What is the front glass in fighter planes called? I mean the one which had the reticle marked in them not the canopy glass. Cockpit part on google doesn't seem to tell what I want to know.

Are there any other uses of it besides targeting, because I have seen them only in fighter planes/jets?

When were they first employed?

  • $\begingroup$ I assume you mean the heads up display? $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2015 at 15:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please also make new questions from the second and third parts of your question- it helps keep content organized :) $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2015 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ If you are referring to the HUD, your last question is answered here. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


It's a Head-Up Display, or HUD.

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The HUD can display a number of different pieces of information, including performance data such as airspeed, altitude, and attitude, navigation data such as waypoints or ILS glideslope, or weapons data such as the selected weapon or the targeting reticle you mentioned. Thus, its uses are varied - depending on how sophisticated the system, basic aircraft control may be accomplished using only the HUD. In some modern fighters, there may be additional data on a Helmet Display (or in the case of the F-35, the helmet may have the only display).

It is not just used on fighters - some airliners, cargo planes, and trainers have HUDs:

C-17 HUD


T-38 HUD


Airbus HUD

(Airbus A380)

As for your last question, per fooot's comment, this question and answer has more information.

The Blackburn Buccaneer was the first production aircraft with a HUD and entered service in 1963.


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