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F-16A/B HUD Optical Module

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0811
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: F-16A/B HUD Optical Module
Part No: 27489 SOCN229-009904
Serial No: K6111C0319
Manufacturer: Pilkington PE
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16A/B Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Dimensions:
Width (mm):
170 
Height (mm):
321 
Depth (mm):
385 
Weight (g):
9,880 
Location: Archive Object Store
Inscription(s):

PPE Serial No. K6111C 0319
Part No. 27489 SOCN229-009904
Mfr. Code K6111
Mfr. Part No. 020420
FSN
Contract No. F333657-75-C-0310
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Clean glass with FED SPEC O-E-760 alcohol & lens tissue

Notes:

This Optical Module is easily identified as F-16 A/B by the two control knobs on its aft end; one is for the Standby Sight and the other controls the luminance. The wedge projecting aft is for a film camera - now a solid state video recording camera. The Total Field of View of the F-16 A/B PDU is 20deg but the Instantaneous FoV is only 9deg in elevation and 13.38deg in azimuth because the combiner to eye distance is quite large due to the highly angled seat. The whole optical system has to correct for display distortions and try to correct for canopy distortions. The F-16 bubble canopy is particularly difficult and every canopy is different needing unique correction. The lens system is a standard Petzval design but it includes a prism block used to inject a red Standby Sight. The Sight is depressible from a PDU Control Panel and has a Night Blind to reduce the intensity of the display at night. At this time it was not possible to get a very low and stable luminance on the CRT; there was always the danger that it might disappear altogether so the Night Blind allowed the tube to be run at a higher and stable luminance. The housing for the Standby Sight lamp gives a prominent finned bulge under the aft end of the PDU.
The PDU has a very rigid Combiner frame to withstand birdstrike on the F 16 where the canopy can deform onto the HUD and it is even possible for a bird to penetrate the canopy. These PDU’s are unique in being designed and tested to withstand both birdstrike and windblast (if the canopy is lost).

In January 1972 the Lightweight Fighter Programme asked for designs from several American manufacturers. In January 1975 General Dynamics was pronounced the winner with the YF-16. Since its small beginning with an initial USAF order for 650 aircraft, the F-16 has become one of the largest and most successful military aircraft in aviation history. At least 23 countries have purchased the F-16 in various forms.

The HUD system, which at one point seems to have been called the HUDSIGHT by the Company, consisted of a Pilot’s Display Unit (PDU), an Electronics Unit (EU) and a Rate Sensor Unit (RSU).  General Dynamics however called it the Fire Control Sight System FCSS.                                                                                     

The F-16 A/B was an international programme with a requirement for offset. The HUD PDU and EU were both built in Rochester and at Atlanta in Georgia, de Oude Delft in the Netherlands also built the PDU and  Kongsberg Vapenfabrik in Norway also built the EU. The Rochester site was responsible for the design, production and supply of complete HUD systems. The legend "27489" on the Ident labels of many of the boxes is a defunct CAGE code for the Rochester site of Elliott Bros (London) Ltd.    

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