Pilots in a planned race among rocket-powered jets will steer along a virtual track in the sky by viewing the course through new custom-made helmets.
The helmets will be debuted during an upcoming exhibition flight for the competition, called the Rocket Racing League (RRL). The demonstration is planned for April 24 at QuikTrip Air & Rocket Racing Show in Tulsa, Okla.
Inside the visors, a display shows the 3-D virtual racecourse that pilots must navigate.
The league partnered with Elbit Systems Ltd, an Israel-based defense electronics company, to create the helmet display, dubbed the Targo Racer.
The technology delivers raceway geometry, altitude, speed, gravitational pull and other important parameters directly in front of the aviator's eyes, and adjusts in real time.
"With more than 2,500 pounds of thrust, RRL pilots go from zero to full throttle in a fraction of a second and wheels-up in four seconds ? think NASCAR or FormulaOne racing in the sky," said RRL co-founder Peter Diamandis. "The Targo Racer's state of the art capabilities give our pilots, which are some of the most skilled in the world, the advanced avionics they need to deliver the most dramatic performance for our fans and sponsors."
The Targo Racer will allow spectators and fans to view the racing action live and in real-time on large projection screens, or remotely, via television or computer.
Additional remote and rocket-mounted cameras will give fans the further sensation of navigating the course alongside RRL pilots.
"X-Racer vehicles provide a high profile platform to demonstrate our unique Helmet Mounted Avionics technology in an environment where pilots are navigating their way through a virtual raceway-in-the-sky in head-to-head competitions," said Yoram Shmuely, Executive Vice President and Co-General Manager of Elbit Systems' Aerospace Division. "We are collaboratively pushing the envelope in aerospace and avionics technology."
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