F-22 and F-35 are Old News: BAE Systems Has a Radical Idea for America's Next Jet Fighter


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.”

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