As mentioned in my previous blog, I’m based at the National Museum of Flight but occasionally I get time off for good behaviour! Today I’m in the National Museum of Scotland for a Science & Technology Department Meeting. So not a holiday, but at least a trip away! I’m still working though, and have various jobs to do. Today I need to write a label for an object going into one of the galleries as part of the Royal Museum Project.
The object in question is a prototype of the helmets used by pilots flying the Eurofighter Typhoon fast jet. The helmet was designed and built by BAE Systems in Edinburgh and is what is called a Helmet Mounted Display. What this means is that using various sensors and displays and lots of very high technology, it’s possible to calculate where the helmet is pointing, and hence where the pilot is looking. All the flight and weapons data the pilot needs is projected onto the helmet visor, so that this information can been viewed without the pilot having to turn their head and look at their instrument panel or Head Up Display.
Most modern advanced combat aircraft have similar systems, but there are not many of them in museums. We’ve had this helmet in the collection since 2006!
The helmet will be on display in the refurbished Art and Industry gallery when the Royal Museum building reopens next summer.