Here is a screen capture from a YouTube video. The aircraft is an A-10.

enter image description here

What kind of helmet is that and where can I learn more about it?

Additionally, does the weight of the helmet and it's apparently awkward center of gravity cause issues during high-G maneuvers?

  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK, the A-10 does not pull high-g maneuvers, relatively speaking. (Relative to air superiority fighters.) This means it can afford heavier helmets with more features. $\endgroup$
    – DrZ214
    Jul 2, 2016 at 4:55

2 Answers 2


The pilot's helmet in the photo is a standard Gentex HGU-55/P fitted with a Thales Aerospace Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System. Information on the SHMCS is available on the corporate website


As to weight, the display, cableing, and visor add several ounces of extra weight to the helmet. It's a little heavier and slightly bulkier than a standard visor on a helmet but not by much. Aircrews have been flying with HMDs now for about ten or so years without any major impediments to their flying abilities.

There has been a weight issue associated with the F-35 HMD and the aircraft's ejection seat which could cause a fatal whiplash injury during ejection with smaller pilots. This is being remedied with changes to the seat's pneumatic catapult system, drogue chute deployment timing, both controlled by a selector switch prior to flight, and a newer, lighter version of the helmet under development.

  • $\begingroup$ I expected to see "more" under the dark visor. It looks like most of that space is to accommodate night vision goggles. Is the visor's purpose mainly to increase the visibility of the in-helmet HUD, with the secondary purpose of looking bad-ass? $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 2, 2016 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's just a standard sun visor $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2016 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ To add, the F-35's helmet weight issue only affects pilots under 135 lbs (elevated risk of whiplash). This currently affects only one (male) pilot in the pool. The lighter version will have a detachable visor to save weight (among other measures). $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2016 at 4:31

That helmet is called a helmet-mounted display, or just HMD.

It offers a display much like the HUD in front of the pilot.

So when they look away from the HUD, vital information moves with them. Including targeting information. And even FLIR overlays.

Some models even allow the pilot to select a target by just looking at it. Like the Eurofighter.

As for the weight, those helmets are primarily made of carbon fiber, very light weight, strong, and expensive.

Any CG offset can be balanced by adding a counter weight in the back of the helmet.

In more modern planes, like the F-35, the HMD can also overlay camera displays, so when the pilot looks down at their legs, they can actually see what's under the plane. To achieve this the camera feed is only shown to one of the eyes.

enter image description here

That's the F-35 helmet. $600,000. A VR headset on steroids.

Here's a video explaining it.

  • $\begingroup$ While Carlo's answer was specifically what I was looking for, this is a great answer! $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 2, 2016 at 8:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "$600,000": He he... that's only the price of the helmet, but you need the power supply. The power supply isn't sold separately from the aircraft! $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jul 2, 2016 at 11:32

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