Forces modernization program to protect the country’s territory, he added.

The P8-billion annual funding for 2012 to 2016 is higher than the current modernization budget being allotted to the Armed Forces, which stands at P5 billion.

The Navy may get a huge slice of the funding, given the high costs of their equipment, said Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama.

The military is now finalizing the list of items it plans to purchase.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives appropriations committee chairman Joseph Abaya said the Armed Forces must be modernized since the military plays a key role in economic development.

Abaya is confident that the government would give attention to the military’s modernization efforts since it has taken a stance to assert its claims in the West Philippine Sea.

There was not much measure on the AFP modernization program,” he said. “Perhaps Congress and the defense department need to work closer on this.”

Speaking at the Air Power Symposium in Pasay City Friday, Abaya, a retired Navy officer, said Congress should address the gaps of the AFP modernization program, especially those related to fund allocation.

“Considering the policy implementation shortfalls, Congress would have to amend the existing law or craft a new one to effectively implement the Modernization Act,” he said.

Only P31 billion had been spent for the program after more than 16 years, he added.

The AFP Modernization Act, which took effect in 1995, has given the military the opportunity to modernize in 15 years with a total fund of P331 billion.

More than 16 years have passed since the law was enacted.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the administration is committed to reform the Armed Forces to help it carry out its mission.

“We all want the best for our country and want to help our people weather whatever storms that come their way,” he said.

“Today we have a commander-in-chief who is committed to providing you the support you need to allow you to perform your duties to the best of your abilities,” he added.

Ochoa issued the statement at the conclusion of the Air Power Symposium at the Mall of Asia last Friday.

“The reforms are part of the 16-point agenda President Aquino envisions to re-energize and transform a demoralized but dedicated military, police and civil servants to professional and motivated bureaucracies equipped with means to perform their public service missions,” he said.

Ochoa said the PAF is the most dependent on equipment among the Armed Forces services.

“It goes without saying that our pilots are some of the best in the world, whether they fly for the country or for a commercial airline,” he said.

“But no matter how great our pilots are, their capabilities can only be exploited if they have the equipment that can do them justice,” he said.

Ochoa said Aquino is aware of the need to upgrade the equipment and capabilities of the Armed Forces, noting that one of the priority bills Malacañang is pushing is seeking to extend the life of the military modernization program until 2025.

“This is to enable the military to develop and put in place capabilities that can address threats to national security,” he said.

“Part of this proposed measure authorizes the Department of National Defense and the AFP to forge contracts of sale, lease and joint venture involving real properties owned by the Armed Forces or pursue public-private partnerships in order to raise funds for the modernization program,” he said.

As chairman of the Cabinet cluster on security, justice and peace, Ochoa said he is committed to realizing and implementing the programs and reforms laid down by the President.

He cited military reforms that have been instituted by the administration, among them the comprehensive review of the financial management systems within the AFP to ensure the full implementation of the defense program and that funds earmarked for this purpose are spent judiciously.

Other reforms include the administration’s appropriation of P4.2 billion to build 20,000 houses for low-salaried members of the AFP and Philippine National Police, and the increase in the combat duty pay and incentive pay for officers and enlisted personnel. -

Malaysia's Aerotree Defence to Purchase Three EC135s

29 Juni 2011

EC-135 helicopter (photo : Eurocopter)

Malaysia's Aerotree Defence & Services has signed a letter of intent with Eurocopter for three EC135 helicopters for use in military training and utility roles.

The deal, which covers deliveries from early 2012, was signed at the Paris air show by Aerotree Group executive chairman Norida Hamzah.

"With the purchase agreement for this new EC135 fleet - which was handled through Eurocopter Malaysia - Aerotree will be positioned to diversify its activities, as well as developing services in the larger markets within the commercial and enterprise sector," said Eurocopter.

Aerotree's major customer is the Royal Malaysian Air Force, for which it provides target towing and electronic warfare services, plus air combat manoeuvring instrumentation equipment.

DSTO to Trial New Mine Sweeping Technology

28 Juni 2011

Thales has developed minesweeping technology that can trigger mine detonation. (photo : DSTO)

A technology for mine sweeping using acoustic waves, called the Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generator (IAAG), has gone on trial with DSTO as part of the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program.

The threat in question is that of sea mines designed to detonate upon detection of acoustic signals emitted by vessels.

Not only can these mines target vessels in this way, they can also differentiate between targets since larger ships emit lower frequency signatures.

Thales Australia has developed minesweeping technology that neutralises the mine problem by creating an acoustic signal that emulates the emitted acoustic signature of vessels and thus triggers mine detonation.

The Advanced Acoustic Generator (AAG) is one such device, now in service with the US Navy, RAN and two other navies.

The AAG is able to emulate the acoustic signature of warships up to destroyer size and merchant ships below 50,000 tonnes.

Four sea trials were conducted between June and September last year at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay, by Thales team and DSTO.

The aim was to demonstrate the IAAG’s acoustic output and its effectiveness in deployment in different configurations.

“The Thales team successfully delivered all the CTD outcomes, and professionally managed the CTD within the timeline,” said Anthony Quach DSTO Technical Lead for the CTD project.

“Overall, a very good outcome was delivered for Navy, with this cutting edge mine countermeasures technology being shown to enhance the Australian Minesweeping System capability and thus meet Navy’s operational requirements.”—Defence Science Australia.


The SAF Soldier's Latest Weapon - the iPad

28 Juni 2011

About 8,000 tablet devices such as iPads will soon be issued to servicemen to sharpen their fighting skills, the Ministry of Defence said. (photo : The Straits Times)

FROM November, recruits doing Basic Military Training (BMT) will be armed with one more 'weapon' - a handheld touchscreen device such as an iPad - to sharpen their fighting skills.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the Defence Ministry said the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) plans to issue about 8,000 sets, including to every recruit in the BMT Centre and those in other institutes such as the Officer Cadet School and the Specialist Cadet School, as well as to servicemen in the air force and naval training schools.

Cessna A185F ZK-NWH

As previously blogged http://design-plane.blogspot.com/2011/05/ardmore-31-may.html, Cessna A185F ZK-NWH (185-04426) has now taken on its full form and was noted flying at Ardmore 29 June.  It has been registered to Phillip and Nicola Seale of Auckland so hopefully it will remain based at Ardmore.

Wayne Grant photo

Zagreb surpasses first million

Zagreb passes million passenger mark, Croatia Airlines to do so soon
Zagreb Airport on Monday handled its millionth passenger this year, 18 days ahead of 2010 pointing to a record breaking year. The millionth passenger was travelling on Monday’s service from Zagreb to Skopje operated by Croatia Airlines. The CEO of Zagreb Airport, Tonči Peović, said that so far this year the airport has recorded a 17% passenger increase thanks to a big increase in the number of flights from the Croatian capital. Peović expects that the airport will see up to 300.000 passengers more than last year. Zagreb Airport set its best passenger figure in 2008 when it handled 2.192.453 passengers, a figure it has been unable to surpass ever since.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Croatia Airlines, Srećko Šimunović, said that the Croatian carrier will carry its millionth passenger within 3 to 4 weeks. By Monday some 829.720 passengers flew with Croatia Airlines since January 1, 2011. The millionth passenger mark should be reached approximately 10 days ahead of 2010. However, Šimunović warns that the positive passenger trend will be offset by large scale losses the airline will once again incur this year. The CEO blames high fuel prices for the loss.

Question time #131 resolved.

We have a winner.
bobgod identified the flying machine involved.

It is a Hiller UH-12E.
In fact it is ZK-HIK c/n 2063 as seen at the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society Museum in Christchurch.

Well done that Man.

Aero L29 ZK-SSU

Recently arrived at Ardmore and quickly under a cover was NZL Trustees Aero L29 ZK-SSU which I think is based out of Whangarei.

ZK-HNY destroyed in the Ukraine.

ZK-HNY at Nelson on 05-12-2007 whilst on delivery to Milford Helicopters. Photo by Peter Campbell.

Registration History for ZK-HNY/3
Aerospatiale AS350B2 Ecureuil
c/n 4306
ZK-HNY3 was registered on 29/11/2007 to Milford Helicopters Ltd, Te Anau.
Delivered through Nelson on 05-12-2007.
26/05/2008 Registration cancelled as exported
Became UR-ATOL 00/05/2008 with Atoll Holdings of Kiev, in the Ukraine
On 21/01/2009 it was destroyed by fire near Bogorochani in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast,
Ukraine after it had crashed killing the two occupants on board.
Photo of ZK-HNY3 at Milford Sound on 14-02-2008 by Greybeard.

ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 58552
OAO Atoll
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:
Airplane damage:
Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Bogorodchani, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast - Ukraine
En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Crashed in a field and burned. The helicopter when reg. in the Ukraine was destroyed by fire after it had crashed on 21.01.2009 killing the two occupants on board near Bogorochani in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. It was reported en-route from Uzhgorod to Ivano-Frankivsk.
Below is an article from a Russian newspaper report translated using Bable-Fish translator.

On [Ivano]-[Frankovshchine] with the fall of helicopter perished 2 people

On January 21, in The [bogorodchanskiy] region of [Ivano]- Frank region as a result of the fall of this particular helicopter perished two people. At 9:35 the helicopter of Eurocopter AS 350 departed from the airport of the Uzhgorods to airport Ivano Frankovschine. At 12:27 the crew of air vessel did not make contact with the airport Ivano Frankovschine. At 13:30 was set in motion the coordination center
of search and rescuing of civil aviation and the search for helicopter along the flight course is immediately organized.
About 17:35 helicopter they found - near the populated area Ofbogorodchany of Ivano Frankovschine region - it encountered the earth and caught fire.
Aboard were located two crew members, which perished on the spot catastrophe. Commander of air vessel - commercial pilot of the 3rd class Hertz P.O by the age of 46 years; copilot - commercial pilot of the 3rd class Anopko S.V, by the age of 26 years.
On the spot catastrophes work the operations groups of MChS (emergency and disaster relief ministry), MVD and procuratorship Ivano Frankovschine. The place for emergency is guarded MVD.
The investigation of the reasons for catastrophe conducts the commission of gosaviaadministratsii.
State registration sign of helicopter is UR-ATOL, owner joint stock company “Atoll- holding”.

The helicopter, which flew along the route Uzhgorod - Ivano Frankovschine, suffered wreck not far from the village of Gorokholino.
To complete emergency landing in Ivano Frankovschine airport it they did not permit because of the fog. Helicopter made the first landing for 60 kilometers from the provincial center, then it took off and soon it fell. First in the place of incident the local peasants, who noted clouds of thick smoke, came running. According to the evidence of eyewitnesses, the fragments dispersed to tens of meters. Transport procuratorship explains at the given moment of the circumstance of emergency.
The killed pilots lived in the Transcarpathian region, and helicopter belonged to Kiev private company. One of the preliminary versions of consequence - error of pilot. Probably, crew wanted to go around electric power line, but it was hooked on the wires.
Many thanks to Bob Kerr for compiling and forwarding this report, and my regrets that the photographs will not paste over for some reason

Dubrovnik - Belgrade all year round

More flights from Croatia to Serbia next summer
After 20 years flights between Dubrovnik and Belgrade were resumed last week with Jat Airways commencing 2 weekly services from the Serbian capital and Croatia Airlines introducing the same weekly frequency from Dubrovnik. Now there are plans for the route to become an all year round service while the national carriers discuss new flights from Belgrade to Pula and Split. Both Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways are reporting positive trends on their recently launched service with most flights operated so far having an average cabin occupancy rate of at least 50%.

Srećko Šimunović, the CEO of Croatia Airlines, said that the Croatian carrier is planning on making the abovementioned route an all year service, rather than the seasonal summer flight it currently is. As it stands now, the flights are set to operate until mid September. Furthermore, Croatia Airlines is planning on introducing seasonal flights from Split to Belgrade in 2012 while Jat would be given the opportunity to operate the Belgrade – Pula service next summer. Šimunović did not mention any potential Zagreb – Belgrade flights announced earlier this year to start during the 2011/2012 winter season. Meanwhile, Rijeka Airport confirmed that Jat was keen on beginning flights to the city this summer but due to a lack of aircraft was unable to do so.

Aero L-29 ZK-JRF

 Aero L-29 c/n 892851 served with the Czech military as 2851 until sold directly to private ownership in NZ.
It was registered to Wairakei Holdings Ltd of Christchurch on 30-10-2007 as ZK-JRF and has been siting quietly in the back of its hangar at Christchurch International airport.

 Wheels are now in motion for it to be re-assembled.
All photos taken yesterday (27-06-2011)

Agusta 109 ZK-ITR

Taranaki's new Agusta A109 ZK-ITR was carrying out engine runs at Ardmore 28 June.

Not sure when it is due to be delivered: http://trht.org.nz/agusta-a109-power-due-around-16th-june/

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