Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998 Page: 24
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NVGs allow pilots to see a horizon line at night that would
be invisibly black to the naked eye.
Looking through the goggles for the first time is impres-
sive. Images appear as shades of green on black. NVGs
reveal fine detail in what is little more than shadows when
peering beneath the intensification tubes. Aircraft in the
night sky normally appear as a series of moving strobe
flashes. With the goggles, the same aircraft can be viewed
distinctly between flashes. Lights incompatible with NVGs
blossom with bright halos and lower the overall sensitivity
of the goggles. This effect emphasizes the importance of
NVG-compatible lighting inside and outside the aircraft.
Long-time Code One readers may recall Joe Bill Dryden's
first article on flying with night vision goggles published
about ten years ago (October 1988 issue). In that article,
Dryden stressed the importance of cockpit lighting for
night operations with and without NVGs.
The NVIS modification is a comprehensive approach
to NVG compatibility for the F-16. The modification is
divided into two basic parts-cockpit lighting and external
lighting. The entire modification is relatively simple. The
parts needed fit into two boxes totaling about two cubic
feet as shipped. Aviano aircraft are being modified by a
1. Instrument dials are lit by small pole lights with semicircular heads.
2. Some pilots use supplemental NVG-compatible finger and map lights.
3. The tester (left) is used to focus the goggles before each flight.
4. The NVIS mod requires changing faceplates and adding a couple of switches.
Lockheed Martin team in Italy. Fort Wayne's NVIS mod is
being installed by government personnel at the F-16 depot
at Hill AFB in Utah.
The cockpit portion of the modification replaces white
cockpit lighting with an "NVIS green" lighting and
replaces a couple of switches on the lighting control
panels. Faceplates, and MFD bezels, are replaced with
similar units that contain NVIS-compatible backlights.
Some instruments are lighted with small post lamps con-
taining green filtered bulbs. Green filters are placed over
the threat azimuth display and existing cockpit flood
lights. NVIS cap replacements are used on caution, warn-
ing, and advisory/status lights.
The external lighting modification involves replacing
existing position and formation lights on the wingtips,
intake sides, underside, tail, and upper fuselage with lights
compatible with NVGs. The tail floodlight is changed as
well. The standard strobe light is replaced with a dual-
mode programmable strobe. (The ANG NVIS modification
does not have the programmable strobe, but it may be
The external lighting system operates in two basic
modes: normal and covert. The mode is switch-selectable
24 January 1998
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Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Firm). Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998, periodical, January 1998; Fort Worth, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1023905/m1/26/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth.