BAE Systems’ LiteHUD head-up display(HUD) recently took to the skies for its first flight, marking a significant milestone for the technology and the program. Its first voyage occurred on a U.S. Special Operations Command AC-130J aircraft, followed by flights on Textron’s Scorpion jet and BAE Systems’ Advanced Hawk demonstrator aircraft. It is expected to fly on at least two other aircraft this year.
A HUD is a see-through display that seamlessly presents flight-critical information directly in a pilot’s line of sight, without obstructing views of the outside world. BAE Systems began funding the development of LiteHUD more than two years ago, confident that customers would benefit from its next-generation display capability, at an off-the-shelf price.
“LiteHUD’s achievements in the last year are reinforced by these successful flights and the positive feedback we’ve received from our customers,” said Andy Humphries, director of Advanced Displays at BAE Systems. “We set out to provide customers with the world’s most advanced digital display capability for trainer aircraft, and LiteHUD is quickly proving to serve an even wider market.”
Since its inception, LiteHUD has been selected for trainer platforms, light combat aircraft, and full-fledged fighters alike, including the Hurkus trainer, Scorpion jet, AC-130J aircraft, Advanced Hawk demonstrator, and three other aircraft.
Designed using BAE Systems’ patented optical waveguide technology, LiteHUD is 60 percent smaller by volume and up to 50 percent lighter than conventional head-up displays. The system is engineered to enhance situational awareness in both day and night conditions, which significantly improves flight safety and reduces pilot fatigue. Its modular design, which includes a built-in color camera, enables seamless integration with both existing and future cockpits.
BAE Systems has been a leader in head-up display development and production for 60 years, a position gained through continuous investment in technology and innovation. The company has produced more than 15,000 head-up displays that have been in service on more than 50 different types of military and commercial aircraft in more than 50 countries around the world.