While would-be pilots stare enviously at the air display, much of the real business of the show is being carried out around cockpits which are strictly earth-based.

Some of these can be found on the GEC-Marconi stand (Hall3/B1).

With a decision on further funding of the German Tiger helicopter programme just days away, interest is focusing on the rotary wing cockpit showcasing GEC's Knighthelm helmet mounted display in final development for Tiger.

In order to get a feel for the system, GEC have mocked-up a cockpit and provided simulated ground and air targets which can be targeted for the helmet.

"Part of the feature of Knighthelm is, because of the high accuracy of the tracker, the Germans are to dispense with the head-up display on Tiger and use the tracker and helmet to deliver the weapons. So we're demonstrating that capability at the show," says John White, GEC Marconi Avionics.

The demonstration also includes piped thermal imaging, although not on the helmet display. White says that the development had brought the weight of the helmet down to 2.36kg - just 0.16kg over the final target weight.

GEC is about to bid for production investment for the programme, but doubts remain over the funding of the project as the German government grapples to reduce its defence spending.

German government and defence officials are due to meet on Thursday to decide on further funding for Tiger.



Knighthelm is also being bid for the US Apache attack helicopter with an enhanced 875 line video.

A second cockpit on the GEC stand also shows the avionics division's products for fixed wing aircraft with 4500 Head Up Display (HUD) and camera, LCD colour head-down displays, Blue Hawk radar monitor and a Viper 1 helmet mounted display. Viper 2, the binocular enhanced development of Viper 1, is not at the show, due to "marketing requirements in the US". Viper 2 is currently being flight tested out of China Lake on an AV8B Harrier.





Source: Flight Daily News