In response to the demands of the changing armed landscape, the AV 2.2 helmet from California-based LIFT Airborne Technologies has been chosen by the US Air Force (USAF) to become the next generation Fixed Wing helmet.

The next-generation helmet was picked after Air Combat Command started searching for one to address vulnerabilities with chronic back and neck casualties, amplify advanced aircraft technologies, elongate pilot capabilities, and focus on providing greater precision for different aircrews.

AV 2.2 [Source: Lift Airborne Technologies]
According to Aviation, GENTEX Corp. (premium helmet producer) and Idaho-based Aviation Specialties Unlimited collaborated with Tennessee-based Paraclete Aviation Support to create LIFT Technologies’ offering in the prototype phase. 

After testing, the AV 2.2 will be made available to pilots of F-15Es first, followed by all other fixed-wing aircraft services except for the F-35. According to the Air Force, an AV 2.2 manufacturing contract might be granted in 2024.

US Air Force troops are compelled to use the 1980-version helmet under the current design. However, according to Scott Cota, breakthroughs in aviation technology and changes in pilot demographic trends have resulted in pilot demographic trends transpiring since then.

“The current helmet was based on 1980s design. Since then, gains in aircraft technology and the demographic of pilots have changed,” claimed Scott Cota, the branch aircrew flight equipment program analyst of ACC Plans and Requirements.

“The legacy helmet was not originally designed to support advances in aircraft helmet-mounted display systems, causing pilots to fly with equipment not optimized for them, especially our female aircrew.”

Operators’ discomfort is a direct consequence of the weight gain and altered center of gravity induced by helmet-mounted devices. Additionally, according to Cota, a 2020 Air Force anthropometric investigation discovered the necessity for including small-size helmets that more efficiently improve the fit for impacted female pilots.