AN-6530 goggles

AN-6530 goggles

AN-6530 Goggles were produced during WWII as eye protection for United States Army and Navy flight crews. In 1943, the AN-6530 design replaced as standard the nearly identical USAAF B-7 goggle produced by Chas Fischer Spring Company of Brooklyn, NY. Contracts for AN-6530 goggles were awarded to Chas Fischer Spring Co., American Optical, and Bausch & Lomb.

Construction

The AN-6530's frame is nickel-plated brass and steel. Construction consists of stamped and milled pieces, soldered together. Milled brass pieces form the bridge and ferrule/strap lugs, and pieces of stamped sheet steel form the frame to hold the facepad and lenses. The ferrule / strap lugs are split lengthwise to facilitate removal and insertion of the lenses and rubber facepad. The lugs are secured closed by a salt-blued or parkerized and knurled carbon steel ferrule.

The frame has vents on the upper and lower edge. The upper vents were produced in two patterns, the earlier using the B-7 goggle design's small brass tube with the inward open end faced slightly forward along the top edge of the frame. This was replaced with a lower profile design that consists of a stamped and soldered channel, curved along the upper edge of the frame with two milled openings, one facing forward and one rearward. The frame's lower edge vents are three depressions stamped into the flat area of the underside. The two-piece milled bridge acts as a hinge and the larger midsection of the hinge is stamped 'AN 6530'. The manufacturer's identification / inscription can usually be found stamped on the left half of the frame's underside.

The facepad is a single piece of natural gray medium-density rubber. Leather chamois is glued to the face side to increase comfort and prevent bonding to the skin due to low temperatures at high altitudes. Nickel plated or salt-blued steel rings are sewn to the frame side of the pad, which allow connection to the frame by resting in the frame's inner channel.

The strap is 1 inch wide black or white cotton webbing with interwoven rubber tensioners. Hardware consists of nickel plated or salt-blued steel wire bails at either end with a stamped nickel plated or salt-blued steel adjuster. The wire bails are inserted through holes in the ends of the frame's strap lugs and are retained by their own clip tension design. The bails also act as retainers for the lug ferrules.

AN-6530 lenses are ground and polished optical glass, approximately 3/32 of an inch thick. These share their design with B-7 goggles and commercial 'Skyway' brand goggles. They were produced in clear, amber, green, and a high-density dark green for gunnery to facilitate spotting targets against the sun. Small quantities of clear plastic lenses were produced in response to lenses being shattered by flying debris during combat use.

Use

AN-6530 goggles saw use in nearly every type of U.S. flight crew position during World War II, particularly with pilots, gunners and observers who needed protection from glare, wind and debris.

Expense in production technique, time, and materials and issues with lenses shattering and contributing to eye injury led to the development of the rubber-framed, plastic lensed B-8 goggle. The B-8 goggle was standardized in 1944, making the AN-6530 obsolete.

Despite its 1 year run as standard issue, the AN-6530 goggle became an icon of its era and is now highly sought after by collectors.

References

* cite web
last = Weinshenker
first = Marc
title = Acme Depot: The Type B-7 Flying Goggle
url=http://www.acmedepot.com/showcase/showcase1.html
accessdate = 2007-05-04
(has 2 big images)
*cite book
last = Maguire
first = Jon A.
title = Gear Up! Flight Clothing & Equipment of Usaaf Airmen in World War II
publisher = Schiffer Publishing
date=April 1995
url = http://www.amazon.com/Gear-Up-Clothing-Equipment-Schiffer/dp/0887407447
id = 0887407447


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