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The RFD/ BFA (Ballon Fabrik Augsburg) CH-07 life vest is available in 2 versions:

 

- Immersion-activated (water contact) for aircraft with ejection seats;

- With manual release unit for aircraft without ejection seats.

 

In a ditching situation, the inflated CH-07 life vest provides buoyancy and support for the wearer's head keeping the mouth and nose out of the water. The lifejacket also automatically turns the wearer onto his or her back, even if he or she is unconscious in the water.

 

The vest is available in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

Its main components (applicable to the automatic and manual release versions) are as follows:

 

The Carrier Waistcoat:

 

The waistcoat can be individually adjusted via two adjustment elements on the back.

The waist and chest can also be increased up to 8 cm in size by a widening fabric insert. The zipper sliders are provided with fabric pull tabs fitted with snap fastener for additional locking.

 

The waistcoat is fitted with two pockets in order to store survival and signaling equipment. Inside the pockets there are loops in order to secure the equipment by means of nylon strings. The pockets zip sliders are also fitted with fabric pull tabs with snap fastener for additional locking which are commonly secured with red indication wire.

 

The Flotation Assembly (collar), complete with inflatable bladders:

 

The collar is connected to the basic body of the life vest by a zip, two lockable fastening buckles and straps. Thus, for the purposes of maintenance and/or repair the collar can be separated from the waistcoat. The collar houses two buoyance bladders, inflated by CO2 cartridges providing a lifting capacity of 280 N each. The bladders are Day-Glo orange in color and have applied SOLAS reflective tape strips in order to facilitate search and rescue operations. Depending on aircraft type (with or without ejection seat) the bladders are fitted with an automatic or manual release unit and a flexible hose for mouth inflation. Both models are provided with two manual release beaded handles secured with red indication wire.

 

Life vest with automatic release (FLU-8B/P, electronic/manual device)

 

The automatic system is installed given the possibility that in the event of an ejection the pilot could enter the water unconscious.

The inflation of the bladders is activated automatically when the collar is immersed; the diaphragm of the CO2 cartridge is pierced and the bladders are inflated. It is also possible to manually activate the inflation by pulling on the two manual release handles.

 

Life vest with manual release system (HR 840-AML, 1/2-inch manual release device)

 

By pulling the two manual release handles the CO2 cartridge is pierced by the mechanical unit and the bladders are inflated.

 

The auto version is provided to pilots flying aircrafts equipped with ejection seats, as the F-5 E/F, Pilatus PC-9 (till end of 2022) and -21; the manual one to PC-6/ -7 crews. 

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