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Collins Aerospace's $400,000 HMDS Gen 3 helmet makes the F-35 fighter jet "transparent" to the pilot

Collins Aerospace's $400,000 HMDS Gen 3 helmet makes the F-35 fighter jet "transparent" to the pilot
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Collins Aerospace has developed the $400,000 HMDS Gen 3 pilot helmet for efficient use of the F-35 fighter. This high-tech device literally makes the aircraft invisible to the pilot - it provides a 360° view.

It took a decade to develop the HMDS Gen 3 helmet. The helmet serves as the pilot's main display, as well as the screen for the F-35 weapon control system. It has 6 cameras installed outside the aircraft and directed in all directions. The visor displays a "stitched" image from these cameras. So, if you look down, you will see the ground or clouds - not very pleasant for an ordinary person who is not a professional pilot.

HMDS Gen 3 provides continuous display of flight information and sensor data. The helmet converts their readings into augmented reality overlay. Pilots can mark and track air and ground objects, both friendly and enemy. All they need to do is simply look at them using the targeting system.

The helmet includes a built-in night vision system with a field of view of 30° by 40° and 100% coverage. This eliminates the need for separate night vision goggles. Infrared cameras on the F-35 fuselage allow the pilot to see even in complete darkness.

Every tiny detail of the HMDS Gen 3 is custom-designed and laser-cut individually for each user. Each pilot's head is scanned for precise fitting. The distance between the pilot's pupils is accurately measured to reproduce a seamless image on the visor. The distance from the eye to the visor is also measured to ensure everything is in perfect focus.

Everything is so detailed that even if you get a new hairstyle or somehow change the shape of your head, for example, gain weight or lose weight, the helmet will no longer fit properly. Every 120 days, the helmet undergoes a check to ensure that it functions properly and meets standards.

Sources: Collins Aerospace, New Atlas

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