Helmets are nothing new to fighter pilots. Anyone who has seen “Top Gun” knows exactly what helmet American fighter pilots wear since the design hasn’t changed much since the ’80s. Until now, that is. Modern-day fighter pilots are using and testing a couple of next-generation helmets with advanced technology embedded in them, making pilots more efficient at their jobs. F-22A Raptor pilots from the 301st Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida are testing an updated version of the old helmet that increases mobility, visibility, and comfort. Engineers crafted this helmet from lightweight carbon fiber to help during high-speed maneuvers. The helmet has night vision goggles, a jawbone-activated light, and a cueing system.
While that’s impressive, F-35 pilots use one of the most advanced helmets in the U.S. military. Every aircraft in existence comes equipped with a heads-up display (HUD) containing the craft’s radar, airspeed indicator, and altimeter to keep them aware of their surroundings. The F-35 has a HUD, but it also sends all mission-critical information directly to the helmet’s visor, greatly increasing the pilot’s responsiveness. Furthermore, F-35 pilots can receive a 360-degree view of their jet’s external conditions on their visors, eliminating the need to turn their heads or tilt the plane.