SOURCE: Air Recognition

At the end of January 2021, the DGA Flight Tests center of expertise carried out compatibility tests on the Thales Scorpion helmet sight at the Cazaux site (Gironde) with the parachute evacuation of a Rafale pilot. This test campaign is part of the process of integrating this equipment on the Rafale to the F4 standard.

The parachute evacuation compatibility tests, carried out before the first Rafale flights, reproduce all the Rafale pilot’s rescue and survival phases, from his ejection from the aircraft to his survival in an aquatic environment. These tests validate that the new equipment does not interfere with the safety and rescue operations of the pilot.
After the successful completion by DGA Techniques aeronautiques of a series of ground tests, on equipment and mannequin only, DGA Flight Tests thus developed and carried out a test campaign comprising:

– a suspended harness test carried out on the ground on a gantry to verify the impact of the helmet sight on the application of procedures during parachute flight after ejection;
– a ground test to verify the release of the harness in the event of drag during a landing in strong winds;
– a jump from an H225 helicopter performed by a fully equipped test parachutist. For this one, the parachutist had therefore put on his combat vest, his anti-G pants and his survival pack, but also his harness and his emergency parachute. This jump enabled all of the rescue and survival phases to be validated by checking :

· The correct deployment of the main parachute,
· The visualization and location of the 2 wing maneuver controls,
· The absence of discomfort during the landing and dragging phases,
· The release of the parachute,
· Survival operations in the water.

 The first results of the tests conducted by DGA Flight Tests show that the new helmet visor behaves similarly to the helmet currently in service.
Initially developed for the land combatant, the Scorpion helmet sight is perfectly suited for use on Rafale. Its color screen can be used day or night.