Israeli cutting edge technology is helping the American rocket racing league.
According to the league’s website, Rocket Racing is the equivalent of Formula One racing in the sky, using rocket-powered aircraft flown by Top Gun pilots and astronauts.
The league is using the Elbit systems Targo advanced pilot helmet to allow the pilots of these rockets to fly head out and get all the need data on a flat panel visor.
While the Targo is based on Elbit’s legacy helmet systems like the DASH and joint helmet mounted cueing system (JHMCS), it is a new generation of helmet that is aimed at allowing air forces to use it without too much changes in the platforms.
The main problem with legacy helmet systems is the integration in the aircraft. The supporting system of these helmets consists of a number of boxes and wiring and that requires a massive integration which is time consuming and costly.
The Targo is modular and, according to Yaron Kranz, senior director at Elbit systems helmet mounted systems divison, the customer can select the most attractive “building blocks” to answer his operational or training needs.
While legacy helmet systems consist of the helmet itself and a number of electronic boxes, miniaturization enabled Elbit systems to replace these with built in modules. This while keeping the helmet overall weight which is 1.6 kgs.”the new helmet is also better balanced on the pilots head and gives him a more comfortable use”.
The Targo allows the air force to select its own symbology. In a trainer aircraft the symbology may vary between the instructor’s and the trainee helmets.
One of the main features of the Targo is the use of flat panel visor technology instead of the old CRT one. This new technology decreases the weight of the helmet by 120 grams and allows to display symbology and video, in monochrome and colour.
According to Kranz, the Targo has accumulated 700 flight hours in Israel and on aircraft of potential customers.
The new helmet has an optional night capability. The visor is taken off and a quick attachment connector allows the adding of night goggles.
The Targo has a WIFI module and that allows a number of pilots and crew members, to network their helmets. This is very important when the helmets are used on cargo aircraft or heavy helicopters.
The Targo is already integrated in the Lockheed Martin C-130J simulator.