VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has launched the first pilot and air crew suits with the flame-retarding properties of GORE PYRAD® technology at their core and the intrinsic flexibility, breathability and durability aviators have asked for. Developed by the VIKING PPE design team after crew consultations and aircraft visits in the UK and Norway, the VIKING YouSafe™ Aviation suits are fully authorised by EASA.
The fabric’s flame-retarding properties are not based on a chemical treatment but are inherent and last for the product’s lifetime. Lighter in weight than traditional flame retardant materials, the new high-visibility VIKING YouSafe™ Aviation suits are also antistatic, waterproof and windproof. As an added benefit, the material complies with the ISO 20471 standards for high visibility work wear, eliminating the need for safety vests.
“Pilots and crew put themselves on the line year in year out in the cause of safety. It is vital that their views as professionals are reflected in suit design,” says Heather McManus, Global Sales Manager Aviation, VIKING. “Exploring their challenges brought out the best in our design team.”
Comfort is a major consideration for pilots in confined and often sweltering cockpits, even though suits must protect them against possible immersion in seawater as well as fire. Available in multiple sizes, the new figure-fitting VIKING YouSafe™ Rotary U and Rotary J pilot suits offer more room for movement in the shoulders, comfortable “low profile” cuffs, and best in class immersion suit breathability. The “J” and “U” designations refer to zip preferences.
Rear crew face different challenges. In this case, the two new VIKING YouSafe™ Protector U and Protector J suits include removable protective knee pads for winch operators, while individual fittings ensure mobility for winch personnel to wear protective body armour underneath the suit.
Available as a rental package, VIKING YouSafe™ suits are supplied sealed, in pairs. Users unpack one and scan details into VIKING’s track and trace service to start its 12-month useability period. Alerted twice before year-end, users switch suits for year 2, returning the first for servicing.
Taking a lead on GORE PYRAD® technology and user input point towards VIKING maintaining its position as the number one supplier of Search and Rescue suits around the North Sea, also providing a platform for its ambitions to grow in other markets, adds Heather.
“Our designers also take pride that the VIKING YouSafe™ suits are the best-looking in the market; there is no reason why style should come at the expense of safety and practicality,” says Heather. “All suits are designed for easy donning and work seamlessly with VIKING lifejackets, while pocket positions ensure that tools are accessible when the pilots are wearing seatbelts in the cockpit or the crew are using their harnesses.”