Similar in purpose to a Head-Up Display (HUD), the HMD provides its user with significant situational awareness by projecting real-time, critical flight and mission information overlaid onto their view of the outside world. This flight information ranges from airspeed, altitude, and horizon line to the flight path vector, turn/bank indicators, angle of attack and more. Mission information can include a customizable choice of targeting, weapon sensor, firing status, and other pertinent details.
Unlike HUDs, which can be found in commercial, corporate, and military aviation, so far HMDs are used almost exclusively in military aircraft.
Early HMDs were about weapons targeting more than navigation, but HMD systems integrating the two have been around since the mid-1980s. The most advanced HMDs continue to get lighter and less bulky, to reduce pilots' workload and fatigue, while providing pilots with better, more realistic imagery in real time to maximize their situational awareness and support their missions.
This information page is provided as a service to our readers by BAE Systems, Inc., a U.S.-based world leader in aerospace, defense, power, and intelligence solutions. Learn more about us here.