The F-35 joint program office will begin testing the first prototype of the new, lightweight Generation III helmet in late March, and hope to resolve by November problems with the jet’s escape system that have kept some pilots grounded.
The Joint Program Office and industry representatives will begin testing Rockwell Collins’s latest version of the F-35 helmet, which is said to be about 6oz lighter than the original Gen III helmet.
The new helmet is one of three solutions the Pentagon and industry hope will allow the military services to lift restrictions on lightweight pilots flying the F-35. News reports suggested that pilots weighing between 136 lb and 165 lb could not fly the F-35 when test programs discovered an increased risk of neck damage if lightweight pilots ejected.
March 21, 2016