« Previous Next »

F-16C/D HUD Tube Unit Assembly

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0425
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: F-16C/D HUD Tube Unit Assembly
Part No: 229-026253-03
Serial No: 100
Manufacturer: Thomas Electronics
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture: circa 2000
Dimensions:
Width (mm):
112 
Height (mm):
112 
Depth (mm):
296 
Weight (g):
1,121 
Location: Archive Object Store
Inscription(s):

Tube Unit Assembly K0656
229-026253-03
S/N K0656C 100
NSN 1270-??-735-6356 WF
────────────────
Thomas Electronics
CAGE 01852
100 Riverview Drive, New Jersey 07470 USA
TE PN 4M147P
S/N 502746
Date 0046
9002-00014, Rev. F

Notes:

Unlike the other CRT Assemblies, this one was made by Thomas Electronics rather than Rank Electronic Tubes in order to maintain a dual source.

The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Blocks 30/32, 40/42 and 50/52 were later C/D versions. The LANTIRN Diffractive optics HUD was designed for the new aircraft but development was delayed by the complexity of the manufacturing problems. As an interim the Company offered a wide angle conventional optic design.

The HUD PDU has both a raster and a cursive capability with the first application of ‘cursive-in-flyback’ in which the same amount of symbology as in the daytime high brightness mode can be drawn on the CRT using the raster's field flyback period of the Night mode. The system accuracy was enhanced by the ability to apply corrections for the windshield. The optics provides a 25° Total Field of View and a 20° by 15° Instantaneous Field of View which was the maximum that could be achieved within the limitations of the exit lens design and the large distance between the pilot and the HUD, necessitated by the reclined high ‘G’ seat.

The Processor/Symbol Generator in the HUD Electronics Unit (EU) uses the MIL-STD-1553 databus architecture, the MIL-STD-1750 processor and the MIL-STD-1589B Jovial J73 programming language. This was the first time that all three Standards had been used together. The HUD EU has comprehensive video mixing and scan conversion and self-contained weapon aiming capability.

The initial order was placed in 1984 and was valued at nearly $50 million (then about £30 million) to cover both development and production. Over 2300 HUD’s were delivered for the F-16 and the system has been the basis of equipment supplied for other programmes such as for the A-7D/K and F-5 adding another 1500 units to the family. In 1985 the F-16C/D design won the Queen’s Award for Technology Improvements to aircraft Head Up Display systems for the Company.

The Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) for the F-16C/D HUD Pilot’s Display Unit was supplied as a CRT Assembly incorporating the CRT within its mu-metal housing. The CRT has a deflection coil within the casing which magnetically deflects the beam; focussing is electrostatic. The final anode operates at a high voltage of 18kV and the focus voltage is in the range 3-5kV.

A fine grain P53 phosphor is used on the screen and there is a blank area at the bottom of the CRT face where the beam can write invisibly during the periodic cathode current test sequence needed for closed-loop brightness control that achieves very stable, low-brightness, night operation. The inside face, on which the phosphor is deposited, is accurately aligned to the mounting flange of the tube to ensure it coincides with the optical module's image plane.

When the CRT Assembly is fitted with its Matching Card it forms a Tube Unit Assembly (TUA).

Click to enlarge