Remember Top Gun?
I’ve always been curious how those displays worked. Were they splashed across the windshield? If so, what projected the image up there and where was the projector located? How did it work?
Well, the answer was finally presented to me in a post Michael Yon did on air crews in Afghanistan…
There is, in fact, a separate screen that drops down in front of the pilots and serves as an interface between the pilot and the clear view out of the windshield in the front.
You can see the display screen clearly in this photograph:
Here is a good view of the HUDS system itself:
Many years ago, mid 1980’s I believe, I made a bad investment with a small company that developed these systems and was already producing them for the air force. They also had backing from some large defense contractors (Honeywell at the time I think). It was a bad investment because they planned to turn this into a consumer product but in fact suffered, as have so many US Innovators, from the Japanese acquisition of the product and reverse engineering it to evade patent protections, Interestingly this difficulty was compounded by the belief that no US company could compete with te japanese in the production of consumer electronic products. The projection notion is simply a variant of the LCD display and indeed they envisioned not only flat screens but the projection of a large high definition pictures both for the home, theatres and as head sets
It’s those bad investments that stick with us, isn’t it? I remember my bad picks far better than my winners.
Thanks for sharing the interesting story about the history of HUDS.