The next best thing for pilots is the F-35 Lightning II’s high-tech helmet made of carbon fiber. Usually we are here to brag about either the benefits or visually pleasing characteristics of carbon fiber, but this time we have to say, we are torn between just that, and the awesome capabilities of this helmet as a whole.
The helmet is composed of carbon fiber and Kevlar, with a lens made of a strong polycarbonate on the visor, for ultimate impact protection. The bubble-like shape and carbon fiber composition uniqueness sets this helmet apart more so because of its lightweight feature. This is a huge advantage for any pilot’s comfort, just ask one.
Airman Magazine reports,
“According to Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin’s chief F-35 test pilot, the helmet eliminates the need for a separate, traditional-style heads-up display by projecting the information directly onto the visor. “I’ve flown with a lot of helmets in the past 27 years,”
“After flying with this helmet, you eventually forget that it is a display. It becomes natural.” He added that eventually the cockpit integration will include voice commands for basic tasks.”
Now, the non-carbon aspects. This helmet has a helmet-mounted display system a.k.a. HMDS, developed by Vision Systems International. The HMDS features tailored view for each individual pilot.
The helmet-mounted display system, or HMDS, shows content tailored to the pilot’s view. When the pilot looks left or right, the information displayed on the visor changes based on pilot preference. The visor even allows the pilot to see air traffic, on top of altitude and air speed.
“If the aircraft is hostile, the pilot can cue weapons without looking down at the instruments in the cockpit, because that information is also available on his visor. This works even for threats that are not in the air. If the connected pilot flies a ground support mission, the helmet allows the pilot to target ground-based threats like it does enemy aircraft.”
Almost 8,000 actual Air Force pilots will be lucky enough to be custom fitted for one of these helmets in which each visor will be custom fit.
These advances in helmet engineering is making life and route easier for the pilot. The F-35 carbon fiber helmet is next to flawless in its structure, capabilities and characteristics.
Thanks for the tip Eric!
[Source: Airman Magazine Online]