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F-35 Helmet Will Give Pilot Tactical Information Faster

Air Force Times // August 01, 2015

The F-35 Lightning II is one of the most advanced aircraft ever built. But the technological innovation isn’t just in the plane itself; it’s inside the cockpit, too.

The helmets pilots wear include an advanced heads-up-display and the ability to see “through” the floor of the fighter. The helmet, built by Rockwell Collins, costs about $400,000, and every F-35 pilot gets his own personalized model.

“Kind of like with the airplane, the helmet is a pretty big leap in technology,” said Lt. Col. Michael Gette, commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron, which is training operational pilots for the F-35.

“We’re trying to do things with the helmet that’s never been done before,” he told Air Force Times.

That includes putting the fighter’s heads-up-display on the helmet itself, projected onto the visor in front of the pilot’s eyes.

Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the F-35, claims having the HUD on the visor allows the pilot to immediately see information like speed, altitude, distance to target, and a host of other factors.

“It allows him to see everything that’s of concern to him — his allies and his threats — above the horizon in the air-to-air arena,” said Billie Flynn, a Lockheed Martin test pilot, in a video posted to the defense contractor’s website.

Read the full article from Air Force Times.