Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The F-35 gets a new, less capable helmet

"Anything is possible if you are willing to lower your expectations." It says that right on the CAIV badge.

Sooner or later, spin (or sin) has to be paid for. From 2007.

The aircraft has been flying with its innovative new helmet-mounted display system since April 4, and Beesley was very impressed by the helmet, which exhibited no latency or stability problems, and that worked so well that he “forgot he was wearing it”.

The F-35 gets a new helmet. Simply because the original one would not work. They play it off like it is a temporary solution, but going back to the original Buck Rogers fantasy will need real, proven performance.

(click image to make larger)

Gee... that doesn't look like this...

Another PowerPoint sales effort fraud is illuminated like a volley of parachute flares.

CAIV will continue with more erosion of program hopes and dreams. That is if the F-35 doesn't get cancelled.


Anonymous said...

Technology developed for Eurofighter and SAAB Grippen is now to be used on the JSF.

Most curious.

geogen said...

That add-on NVG looks a bit bulky? Doesn't the Eurofighter incorporate night vision aides into the base helmet? I could be wrong.

Either way, if I were Boeing, I'd be pressing on the accelerator right now for BAE (or SAAB's Denel Optronics) to come up with a more cool looking, yet practical, comfortable and evolved off-the-shelf helmet for F-15SE within a year. imho.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this what the fanboys would call "old technology"?

So much for being on the bleeding edge. Hee! Hee!

nico said...

It does seem to be a step back compared to Typhoon or Topsight helmet.I am with Geogen, BA should be pushing F15SE on to everybody that will listen to them. Wonder how hard or expensive it would be for BA to incorporate Meteor onto F15 or SH? Wonder how LMT would react?

Horde said...

The salient sentence amongst all the “a total indifference to what is real” that is the basis of this press release is:

“The HMD's modular design will allow for a path to binocular visor-projected displays, alternate image sources and Night Vision Cameras, depending on customer requirements and program needs.”

At the very least, binocular visor-projected displays will be needed for the off-bore sight targeting capability to work as advertised (eh? Marketed), including that rather courageous claim from the manufacturer that “with the JSF EO-DAS, maneuvering is irrelevant”.

The $64 Bn question, though, is how does one get 360 deg spherical vision through a binocular system?

Bonza said...

Simple Horde, L-M are not getting the full capability with this helmet.

They are getting one that will work straight with most of the capability sought and one that will not slow most of the program down. Want to know what Venlet is bringing to the program?


The VSI product meanwhile has just been given a further development contract. Their helmet is still the intended long term solution. With IOC as far away as whoever says it is (2018 for arguments sake) VSI has 7 years to get their product sorted or alternatively BAE has 7 years to convince the program to continue with their product.

Not seeing much downside there. Smacks of a pragmatic approach that many have long been calling for.

Distiller said...

Elbit not being able to deliver?? Can't really believe that ...

ELP said...

If DAS as a system ever works in the F-35 as opposed to a flying test bed.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem too smart to build your cockpit completely around an unproven display technology, only to have it fall far short as the A/C is ready to begin pilot training. Wonder if the proposed $65M flyaway cost included the quarter-million dollar helmet?

Anonymous said...

Why not just use the JHMCS and upgraded with some new features and integration with DAS that would be a lot easier.

Horde said...

Far too little and way far too late, Bonza.

Should have started in 2003 when the weight thingy was finally discovered, rather than SWAT out a whole bunch of porkies.

Sadly, all too late, now.

The damage was done a long time ago and the gremlins (along with the cankers, warts and blisters) are now all resident in the design.

Anonymous said...

How many decades do they need to get it right?

Bonza said...

Interesting thoughts Horde, thanks.

What chance do you think future Block F-35's will have (if any) of airframe modifications in future variants? The design whilst locked in for SDD, surely has some ability to be modified as earlier aircraft have been throughout their lives?

With the F-16 for example we've seen the addition of "big mouth" inlets, "common" engine bays, the rectangular dorsal spine and internal structural improvements to improve airframe life and increase G loadings.

With Super Hornet we've seen a new forward fuselage and nose cone to accomodate the APG-79 radar and enhanced cooling/electrical provisions.

Is there a chance that some of these gremlins in the F-35 airframe could be remedied in future years?


Cocidius said...

Thanks Bonza, I just about spewed my coffee this morning laughing.

That's the first time I've ever heard anyone use the term "pragmatic" to describe the JSF Program!

Really what else can we expect Venlet to do when saddled with trying to make such a loser actually work as advertised?

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade.