Sunday, December 30, 2007

The flight helmet for the F-35 fighter pilot.  Like something you would see in a Japanese anime series like MACROSS.

JUST THOUGHT I’d share these cool images of the next generation fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning II...formerly known as the Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35, which is being built by Lockheed Martin, is similar to the F-22 Raptor (also built by Lockheed) in terms of design and technology. Both aircraft have stealth capability and state-of-the-art engines. The F-35, which will also be used by other nations such as the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia, will come in different configurations for three of the major branches of the U.S. military (the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps).

- The F-35A, which will be used by the USAF, will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Warthog starting in 2011.

- The F-35B (shown in two of the images below), will have the ability to conduct short takeoffs and vertical landings—or STOVL—much like the aircraft it will start to replace in 2012: The AV-8B Harrier II. In case you still don’t know what STOVL means, the F-35 will be able to hover off the surface like a helicopter during takeoffs and landings, as opposed to using a runway to get off the ground. The F-35B will be used by the U.S. Marine Corps and will also replace the F/A-18 Hornet.

- The F-35C, which will have larger, foldable wings and stronger landing gear to cope with the stresses of carrier landings, will be used by the U.S. Navy and pretty much replace all variants of the F/A-18 except the Super Hornet. Like the F-35B, the F-35C will also become operational by 2012.

The images above are of the flight helmet that F-35 pilots will wear once the jet becomes operational. Despite its size, the helmet only weighs 4 pounds. Totally awesome. Kinda like something you would see in Japanese anime like Macross Plus.

F-35 Lightning II montage.
F-35 Lightning II montage.

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