|Category:||Head-Mounted Equipment [HMD/NVG/Glasses]|
|Object Type:||Control/Data Entry|
|Object Name:||HMD Control Unit|
|Division:||Airborne Display [ADD]|
|Platform(s):||F-16C/D Fighting Falcon|
|Year of Manufacture:||Unknown|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
GEC Avionics Limited
Interface & Control Unit
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 gimballed 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. This HMD was later renamed Nighthelm.