The Navy Is Fixing a Serious, Six-Year-Old Bug in the F-35 Fighter Helmet

The Navy is fixing a bug with the F-35?s helmet that prevents less experienced pilots from landing the plane on a carrier at night. The helmet emits a green glow at night that pilots find distracting. The solution involves swapping out the current helmet mounted displays and replacing them with organic, light emitting diodes (OLEDs).

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?s pilot helmet is unlike any other. Made of kevlar and carbon fiber, the helmets are an extension of the aircraft sensors and control system and one of the first to employ augmented reality in military equipment. The helmet mounted display projects all of the information that used to be presented in cockpit-mounted heads-up displays (HUDs) including air speed, heading, altitude, and more. At the same time the pilot can see in all directions?including straight down?through a network of six infrared cameras facing outward in all directions. The helmet display can even overlay the aircraft flight path over the pilot?s field of vision, including ground targets and air defense threats detected by other friendly forces.