Stanley Hiller’s granddaughter has her sights on improving the view for the pilots and passengers of both helicopters and airplanes.
In 1942, the elder Hiller founded the iconic helicopter company that bears his name. Now, granddaughter, Christy Hiller, runs Plastek, a company that manufactures a growing line of EZClear cleaning and restoration products for acrylic and polycarbonate aviation windows, windshields and glass-panel avionics.
Since 2003, Plastek has been selling its products to the U.S. military and to general aviation end users both directly and through authorized outlets. Fleet operators can buy a toolkit with specialized tools and applicators that ease repeated use. Hiller said EZClear can remove deep scratches without sanding or any resulting distortion.
The U.S. Army uses EZClear on 3,500 of its helicopters and its testing has found that the product brings clarity levels to within 99.7 percent of original specifications. Hiller said EZClear is also popular with helicopter tour operators, who must constantly deal with interior window scratches left by customers’ cameras. Fixed-wing customers include several large domestic airlines and business jet OEMs.
According to Hiller, Plastek’s new accelerated product can be applied two and one-half times faster than its predecessor. A pre-loaded syringe of product is applied to a polishing tool in precise increments and minimizes overspray. The process is completed in two more simple steps.
Hiller claimed that EZClear will not impact the crashworthiness of windshields as long as the customer stays within an OEM’s specifications. “Typically they are removing less than one-thousandth of an inch of thickness, so it is not an issue,” she said.
Besides removing minor scratches, Hiller said EZClear can be used to restore windshields even after severe scratching or pitting. Although that process can take the better part of day, it is still extremely cost effective compared to the cost of replacement. Material costs of the system on a four-square-foot window run $50 per window for heavy damage to $15 to $20 for light polishing.
Starter kits are available for $399 and include a polishing tool, hardware, and repair items to complete four to five windows. Refills are available in different quantities. The accelerated EZClear is an additional $75 and allows for faster completion.