Consolite Technology has recently carried out an evaluation role in the Night Vision Goggle Flight Trials for HMS Queen Elizabeth. This work follows multiple Harbour Trials carried out on the ship by Consolite to reduce risk.
A Mk II Merlin from 820 Sqn was used to perform multiple approaches and perimeter views of the RN’s new aircraft carrier at night. The NVG images were captured on a specially formatted system using Consolite’s NVGs. The resulting imagery was evaluated by the Consolite Team and a report submitted to the RN.
Any flight over water at night requires aircrew and passengers to complete Dunker Training, in this case at the Under Water Escape Training (UWET) Unit at RNAS Yeovilton. The trainee must be able to escape from an aircraft underwater, upside down, in the dark from a belted position in the aircraft. The training was familiar to those Consolite staff who had been involved in approaches to Invincible Class ships on Chinook and Sea King.
Consolite staff also undertook Short Term Air Supply System (STASS) training which allows unlimited hours in RN aircraft.
Consolite will be performing a similar service for the evaluation of the Tide Class tankers later this year so the STASS training was imperative.
“We at Consolite are very excited to be a continuing part of this programme. Our work in writing the NVG Def Stan, to which this ship adheres, and our work evaluating each and every light visible on the ship from an incoming aircraft makes Consolite uniquely placed to carry out this evaluation.”
The trial included flying at low levels, sideways, at night over the sea, to a moving target with the side door open. Multiple passes in that environment on a particularly dark night, in windy conditions presented unusual flying conditions for the flight crew.
Consolite staff were belted to the harness and the side door was open on the aircraft so that camera footage could be gathered.
“It was an ‘invigorating’ trial and we’re looking forward to the next. Our thanks to the UWET team at Yeovilton, 820 Sqn at Culdrose and of course the ship’s crew for their professional approach and good humoured attitude during this demanding trial.”
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