Piloting gliders is often described as being one of the most peaceful forms of flying that exists. Many stories are out there detailing the serene and quiet cockpit after releasing from tow. For that reason, most glider pilots won’t use a headset when soaring – a simple microphone and speaker are just fine. But, what about those other gliders – the self-launching sailplanes or powered gliders that come with stowable propeller-driven engines or even small turbines?
If you are looking at getting some time in a motor glider, chances are that you will need some hearing protection, not just for danger of the loud noise right behind the cockpit, but also for the ability to maintain clear communications with other aircraft and air traffic facilities when the jet or prop is turning.
How loud is the inside of a self-launching sailplane (motor glider) cockpit?
In-cockpit sound measurements show the following decibel levels with the motor running:
- ASH 26 E at 103 dB
- DG 400 at 110 dB
- Nimbus 4M at 117 dB
Respectively, the “permitted exposure times” (in minutes and seconds) are 7:30, 1:30, and 0:20 before possible hearing damage occurs. This should be enough to convince you that a headset is a required piece of equipment in a powered glider.
Is the Faro AIR too big for the Cockpit of a Glider?
One thing about gliders that differs from most other aircraft is the minimal space in the cockpit – including the space between the pilot’s head and the canopy. For this reason, choosing a lightweight headset with a small profile will go a long way toward improving the overall flight experience – especially when faced with a flight duration of several hours long.
Is the Faro AIR a Good Headset for Powered Airplanes?
The Faro AIR is an aviation headset that has been used by pilots of turboprops, gliders, bizjets, helicopters, and countless other types of aircraft. The simple fact is that many pilots prefer the in-ear design instead of the traditional headset.
Does the Faro AIR Work with Sunglasses and Hats?
What pilot doesn’t wear aviator sunglasses? One major drawback of wearing sunglasses with a standard headset is that the “temple” or “arm” of the sunglasses partially breaks the seal of the headset over the ear, thereby reducing the overall noise reduction and sound quality. With the Faro AIR, your sunglasses will not affect your sound quality or noise reduction because there is no over-the-ear seal to be disrupted.
Glider pilots are also known to wear a sort of beach hat which provides 360-degree partial coverage from the sun. With a conventional over-the-ear headset, wearing the hat as designed becomes nearly impossible. This in turn adds to the potential of pilot fatigue and dehydration which can spoil the fun of soaring.
Less Clamping on the Head Also Means Less Fatigue
The design of the AIR is similar to an earplug or earpiece that you might use to listen to music on your phone or other electronic device. Once the earpiece is fitted to you, it should feel almost like any other earphones you have used except there will be less clamping because the AIR doesn’t sit over the top of your head like a traditional headset would.
The volume selector comes with a stereo/mono audio switch. It also has an auxiliary input port for connecting an external audio source, such as a portable audio device or a GPS via the provided 3.5 mm cable.
AIR weight is less than 1 oz. Imagine going from your typical aviation headset that weights over 16 oz. to 1 oz. You will feel connected to your surrounding and your neck muscles will appreciate it as well.
General Operating Temperature: -4 to 94 F / -20 to 70 C Storage Temperature: -31 to 167 F / -35 to 75 C Cord Length: 150 cm Weights: 20oz / 565g Headphone Type: Dynamic Frequency Response: 50 Hz-20 kHz Sensitivity: 95±5 dB SPL Microphone and Amplifier Type: Noise-canceling Electret Frequency Response: 100Hz to 5 kHz Matching Impedance: 150-1000 ohms Sensitivity: -33±4 dB.
· Lightweight, only 1 oz.
· Not limited to jets. Use in any GA aircraft or helicopter.
· Three-Year Warranty
· Provides up to 50db of Noise Reduction
· Music Input
· Dual Volume Control
· Replaceable foam ear plugs
Faro provides 3-year full coverage warranty on all aviation headsets. Please see the website for additional information. Faro also offers 30-day full money back guarantee. Your return shipping is also paid by Faro.
Faro AIR Pricing
After doing a bit of research on headsets, you will soon find that the general price range is anywhere between $150 and $1200. Obviously, quality, features, and design all play a role in the prices.
You can get you Faro AIR for right around $400 with free shipping and free returns. That doesn’t sound like such a bad price point.