Frequently asked Questions about Survitec Pilot Flight Equipment
Q: What products are included in the Survitec Fast Jet PFE range?
A: Survitec has a long history in Fast Jet PFE dating back to the 1950s with the design of the world’s first Anti-g Trouser. Today, the Survitec range includes below neck ‘Fully Qualified Ensembles’ and ‘Modular Integrated Components’ including a variety of Anti-g suits (Skeletal and Full Coverage), Flight Jackets (Fixed Pocket and Modular), Flight Suits (Coveralls, Immersion Protective Garments IPG, CB Protection) and various inner garments and accessories such as the Liquid Cooling Vest (LCV) and functional underwear. Other equipment includes Single Seat Liferafts.
Q: What Fast Jet aircraft is the Survitec Ensemble qualified for?
A: Survitec understands the importance of a qualified ensemble when it comes to Anti-g functionality and escape measures. Survitec PFE is qualified on F-15, F-35, Tornado, F-16, Hawk, PC-21, F-18, L159, M346 and Eurofighter Typhoon.
Q: What is a Fully Qualified Ensemble?
A: Ensembles include all layers from the skin out starting from the undergarment to the Anti-g trousers and Flight Jackets. Each garment has an available alternative based on mission profile and performance parameter of the aircraft. For example, the Skeletal Anti-G Trousers can be swapped for the Full Coverage Anti-G Trousers when operating an advanced aircraft capable of higher G load. All parts of the ensemble work seamlessly together and in unison with a specific aircraft.
Q: What are Modular Integrated Components?
A: Modular integrated components include Anti-g Trousers, both Skeletal and Full Coverage, Flight Jackets, Fixed and Modular, Flight Suits, Immersion Protective Garments (IPG), Coveralls, Chemical Biological (CB) Protection, Single Seat Liferafts and mission critical accessories. These components are interchangeable based upon customer requirements. Similarly, to the Ensembles, components are modular and work effortlessly together and can be easily exchanged based on mission profile.
Q: What testing is conducted on Survitec Fast Jet PFE?
A: Testing is conducted on all Fast Jet PFE to ensure the product is of the highest quality, however the type of testing that is done is dependent upon the product or program the product will be used on. As a result, testing can be customer or program specific. For example, our flagship PFE, the F-35 full ensemble goes through over 38 different rigorous tests that relate to the environment the ensemble will be worn in. This includes laundering, flame, UV and ejection tests.
Q: What approvals does the Survitec Fast Jet PFE hold?
A: The Fast Jet PFE range has varying approvals based upon the country and aircraft it has been designed for. All our PFE complies with a Certification of Conformity and a Declaration of Design and Performance (DDP).
Q. What services do Survitec offer for our Fast Jet PFE? A: Survitec offer a comprehensive 'Airworthiness’ service to our customers. The Survitec Airworthiness package ensures all flight related equipment and documentation remains at the required standard. This service includes the development, storage and update of documentation, design and management of equipment modifications, approved on base equipment alterations, with record of a compete body of evidence to facilitate a safe and approved to fly operation. Other services include full pilot tailoring and fitting to ensure a ‘Perfect Fit’ with their ensemble.
Q: What fitting services do Survitec offer?
A: Unique to the F-35 program at current, Survitec has several specialists located at various air force bases within Pilot Fit Facilities (PFF) that manage all Fast Jet PFE assets. Every new F-35 pilot undergoes an extensive fitting process using anthropometric data to ensure all equipment and clothing is designed according to the pilot’s exact dimensions. Once measurements have been taken during an initial visit to the PFF, where specialist Survitec personnel record some 18 anthropometrics, a fit validation is accomplished using established size roll of each garment from a predicted sizing matrix. Once a fit validation is complete the teams at Survitec Sharon Centre manufacture the equipment. Each pilot is fully fitted into every schedule including measuring/ marking of the Oxygen Gas Breathing and Anti-g Trouser hoses as well as the fitting of the Arm Restraint Extension lines. All schedules and configurations are then tested in the dedicated F-35 ejection seat at the facility. Every pilot leaves the facilities with their ‘perfect fit’ PFE, which is key to enabling optimal performance and safety. Completing this task at the Pilot Fit Facilities (PFF) is a two-day process for pilots and their PFE will be declared fit for flight within a matter of days.
Q: What is the ‘Perfect Fit’ program?
A: ‘Perfect Fit’ is a Survitec term used to describe an optimal fitting Fast Jet ensemble. It was also used to describe the Survitec ‘Performance Base Logistic’ (PBL) concept, introduced in 2017, which streamlines deliverables from the Survitec F-35 PBL warehouse in Ohio, shipping directly to the four PFFs. This ensures once the pilot has been measured and fit-validation tests completed, orders are turned around in no more than two days. Previous standard lead times were as high as 32 weeks.