The New World of Fighter Helmets

The New World of Fighter Helmets: The 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., recently completed their evaluation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s new helmet, which is a step beyond today’s heads-up display. The F-35 helmet carries its own display system, enabling the pilot to have all data in front of him at all times—which could pose a problem. Capt. Chris Jenkins, the pilot vehicle interface lead for the JSF Integrated Test Force, says the focus of the 412th’s work was “risk reduction,” essentially working to help optimize the data to ensure the pilot “can actually see the outside world through all the symbology.” Jenkins says that the helmet system uses the normal HUD symbology when the pilot looks straight ahead and has a tracker that senses when the pilot looks away from the centerline, telling the display to turn off some information while turning on other information.