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Gentex Helmet Mounted Display (space model)

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0520
Category: Head-Mounted Equipment [HMD/NVG/Glasses]
Object Type: Model
Object Name: Gentex Helmet Mounted Display (space model)
Part No: None
Serial No: None
Manufacturer: GEC Avionics
Division: Unknown
Year of Manufacture: circa 1990
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Rack RAA15 (HMDs) [Mezzanine Store]



In 1992 GEC Ferranti announced an industry team to develop an integrated helmet-mounted display for both fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft. The system was called Crusader, and the team members include Pilkington Optronics, Gentex of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and GEC Ferranti's recently acquired Gaertner Research division in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Original Eurofighter design. The HMD was designed in Edinburgh in collaboration with Gentex. The Crusader HMD was part of a technology development/ demonstrator program aimed at providing helmet solutions that could be applied to several fixed- and rotary-wing applications while at the same time maintain the protection levels and life support integration of current in-service helmets. The program was coordinated by the U.S. Navy, who very early-on expressed strong interest in the two-part helmet concept.
Crusader is a binocular, visor-projection HMD design; it has a 30 by 40 degree partial-overlap FOV, and incorporates dual, integrated camera-coupled Image Intensifier I2 tubes. The visor projection design is based on off-axis holographic optics, and provides unobstructed see-through vision with an eye relief of 76mm and extremely well balanced centre-of-gravity. The Crusader system utilized dual, miniature solid state displays with a resolution of 1024 vertical by 1280 horizontal. The Crusader HMD is capable of presenting binocular on-helmet I2 video, aircraft-provided FLIR video, and the merged, “sensor fusion” combination of these, all with both flight and fire -control symbology added.
The Display Systems division of GEC Ferranti held responsibility for overall system design, development, integration, qualification, as well as flight clearance and production. GEC Ferranti was formerly Ferranti Defence Systems and was based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The design was targeted at Eurofighter but there were too many issues with the distortion in the double curvature visor such that the design was eventually dropped in favour of that from GEC Avionics in Rochester. In 2012 the Gentex Corporation announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to divest its "Visionix" Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) and InterSense motion tracking businesses to Thales Group.

The RAA contains a number of models of equipment and aircraft. The equipment models were used as a marketing aid and often to ensure that the production unit will fit in the space; this was particularly true for Head Up Displays. Such equipment models will have minimal or no functionality. Models might  just be used as weighted units or as cockpit lighting evaluation units. The HUD used on the YF-16 was of the correct weight and envelope but only mounted the Spin 'chute button (a feature only required for the early test flights). Many of these models were made by professional model makers from the original drawings and could be quite expensive; alternatively the real hardware would be used.

The aircraft models range from the simple small scale kits to quite large display items. The large model aircraft were often a marketing tool from places like Airbus or Boeing but may be found in Boardrooms or Reception areas wheras the small models may be given as a visitor handout. Those models made from kits have largely been brought in from home but are useful to illustrate the platform alongside the equipment. The large models will be hugely expensive.

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