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The Military Displays

"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-your-six-and-stay-frosty dept.
Graculus writes with news that the so called "magic helmets" for the controversial F-35 are ready for action. This week, Lockheed Martin officially took delivery of a key part of the F-35 fighter's combat functionality—the pilot's helmet. The most expensive and complicated piece of headgear ever constructed, the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) is one of the multipurpose fighter's most critical systems, and it's essential to delivering a fully combat-ready version of the fighter to the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force. But it almost didn't make the cut because of software problems and side effects akin to those affecting 3D virtual reality headsets.

Built by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems International (a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems), the HMDS goes way beyond previous augmented reality displays embedded in pilots' helmets. In addition to providing the navigational and targeting information typically shown in a combat aircraft's heads-up display, the HMDS also includes aspects of virtual reality, allowing a pilot to look through the plane. Using a collection of six high-definition video and infrared cameras on the fighter's exterior called the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), the display extends vision a full 360 degrees around the aircraft from within the cockpit. The helmet is also equipped with night vision capabilities via an infrared sensor that projects imagery inside the facemask
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

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  • Re:I'm curious (Score:4, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @07:05PM (#47526903) Journal

    What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

    I am out of my element a bit here, but my understanding is that the F22 is an air superiority fighter only, whereas the F35 was supposed to be a multirole aircraft (air-to-air and air-to-ground) with (optional) VTOL features, (which no version of the F22 has) all in the same airframe. It was supposed to be the Windows 8 of fighter aircraft, a single airframe to take the place of a bunch of other craft.

    ...and apparently, it works about as well as you would expect of those types of solutions...

    And, it was (giggle) supposed to (snerk) be (Bwaaaa haa haaa) affordable. Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

  • Re:Bugs... (Score:4, Informative)

    by timeOday (582209) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @08:29PM (#47527513)

    I'm told that the F35 is the largest, heaviest fighter with an airframe that produces the most drag, that the US has ever produced...

    And where did you hear it? According to wikipedia:

    Wingspan:
    F35: 35'
    F14: 64' / 38' (swept)
    F15: 42'
    F16: 32'
    F18 C/D: 40'

    Empty Weight
    F35: 29,000 lb
    F14: 43,700 lb
    F15: 28,000 lb
    F16: 18,900 lb
    F18: 23,000 lb

    Combat radius (internal stores)
    F35: 600 nm
    F14: 500 nm
    F15: 1000 nm
    F16: 340 nm
    F18: 400 nm

    Of what can be verified, none of what you heard is correct...

  • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @09:04PM (#47527805) Homepage

    This video
      http://www.c-span.org/video/?c... [c-span.org]
    shows the symbology and operation of the helmet as a reporter wears it. It's expensive, yes, but it's revolutionary.

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