Fighter Pilots Are Getting New Helmets Fit For Iron Man
Defense contractor BAE Systems just unveiled the flight helmet of the future, which combines tracking, night-vision, augmented and virtual-reality technologies to give fighter pilots “superhuman” vision.
The Striker II Helmet-Mounted Display gives pilots a better-than-reality view of an aerial battlefield, according to the Huffington Post U.K., which got an up-close look at the tech.
“Put the helmet on for the first time and it’s honestly like stepping forward in time,” the report states. “Imagine what Tony Stark sees when he’s in the Iron Man suit and you’re not far off.” (RELATED: BAE Is Going All ‘Transformers’ With Its New Pentagon Plane Concepts)
BAE’s display goes far beyond traditional static cockpit heads-up-display screens by creating a virtual space around the pilot, which feeds information from live missile cams, drones, satellites and more. Small infrared dots covering the helmet along with a cockpit-mounted camera bounce the image off the visor to the back of the pilot’s eye, where the brain itself creates the composite.
A pilot’s vision and aircraft targeting computer are kept perfectly in sync, meaning if the pilot can see something, it can be targeted.
The helmet pinpoints what the pilot is looking at, and allows him or her to glance at separate information as they see fit without having it constantly occupy their line of sight. A night-vision camera embedded in the helmet above the eyes means pilots no longer have to wear bulky night-vision goggles, and acts more like a seamless filter over the see-through helmet.
Striker II has reportedly passed safety certifications and is scheduled for flight tests later this year in the U.K.’s advanced Eurofighter Typhoon.