Collins Aerospace conceptualizes helmet-mounted display for future vertical lift platforms

By Jaspreet Gill / October 15, 2020 at 9:22 AM

Collins Aerospace wants to create a version of a helmet-mounted display for future vertical lift platforms, a company official told Inside Defense this week.

The company is currently providing Bell an integrated avionics digital backbone solution and next-generation flight deck, which would include the helmet-mounted display, for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft prototype, the Army’s No. 1 priority under the FVL effort.

The new system would be based on the helmet-mounted display system Collins Aerospace and Elbit Systems of America have provided through a joint venture for F-35 pilots focused on enhancing situational awareness, Dave Schreck, general manager of military avionics and helicopters at Collins Aerospace, told Inside Defense in an Oct. 14 interview.

“What we’re doing is pulling a variant of a system like that to be able to be used in rotorcraft, specifically future vertical lift platforms, [that will] keep that heads-up, eyes-up user interface for the pilots . . . so that more and more it's not only piloting an aircraft, but it’s also being a mission commander for the specific mission,” Schreck said.

Schreck said the effort is “conceptual” right now, while requirements are being researched for the system.

“In general, when people see the way the helmet-mounted display system operates on the F-35 and how that allows the pilot to be able to [handle] a lot of the information thrown at them in the cockpit in any kind of combat environment, I think there’s growing interest in anything that can allow [pilots to fly at low levels]”, he said. “Being able to keep their eyes up and out, rather than looking down at instruments, being able to look out on the horizon [and] see what’s in front of them, that’s basically what the helmet-mounted display systems are focused on.”