Helmet Mounted Display Model

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0372
Category: Head-Mounted Equipment [HMD/NVG/Glasses]
Object Type: Model
Object Name: Helmet Mounted Display Model
Part No: None
Serial No: 027
Manufacturer: Unknown
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16A/B Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture: circa 1987
Dimensions:
Width (mm):
260 
Height (mm):
260 
Depth (mm):
290 
Weight (g):
1,540 
Location: Archive Object Store
Inscription(s):

None

Notes:

A pioneering Helmet Mounted Display was used on the AFTI F-16, under the Falcon Eye program, to demonstrate day and night operation with advanced thermal sensors. The HMD was tested with a TI head-steered FLIR and a Honeywell AC Electromagnetic tracker.
The Falcon Eye HMD is a Biocular (same image to both eyes) HMD using a single “1 inch” CRT placed across the front of the helmet. The CRT projects into two Combiner eyepieces, rather similar to the Cats Eyes Night Vision Goggles. The helmet shell is a modified UK Alpha helmet. The system could display stroke symbology by day and raster with fast stroke written symbology at night. The display was driven from an Electronics Unit with a MIL-STD-1750A processor.The field of view is 30o x 27 o and the weight of the Helmet is about 1.75kg.
This HMD his is a model and it does not have a reference plate but was probably made in the late 80’s.
The Falcon Eye Programme resulted in several world first’s, including day and night close air support using head steered FLIR and in 1991 it was used for the first off-boresight missile firing in West; the Box Office missile was a variant of the Aim9 Sidewinder family and it successfully destroyed a drone at more than 90° off axis. This HMD was later renamed Nighthelm.

In March 1980, General Dynamics began converting the sixth full scale development F-16A to serve as the technology demonstrator aircraft for the joint Flight Dynamics Laboratory-NASA Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program. The AFTI F-16 built upon GD's experience with its YF-16 Control Configuration Vehicle programme, and the AFTI F-16 even received the twin pivoting vertical ventral fins from the CCV aircraft, which were likewise installed under the air intake. The aircraft was also fitted with a narrow dorsal fairing along its spine to house additional electronics. Technologies introduced and tested on the AFTI F-16 include a full-authority triplex Digital Flight Control System (DFCS), a six-degree-of-freedom Automated Manoeuvring Attack System (AMAS), a 256-word-capacity Voice-Controlled Interactive Device (VCID) to control the avionics suite, and a helmet-mounted target designation sight that permitted the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) device and the radar to be automatically "slaved" to the pilot's head movement (this was the Falcon Eye). First flight of the AFTI F-16 occurred on 10 July 1982.

Falcon Eye was tested on this F-16 with a TI head-steered FLIR and a Honeywell AC Electromagnetic tracker.

The Falcon Eye Programme resulted in several world first’s, including day and night close air support using head steered FLIR and in 1991 it was used for the first off-boresight missile firing in West; the  Box Office missile was a variant of the Aim9 Sidewinder family and it successfully destroyed a drone at  more than 90° off axis.

In the late 1970s, the USAF laboratories at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, created the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program office to perform flying demonstrations of advanced technology systems and capabilities for fighter aircraft. In March 1980, General Dynamics began converting the sixth full scale development F-16A to serve as the technology demonstrator aircraft for the joint Flight Dynamics Laboratory-NASA Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program. An F-16 was chosen because of its modern features, its ease of integrating advanced systems, its low operations and maintenance costs, and the reduced risk of transitioning the technologies to the Air Forces large F-16 fleet.
The AFTI F-16 built upon GD's experience with its YF-16 Control Configuration Vehicle programme, and the AFTI F-16 even received the twin pivoting vertical ventral fins from the CCV aircraft, which were likewise installed under the air intake. The aircraft was also fitted with a narrow dorsal fairing along its spine to house additional electronics. Technologies introduced and tested on the AFTI F-16 include a full-authority triplex Digital Flight Control System (DFCS), a six-degree-of-freedom Automated Manoeuvring Attack System (AMAS), a 256-word-capacity Voice-Controlled Interactive Device (VCID) to control the avionics suite, and a helmet-mounted target designation sight that permitted the gimballed forward-looking infrared (FLIR) device and the radar to be automatically "slaved" to the pilot's head movement (this was the Falcon Eye). The aircraft received advanced avionics and cockpit modifications, which were forerunners of those systems in the F-16C/D first produced in 1984. An experimental HUD was one of those modifications.

The AFTI F-16 phase I tests began following its arrival at Dryden on July 15, 1982. The initial flights checked out the airplane's stability and control systems. These included a triplex digital flight control computer system, and the two triangular "chin" canards mounted under the aircraft's intake.

The AFTI F-16 left Dryden for the last time on November 4, 1997. Over a period of 15 years, it had made more than 700 research flights. Although no longer used by NASA, it continued to be used for test missions. Its final project was as the hardware and software testbed for the X-35 Joint Strike Fight prototype. On January 9, 2001, the AFTI F-16 was retired to the Air Force Museum.

The legend "27489" on the Ident labels of the boxes is a defunct CAGE code for the Rochester site of Elliott Bros (London) Ltd.    

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge