Play / pause The F-35 Helmet

The F-35 Helmet

  • Andy Edgell
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnett


The F-35 helmet is, in one word, very expensive.

Yeah, we always worry about dropping the helmet.

Fortunately, I haven't.

It's in the region of three to $400,000,

so that's an expensive check that you're

gonna have to write if you drop that one.

It's a fascinating piece of equipment.

It's got all the information that you ever need

projected to you inside the visor.

It looks futuristic, and it is quite futuristic as well.

Whereas legacy fourth generation, third generation jets

would have a fixed head-up display

on the cockpit console in front of you,

what the F-35 does is it removes that piece of hardware

and it actually has a couple of cameras

that will project all the information

of a head-up display onto your visor.

I say it's a bit like getting a permanent marker,

getting a green pen, green permanent marker,

writing one some contact lenses your airspeed,

and your height, and your attitude,

and your weapons information, and so forth,

writing them on contact lenses

and then sticking them in your eyes.

It doesn't matter where you're looking,

you've always got all the information

that you need available to you.

Whereas in the legacy jets if you need to look over here,

you have no information at all

until you scan back and look in front of you.

That's huge advance in capability that it offers the pilot.

And your situational awareness goes through the roof

when you can look up there

and have a box around your target,

or you can look down on the ground and say

I want to designate that corner of that bridge as my target,

and you aim your helmet, you aim your line-of-sight cross,

and you designate that as the target.

And then all of your sensors and systems,

they all work together and look at that point.

I mean, the situational awareness that it gives you

is absolutely unprecedented, it's huge.

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