Sit on Your Helmet

The helmet under development for F-35 pilots is having problems, said Vice Adm. David Venlet, F-35 program executive officer. It’s designed to provide the head-up display, targeting information, and a supposedly seamless panoramic night view of surrounding terrain. But it’s experiencing jittery presentations, jumping, and brightness issues, said Venlet in remarks before an industry audience in Arlington, Va., Tuesday. There’s no trouble with the HUD presentation, he noted. Venlet said F-35 program officials won’t allow the helmet to interfere with the aircraft’s progress, so they are considering “alternatives,” such as night vision goggles, and moving some presentations to the cockpit’s flat-screen displays. Night vision “is the main challenge,” he said, but “we’ve got some options.” (For more from Venlet, see The F-35 Bottom Line from Wednesday’s Daily Report column)