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First Flight Of Helmet Mounted Display For The F-35 Lightning

Rockwell Collins : 23 March, 2010  (Application Story)
The F-35 Gen II HMDS from Vision Systems International has taken its first flight aboard the Lightning II jet
Vision Systems International (VSI), a supplier of advanced Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) technology, has announced the successful first flight of the F-35 Gen II Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) on the F-35B Lightning II Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) jet.

VSI is currently performing under a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics for the delivery of the F-35 Gen II helmet displays and aircraft ship-sets in support of the F-35 Lightning II HMDS program. VSI has also received contracts for production tooling and initial funding for the Pilot Fit Facility Standup at Eglin Air Force Base for the HMDS program.

'The most advanced helmet mounted display system in the world flew a very successful flight on the F-35,' said VSI President Drew Brugal. 'The Gen II system is the culmination of extensive VSI R&D. It provides the F-35 aviator unmatched situational awareness presenting symbology and pilot selectable augmented reality in a wide field-of-view display format. The 'virtual' Head-Up Display (HUD) presented by the HMD replaces traditional HUD systems and gives the pilot precise, stable symbology in the forward cone and a seamless transition to mission critical symbology in the remaining field-of-regard.'

The F-35 Gen II HMDS displays biocular video and symbology information on the helmet visor, providing pilots with all information necessary to execute both day and night missions under a single integrated configuration. The system enables pilots to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors using the helmet display.

The HMD also allows the aircraft systems to alert pilots of potential threats and hazards, significantly improving situational awareness. Advanced night imagery is provided by the helmet mounted night camera and aircraft Distributed Aperture System (DAS). The F-35 Gen II HMDS's accuracy and very low latency enables the F-35 to be the first front line tactical aircraft in decades to eliminate the traditional HUD. The HMDS is the 'virtual' HUD of the aircraft.
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