If you’re one of the few pilots lucky enough to fly the F-35 stealth fighter, you get to wear some pretty impressive headgear. The helmets that go along with the oft-delayed, most expensive military plane ever built provide some amazing perks, when they’re working properly, that is.
Rockwell Collins has created the third model of helmet tested with the F-35, and its capabilities are straight out of a video game. Night-vision is probably the most basic thing the helmet does, and that’s saying something. This helmet will report statistics and metrics about the plane to the pilot, including fuel level and plane health.
The helmet will also provide a heads up display (HUD) allowing the pilot to acquire and monitor targets, provide a secure link to confirm the hostility of these targets, and when not attempting to blow something up, the HUD in conjunction with cameras out the outside of the plane will allow the pilot to “see” through the bottom of the cockpit.
All of these goodies aren’t cheap though. Each helmet is custom-fitted to the pilot, and carries a price tag of $400,000. As mentioned earlier, the Rockwall Collins model of helmet is the third such helmet attempted for the F-35. The problems with the helmet seem to mimic some of the problems with the plane. The F-35 is the most expensive military aircraft ever created, and much of that cost has come from delays and problems during testing. The plane is a truly advanced machine, and the helmet is awfully impressive as well, the next step is ensuring that both work as they’re supposed to.
You can see a CGI video of the helmet’s capabilities below: