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A-10 LANTIRN HUD PDU (space model)

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0448
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Model
Object Name: A-10 LANTIRN HUD PDU (space model)
Part No: None
Serial No: None
Manufacturer: Unknown
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): A-10 Thunderbolt
Year of Manufacture: circa 1980
Dimensions: Width (mm): 300
Height (mm): 830
Depth (mm): 610
Weight (g): 10,880
Location: Main Store



GEC-Marconi Avionics began development of diffractive optical elements in the late 1970s building on the work of the Marconi Research Centre at Great Baddow under Dr Firth.

The Company developed an approach using three combiner elements which was relatively easy to manufacture and gave a large Head Motion Box. In 1980 Marconi won the contract to supply the HUD for the USAF LANTIRN. The LANTIRN programme links a Forward Looking Infra-Red system to the HUD to present a TV picture at night of the outside world.

The HUD gives a 30° field of view in azimuth (essential for looking into turns) and 20° in elevation.

A variant of this DHUD was also designed for the A-10 Thunderbolt. The Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide air interdiction and close air support (CAS) of ground forces by attacking tanks, armoured vehicles, and other ground targets. This HUD contains the largest diffractive elements in HUD design and must surely be a candidate for the largest HUD; it weighs in at 61lbs. The size is determined by the need to locate the unit forward of the instrument panel. The field of view however is the same as the F-16 unit. Sadly only five units were built and no contract was awarded.

This item bears a Dymo label: ADD 003".

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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