« Previous Next »


Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0013
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Display Unit
Object Name: F-16 AFTI HUD
Part No: 229-016740
Serial No: B11
Manufacturer: Marconi Avionics
Division: Airborne Display [ADD]
Platform(s): F-16A/B Fighting Falcon
Year of Manufacture: circa 1980
Dimensions: Width (mm): 240
Height (mm): 315
Depth (mm): 700
Weight (g): 22,480
Location: Rack RAA14 (HUD DUs) [Mezzanine Store]

Dsgn. Act. 27489
PN 229-016740
Mfr. 27489
Ser. No. AFTI-3
Asset No. 175001
Clean glass with FED SPEC O-E-760 alcohol & lens tissue


The AFTI PDU had a new larger optical module giving an enhanced field of view of 15deg in azimuth by 20deg in elevation with a 25degree TFOV. This compares with the original F-16 A/B with a 20deg circular and an instantaneous FoV of 9deg in azimuth by 13.4deg in elevation. An extra 1.5 degrees in elevation was accomplished by fitting a very thick combiner which gave the effect of a dual combiner glass. Special coatings on the forward and aft surfaces of the combiner transferred the image between the surfaces with no banding or false horizon. This new glass gave an improved vertical field of view without so much birdstrike risk that the conventional dual combiner construction would have in an aircraft with a one-piece ‘bubble’ canopy. In the event this thick combiner proved unsuccessful and the later F-16 C/D reverted to the normal glass.

In the late 1970s, the USAF laboratories at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, created the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program office to perform flying demonstrations of advanced technology systems and capabilities for fighter aircraft. 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. An F-16 was chosen because of its modern features, its ease of integrating advanced systems, its low operations and maintenance costs, and the reduced risk of transitioning the technologies to the Air Forces large F-16 fleet.
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). The aircraft received advanced avionics and cockpit modifications, which were forerunners of those systems in the F-16C/D first produced in 1984. An experimental HUD was one of those modifications.

The AFTI F-16 phase I tests began following its arrival at Dryden on July 15, 1982. The initial flights checked out the airplane's stability and control systems. These included a triplex digital flight control computer system, and the two triangular "chin" canards mounted under the aircraft's intake.

The AFTI F-16 left Dryden for the last time on November 4, 1997. Over a period of 15 years, it had made more than 700 research flights. Although no longer used by NASA, it continued to be used for test missions. Its final project was as the hardware and software testbed for the X-35 Joint Strike Fight prototype. On January 9, 2001, the AFTI F-16 was retired to the Air Force Museum.

The legend "27489" on the Ident labels of the boxes is a defunct CAGE code for the Rochester site of Elliott Bros (London) Ltd.    

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Related Items: