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AR-5 AIRCREW RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

During the mid '80 - early 90's, Swiss AF evaluated a number of Chemical/ Biological Warfare (CBW) pilot protective systems.

 

The main evaluation criteria the chem/bio protection effectiveness and the compatibility/ integration with Swiss AF aircrew and aircraft operations.

 

Among the systems taken into consideration were  Swiss Huber+ Suhner SM90 protection mask, British CLARE (at the time under development); US made M43, MC-2/P, MBU-13/P  and PIHM (Protective Integrated Hood Mask) / TAERS (Tactical Air Eye Respiratory System). 

 

As usual, implementation of a number of equipment and aircraft modifications were foreseen, such as replacing breathing regulator and ejection seat hoses with "chemically hardened" ones and replace the NBC hood original ones with Swiss made filter canisters.

 

Here in picture the British Negretti Aviation Ltd. ( now Cam Lock Limited (UK)) AR-5 protective hood. 

The basis of the AR-5 respirator is an oronasal mask mounted on a close-fitting policarbonate faceplate.


The edges of the faceplate are bonded to a fleyible bromobutyl cowl worn over the head and beneath a protective helmet.


Both hood and mask are separately supplied with filterd air, or air/ oxygen, via a chest mounted manifold. The respirator is

matched to the supply system of the aircraft through an appropriate manifold wich proportion and meters the air flow to the hood and mask.

Undistorted vision is achieved by the use of optical quality policarbonate faceplate, misting of frosting at low temperatures is prevented by constantly purging the optical area with filtered air.


The oronasal mask incorporates a microphone and drinking facility.        

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Because of the test results, most likely also for technical, logistical and financial reasons, none of the evaluated systems was put into service.

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The AR-5 could be connected to either the aircraft's onboard oxygen supply, or to a blower unit (here missing its battery pack) known colloquially as the 'hissing handbag'. This device forces air through the gas mask filter, providing fresh air to the crew until the mask to  be attached to the standard aircraft oxygen supply. 

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