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Thread: Polarized Sunglasses

  1. #1
    davidsflying's Avatar
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    Polarized Sunglasses

    I ordered a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses with prescription lenses for use while flying. The lenses I got originally had no polarization but there was a colour distortion (brown / red hue despite being a grey lens) so I brought them back. They sent them to the lab and they said that was because of the anti scratch / UV coatings etc. which are made for use with polarization.

    They said there is a special polarization where it's only done on the backside of the lens which makes it compatible for use by pilots as it doesn't distort LCD screens etc. Does anyone know anything about this? Would that be suitable for flying or should I be concerned about not seeing reflections from other traffic in the air etc.?

    Any input is much appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2

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    The light from an LCD screen is linearly polarized. Any linearly polarized lens, no matter where the polarizing film is located, will be sensitive to the orientation of the LCD display relative to the axis of linear polarization with the LCD appearing very dim when the axes are crossed. Maybe they're talking about a circularly polarized lens, but I don't see what that would do for you.
    Bill

  3. #3

    Re: Polarized Sunglasses

    Note:
    During daylight, "seeing" another aircraft is generally the result of seeing a reflection of sunlight off of the wings, propeller, plexiglas,etc. of the other aircraft.Polarized glasses will reduce the ability to see the glare and thus the other aircraft. I believe this to be a safety hazard.
    For CAP fliers, polarized glasses will reduce the ability to see reflections off of crashed aircraft debris.

    Irv Botton

  4. #4

    Neutral Plastic Stress

    One of the classic ways to study stress is to make a clear glass or plastic model, stress it, and look at the resulting pattern with a polarized lens. This is also used to diagnose problems in molded glass parts. I've seen aircraft glazing with enough stress to make it hard to see through some areas with a polarized lens. Not good.

  5. #5
    davidsflying's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, I've decided to stick with the non polarized lenses with the slight tint and see how it goes.

  6. #6
    Kiwi ZK-CKE's Avatar
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    I Brought my first prescription sunglasses back in the late 1990s when I was first learning to fly and asked my opticians advice when it came to choosing lens colours. He recommended a very good greenish lens with an odd secondary red tint. I have no idea what the actual specification is, but I have found them to be excellent, and every subsequent set of sunglasses I have ordered has been made with that lens tint. The colours are still very natural, but the red tint cuts out a lot of the blue light glare that is common when flying (especially in our clear antipodean sunshine!) without having to resort to polarised lenses. I wish I knew what they called the green/red tint, but I like it a lot. Ask your eye professional I guess.....
    "If it was supposed to be easy, everybody would be doing it...."

    Proud designer / builder of Avian Adventurer ZK-CKE.

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    I'd like for you to consider Maui Jim's. I have used them now for better than 15 years. They are perhaps the finest rated coated lense in the world and are amazing polarized lenses. You can select from a couple different color and shading lenses. I absolutely love flying in mine. They do not distort color and are fantastic with definition when looking at very bright objects, especially clouds. Amazing in rain. You can select from many different styles of lenses and have them made to your prescription. Over the years everyone who has tried mine has converted. Probably easily 30 people now of all ages. You can try them out at many locations first. My wife even put some of those sticky reading lenses on a spare pair for keeping in the car. I use a darker lense for driving and a lighter lense to fly so I can still pay close attention to the instruments. Hope this helps.

  8. #8

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    I'd have to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Irv Botton View Post
    Note:
    During daylight, "seeing" another aircraft is generally the result of seeing a reflection of sunlight off of the wings, propeller, plexiglas,etc. of the other aircraft.Polarized glasses will reduce the ability to see the glare and thus the other aircraft. I believe this to be a safety hazard.
    For CAP fliers, polarized glasses will reduce the ability to see reflections off of crashed aircraft debris.

    Irv Botton
    I've notced seceral times how my polarized sunglasses cut through the glare of haze and make other aircraft stand out like a sore thumb. I've watched airplanes before, removed my glasses, and almost instantly lost sight of them against clouds and haze, only to have them clearly reappear when putting the sunglasses back on. Maybe the color has something to do with it too- sort of a rose/orange color.

  9. #9

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    Take a look at Randolph Engineering. Best pair of sunglasses I've ever owned. Flew with my polarized pair in a CT with an Avidyne panel, no issues at all. If your head is more less in normal viewing angle to an LCD it's not often a factor- its only when you twist your head past 45 degrees or so that it starts getting unreadable... and why would you?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsflying View Post
    I ordered a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses with prescription lenses for use while flying. Any input is much appreciated, thanks!
    That's what I use but I have standard glass lens, G-15 gray tint, line corrections for near/intermediate/distance. They are just like wearing the Ray Ban sunglasses I wore back when I didn't have any vision correction, they don't scratch easily, no polarization issues with CRT or LED screens, or electric heated glass panels and there is no color distortion.
    Last edited by martymayes; 07-01-2012 at 08:10 PM.

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