Customisable helicopter helmets that fit the wearer’s head perfectly and provide head-up display are being developed by Expleo and Thales.

The global engineering, technology and consultancy service provider has partnered with the European defence manufacturer to deliver flight helmets for helicopter pilots to reduce fatigue and improve endurance during missions.

Transition between day and night

The TopOwl Digital Display helmet is tailor-made to each pilot and implement multiple advanced functionalities developed by Thales, including simultaneous transition between day and night modes, and the head-up display of flight data, all of which rely on a precise fit.

To achieve this, a cover at the bottom of the helmet is shaped to fit the wearer’s head perfectly. Expleo has developed with Thales a process to adapt helmets to each wearer. A 3D scanner accurately maps the head and face in real-time, whilst 3D manufacturing guarantees each helmet is a precise fit for the individual.

Mobile version

Thales is currently developing a mobile version of this technology, with the support of Expleo, to make it readily available on military bases. This version is scheduled to be ready for use by summer 2023.

Laurent Fiorio, Global Head of Defence at Expleo, said: “The technology we are implementing with Thales not only guarantees the comfort of pilots but ensures the perfect fit needed for the successful operation of a helmet’s advanced functions.

“This shows that we have the skills to be a leading partner for transformation initiatives in the defence sector. Together, with our partners, we will continue to push boundaries.”

Photo: Eric Raze / Copyright©Thales

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