Following developmental issues with the Joint Strike Fighter’s helmet display that were raised earlier this year, the F-35 Joint Program Office is faced with making a decision this summer on whether to procure an interim helmet/display to use with standard night-vision goggles.
The TopOwl helmet-mounted sight and display on show here in the Thales pavilion is in service already on five helicopter models in 16 countries. The company has delivered more than 700 copies, and says more than 1,600 will be in service over the next 10 years.
After making its international debut in May at SOFEX in Jordan, the Scorpion helmet-mounted sight is being shown by Raytheon and Gentex for the first time at a major airshow here at Farnborough. The Scorpion is a monocle-
based system developed by the Visionix division of helmet manufacturer Gentex, with systems integration by Raytheon.
In an experiment reminiscent of Jimmy Doolittle’s trailblazing instrument blind flight in 1929, researchers at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) have conducted a full takeoff and landing flight of their testbed fly-by-wire Bell 205 helicopter controlled by a pilot completely “under the hood” and receiving all his visual cues via a helmet-mounted enhanced synthetic vision system (ESVS).