Defense Holdings, Inc. Demonstrates Its AfterGlo® Brand Photoluminescent Aviation Safety Paint On A Fairfax County, VA Police Helicopter

Defense Holdings, Inc. Demonstrates Its AfterGlo® Brand Photoluminescent Aviation Safety Paint On A Fairfax County, VA Police Helicopter

Arlington, VA (December 14, 2009) — Defense Holdings, Inc.®, (DHi®), The Idea Company®, is demonstrating its revolutionary, patented AfterGlo® Brand Photoluminescent (PL) Aviation Safety Paint

on the main and tail rotor blades of a Bell Helicopter Textron Model 407 helicopter belonging to the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Aviation Division. Sections of the rotor blades were painted in October 2009.

DHi’s AfterGlo® Brand Photoluminescent Paint System (PLPS) was substantially developed under a US Navy Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Initiative. The Navy has converted all US Navy E-2/C-2 aircraft to this propeller paint scheme in 2008 following nearly five years of successful research, development, and testing. The aerospace grade PL paint is applied to the blades and blade tips of helicopter main and tail rotors and aircraft propeller blades to allow personnel to avoid injury or death from coming into contact with them in low light situations. The initial application of this paint was on the Navy’s E-2C carrier-based aircraft to help save the lives of men and women who must work at night in the vicinity of rapidly spinning propeller blades on aircraft carrier flight decks where inadvertent contact can have deadly results.

DHi is working with international flight safety organizations such as the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) to enhance the safety of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. HAI introduced DHi to the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Aviation Division with the goal of exploring the first world-wide application and extension of DHi’s PLPS to a helicopter application. Fairfax County is recognized world-wide as one of the most proactive law enforcement agencies in looking for leading edge technologies that can provide the best opportunities for protection for officers, support teams — and most importantly — its citizens.

Following are two nighttime photos of a Fairfax County aircraft being used to demonstrate the photoluminescent safety markings.


The PL paint shown here was visible even with a full moon and no cloud cover taken approximately 90 minutes after sunset with the helicopter’s lights off. However, with the lights on, the PL on the main and tail rotor blades was still clearly visible during the off cycle of the flashing strobe and anti-collision lights. The PL was visible with the aircraft on the ground up to about 150 feet away. It was not visible when the aircraft passed overhead at about 300-400 feet from the observer.

The following lights-on/lights-off photos of the helicopter rotor blades and wheel chocks were taken in the paint booth just after painting.



rotors_and_wheel_chocks_lights_on spacer-clear rotors_and_wheel_chocks_lights_off


Potentially distracted by noisy, high tempo flight operations, ground and flight personnel are inadvertently struck each year by propeller blades and helicopter main and tail rotors with inevitably tragic consequences. DHi’s solution combines a revolutionary, long-lasting, ultra-bright, non-radioactive PL material with a high-quality aerospace coating and offers the option of adding an equally effective retro-reflective material to dramatically improve propeller blade visibility under all lighting conditions. The application maximizes visibility, material adhesion, durability, wear resistance and ease of installation without compromising propeller/rotor aerodynamic performance or aircraft detection. Materials using these photoluminescent phosphors are visible through Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), but they look like a normal, unlighted white-colored surface. Since the wavelength of the emitted light is outside of the range of these NVGs, use of the paint does not cause the NVGs to “bloom”, interfere with aircrew visibility, or make the aircraft more vulnerable to hostile visual detection.

Rich Martin, DHi’s President and CEO, states “Defense Holdings, Inc. is excited to be working with Fairfax County’s Police Aviation Division to demonstrate the benefits of our patented AfterGlo Brand Photoluminescent Paint System. The amount of interest that has been generated by early reports of our testing has been simply phenomenal. We are pleased to be able to contribute in even a small way to further the safety of those who the protection of those who risk their lives to protect us.”

DHi is having the propeller paint manufactured by Sherwin Williams Aerospace Coatings, Automotive Finishes Corporation. DHi sees the use of this paint and related AfterGlow® photoluminescent products expanding to other applications in commercial aviation and other industries as well. DHi’s AfterGlow® Safety Marking Products are available at the AfterGlowDirect Web Store. For authorized government buyers, this paint is also available through the GSA under NSN 8010-01-558-3002.

DHi is also pleased to announce that it has just concluded its first distributorship arrangement with Alliance Coatings, Inc. of El Cajon, CA. Alliance Coatings has been a distributor for Sherwin-Williams products for twenty years. Alliance Coatings will distribute DHi’s AfterGlo Brand Photoluminescent Paint Systems for military and civilian aerospace and aircraft sales on a non-exclusive basis throughout the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona using its GSA schedule. Alliance Coatings has a network of 13 certified paint shops in that region.

DHi has pioneered the PL safety products market and is currently one of the largest installers of PL safety products in the United States. DHi’s AfterGlow® Brand PL Safety Products are installed throughout the Pentagon and in many other locations around the country. DHi has delivered over 11,000 Emergency Egress Lighting™ kits for installation in all U.S. military services’ Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Other of our products are installed on a number of US Navy and Coast Guard ships including the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).

Defense Holdings, Inc. (DHi), a service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business, is a technology leader specializing in the defense and homeland security markets. With headquarters in Arlington, VA, research facilities in Charlottesville, VA and production facilities in Trenton, NC, DHi works with Government agencies, universities, and industry to put timely new technologies into the hands of those who risk their own lives to protect the lives of others.