Since there are very few open-air cockpit planes to be flown in today, aviator goggles have had to be repurposed into other useful areas to keep this consumer product alive. Great pilots of the past depended on this eyewear to keep wind, bugs, and debris from lacerating their eyes while flying. Today, there is still a need for eye protection, but these goggles have become a must have fashion accessory. The cost can be around the same as a pair of cheap sunglasses that you purchase at a drugstore around the corner from your home or are an extremely expensive purchase when a famous eyewear designer has put their brand name on the item.
Motorcycle enthusiast that ride bikes such as the Harley Davidson, use aviator goggles when wearing half or three-quarter helmets. In the summer months when June bugs are prevalent wearing these goggles can prevent damage to an eye or at the very least an unfortunate and extremely uncomfortable experience. Running at sixty or seventy miles an hour, even the smallest pebble can feel and act like a bullet when it hits the rider. Therefore, eye protection is not so much an option as it is a necessity to prevent permanent vision damage.
Inexpensive aviator goggles can be repurposed into safety goggles for use around the house when performing various duties. Using power tools for sawing, drilling, and sanding always results in debris and goggles will again help to prevent damage or possible vision impairment. During your weekly yard work you no doubt use tools such as lawn mowers, weed eaters and hedge clippers which often propel their cuttings in various directions. Your recycled goggles are in this case a handy and inexpensive piece of safety equipment.
It is surprising how many different situations that aviator goggles can be used throughout a person’s life. Another use could be as part of a costume for a costume party. Dressing up like the Red Baron, Amelia Earhart, or even Eddie Rickenbacker with leather aviators cap and goggles in tow adds a certain authenticity to your costume’s design. One suggestion is to try finding them online at an auction site. Aim to purchase an old pair of brass aviator goggles that were worn by World War I, and World War II pilots. They may need a little attention when you receive them, so purchase a bottle of brass cleaner to clean the metallic parts of your authentic eye gear.
One past time in the United States is going four wheel driving. This is usually done in an open air Jeep. Four wheel driving involves driving across streams, rivers, and huge craters filled with mud. As much of this mud, water, and other debris often end up in the interior of the vehicle, eye protection is necessary for the driver and any passengers that are crazy enough to tag along. Although sunglasses do help, goggles perform the task even better and having several pairs of these goggles in the glove box will be a welcomed addition to any four wheel driving experience.
For the most part, these precious pieces of American aeronautical history go hand in hand with the motorcycle culture all over the world. Ironically, many war veteran pilots kept their head and eye gear from their tour of duty, and use the same equipment when home to ride their new motorcycles. This was as close as some pilots could come to reliving their days of flying over occupied France or dog fighting with German interceptors over Nazi occupied Germany.