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Gerhard Heiming

For individual and collective protection against CBRN warfare agents, Autoflug has introduced ToxicShield, a filter material that with activated carbon forms, the effective layer in the construction of protection systems. At an expo ON AIR on 16th and 17th June 2020, examples of applications were presented which were intended for exhibition at the Internationale Luftfahrt Ausstellung (ILA). In cooperation with the German Federal Armed Forces, Autoflug has developed a clothing system for aircraft crews, consisting of three layers, with ToxicShield at the centre.

Three layers

The lowest layer is the undergarment, which lies directly on the body and provides protection against cold and heat with the necessary exchange of moisture. This layer can be dispensed with, as the second layer is also skin-friendly. This consists of garments that build up the protection with ToxicShield. Long socks, trousers, top, head protection (hoodie) and gloves are the individual parts that are applied from bottom to top. The parts overlap strongly so that they are tight against the warfare agents without fastening. The trousers and top are equipped with special zippers so that they can be taken off quickly after contamination without contamination carry-over. The third layer is the two-piece flyer combination, the functional layer that provides the necessary pockets and pen holders as well as the camouflage colouring.

The headset, pilot’s helmet and NBC protective mask complete the protective equipment. Autoflug has presented a selection of equipment but has assured that the entire system is compatible with the existing clothing / equipment of the aircraft crew. Protective vests can be worn over clothing if required. At the end of the mission, the contaminated clothing can be removed with the help of trained personnel and by using the zippers, which can be quickly opened from the outside in such a way that nobody is contaminated. The protective layer with ToxicShield can be washed up to ten times after wearing if no contamination has occurred, without losing its protective effect.

Aircraft use

Fabric strips with integrated ToxicShield can also be used to divide off shelters where contaminated persons can be treated or people can work in a contaminated environment while protected. During ON AIR, Autoflug demonstrated a shelter built on the multi-base pallet, which Autoflug has developed for use in aircraft. With the pallet, the shelter can be set up outside the aircraft, filled with equipment and transported completely into or out of the aircraft. The special feature of the ToxicShield shelter is the ingenious sluice arrangement, which allows entering and leaving the shelter without contamination carry-over. The development of ToxicShield seems to be complete, though it has not been announced when it will be implemented as a project to equip the troops.