Photoluminescent Products for Fixed-Wing Aviation

Photoluminescent Products for Fixed-Wing Aviation

Defense Holdings, Inc.® (DHi) is offering its AfterGlow® Brand photoluminescent (PL) safety products and AfterGlo® Brand PL paint for military and commercial fixed-wing aviation applications. DHi has pioneered the PL safety product market and is currently the largest installer of PL safety products in the United States.

PL Paint for Enhanced Propeller Visibility in Low-light Situations

Defense Holdings, Inc® (DHi) is now providing its patented AfterGlo® photoluminescent (PL) safety paint to the U.S. Navy, domestic propeller manufacturers, and several military services outside the U.S. The aerospace and automotive-grade paint is applied to the tips of aircraft propeller blades and other rotating objects 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 aircraft to help save the lives of men and women who must work at night in the vicinity of rapidly spinning propeller blades and rotors on carrier flight decks where inadvertent contact can have deadly results. The following un-retouched photos show how a propeller with its blade tips painted with DHi’s PL safety paint (seen as two green rings) compares to a prop painted with traditional red and white safety marking paint (which is nearly invisible).

Potentially distracted by noisy, high-tempo flight operations, ground and flight personnel are inadvertently struck each year by propeller blades with inevitably tragic consequences. DHi’s solution combines a revolutionary, long-lasting, ultra-bright, non-radioactive PL material with the additional 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 aerodynamic performance or aircraft detection. In battlefield conditions, greater visibility of propeller blades to ground personnel will help improve personal safety. Since the wavelength of the emitted light is outside of the range of IR Night Vision Goggles, use of the paint does not interfere with aircrew visibility or make the aircraft more vulnerable to hostile visual detection.

The paint was developed under a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract as part of the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Under an exclusive agreement, DHi is having the propeller paint manufactured by Sherwin Williams Aerospace Division. DHi sees the use of this paint and related AfterGlow® photoluminescent products expanding to applications in commercial aviation and other industries as well. DHi’s AfterGlow® Safety Marking Products are available at DHi’s AfterGlowDirect Web Store.  This paint is directly available from DHi under part number HPP001SGNK-A by calling 1-877-AFT-GLOW (1-877-238-4569).  This paint is also available for authorized government buyers through the GSA under NSN 8010-01-558-3002.

Other Aviation Applications

DHi also offers SleeveLight™ PL aircraft and vehicle tie-down marking devices and chocks as well as our QuickLight® kits for making easy PL-backlighted operator checklists. Let our PL experts work with you to develop solutions for your particular needs.

DHi also offers PL emergency egress lighting materials. DHi is presently supplying its AfterGlow® Brand Emergency Egress Photoluminescent (PL) Lighting™ Kits to the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to improve tactical vehicle safety and the ability of personnel to quickly and safely egress vehicles in low-light situations. These materials also have use in the world of aviation.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) determined that vehicle exits and escape hatches needed to be positively marked or illuminated to aid emergency egress. After evaluations and review, DHi’s Emergency Egress Lighting Kits were selected for rapid field installation inside the passenger and operator compartments of certain classes of its tactical vehicles in order to provide our warfighters with simple, highly-reliable emergency egress markings. The kits, designed to be installed in the field, contain adhesive-backed photoluminescent tape and hybrid PL and retro-reflective markings for such items as fire extinguishers. As of March 2011, DHi had shipped over 15,000 of these kits and had received orders for over 8,000 more.

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