Next generation fighters of the future might have cockpits and flight control systems that are radically different from the cockpits of today.
While the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the forthcoming Block III version of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet have state-of-the-art wide screen displays and feature advanced helmet-mounted displays, a next-generation fighter might dispense with traditional cockpit displays entirely. A future fighter might feature only a virtual cockpit projected directly onto the helmet display of the pilot.
“In terms of future concepts, we are looking at what we are calling a ‘wearable cockpit,’” Jean Page, a lead technologist with BAE Systems’ Human Factors team, said. “Here, you remove many of the physical elements of the cockpit, and replace it with a virtual display, projected through the helmet. Essentially, it’s a software-only cockpit that’s upgradeable, adaptable and reconfigurable.”