Method Seven, a specialty optics company, is offering flight glasses for pilots under its Pilot brand. The company claims that these specially designed sunglasses are “the first scientifically researched and developed flight glasses for pilots.”
The sunglasses have multiple features that make them well-suited for pilots. Notch filters enhance contrast, whether a pilot is looking into cloud formations or reading instruments. Method Seven’s proprietary blend of 13 coatings claims to eliminate glare, balance color, and improve clarity. The hand-tooled Japanese titanium frame is designed for headset and oxygen mask compatibility. The flight glasses block ultraviolet and infrared heat energy, keeping pilots’ eyes cool and focused on long flights.
Method Seven offers flight sunglasses in three different lens series: SKY, FLT, and Bifocal/Rx. The SKY series combines eleven elements molecularly bonded within a German crystalline lens, including rare-earth neodymium. Thirteen proprietary coatings are applied to the lens, which block all harmful UV, absorb infrared heat, and provide balanced color and clarity. The FLT series is the first to offer notch filtering in a lightweight, shatterproof lens. Constructed from a durable polymer with dual high-quality coatings, the FLT lens is at the cutting edge of aviation optics. The Bifocal/Rx series features the same notch filtering technology, custom crafted to meet Bifocal, Single Vision, and Progressive prescriptions. FLT24 Rx prescription lenses for pilots are constructed from the same high-quality polymer as the company’s standard lenses, with the same clarity, contrast, infrared and ultraviolet protection.
The concept of VLT, or visible light transmission, is an important value of Method Seven’s aviation sunglasses. VLT indicates the amount of light that reaches the eyes through the lenses. According to Method Seven, when deciding which kind of lenses to purchase, a good place to start is with the VLT. The higher the VLT, the lighter the lens tint, and therefore, the more light that passes through to the eye. Lenses with a lower VLT have a darker tint and block more light from reaching the eye. The company’s SKY18 lenses filter out 82% of light, allowing a visual light transmission of 18% (medium tint). SKY9 lenses are the darkest and SKY30 lenses are the lightest.
Method Seven pilot sunglasses are non-polarized so that pilots can view their instrument panel and see through the windscreen without distortion. Notch filtering technology cuts through glare without polarization. The pilot sunglasses are unique in that they don’t block all blue light. “Blue light is an important range in the visual color spectrum, and it assists with both peripheral vision and contrast perception,” says CEO James Cox. “Our notch filtering technology eliminates harmful, high-energy blue light while preserving areas with helpful information.”
Cox goes on to explain the key difference between SKY and FLT lenses. The SKY lens is made from German crystalline glass. Rare earth elements are melted into the glass, producing the notch filtering technology. The blue color of the glasses results from the interaction of light with natural elements. “If you’re looking for the absolute best in performance, nothing beats glass,” Cox insists. The SKY lens is very scratch-resistant, but may break if dropped on concrete or other hard surfaces. SKY pilot sunglasses are available in three levels of VLT: light (30%), medium (18%), and dark (9%).
Made from a high-quality polymer, FLT lenses are lighter than glass and nearly unbreakable. However, they do have weaker scratch resistance than SKY lenses. Though FLT lenses are not blue, they achieve notch filtering similar to SKY lenses through layers of advanced coatings. FLT lenses are offered with one standard VLT option: 18%—the sweet spot preferred by most pilots.
“We are a collaborative group of scientists, engineers, and problem-solvers looking to unlock the potential of human vision by mastering the spectrum of visible light,” says Cox. “We got our start creating eyewear solutions for people in some of the world’s most extreme visual situations. We soon realized that the eyewear we were creating for these extraordinary circumstances could help everyday folks see better as well. Our high quality pilot glasses are best-in-class in terms of features and quality.”