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June 7, 2012
Peter Blanchonette and Robert King
NAVY and Army pilots have been help-
ing the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation (DSTO) finetune prototype sym-
bology used for head-mounted displays on
MRH 90 helicopters.
In the helicopters, flight symbology con-
veys key information such as aircraft speed
and attitude to pilots through the helmet-
mounted sight display.
DSTO scientist Eleanore Tracey said the
pilots tested the prototype symbology in a
simulator at the organisation's Melbourne
labs, to create the most realistic operational
"The simulation laboratory accurately rep-
licates the real aircraft, including the cockpit
displays and flight controls," she said.
Another scientist on the project, Dr Geoff
Eberle, said the seven pilots flew air-mobile
scenarios during the trial, as well as several
take offs and landings on a realistic model of a
landing helicopter dock.
Project Air 9000 will deliver 46 MRH 90s
to replace the Sea Kings and Black Hawks.
The MRH 90 includes a suite of modern
systems, such as weather radar, forward-look-
ing infrared camera, a helmet-mounted sight
display and a digital map generator.
DSTO's report on the simulation trial results
and recommendations will soon be delivered to
the Air 9000 Phase 2/4/6 project team.
Trialling the signs
THIRD-year cadets from ADFA put their leadership
skills to the test on board the tall ship James Craig in
Jervis Bay from May 3-17.
ADFA Commandant CDRE Bruce Kafer said more
than 200 cadets, including Navy midshipmen, were in
Jervis Bay and Nowra as part of Leadership Challenge
Three -- an exercise focused on developing their prac-
tical leadership experience in unfamiliar and arduous
The exercise was conducted as a rotation between
the Majura Training Area near Canberra and the Jervis
"The trainees are expected to lead their teams
through a variety of activities," CDRE Kafer said.
"These include field training, rock climbing,
escaping from a simulated helicopter crash into water
at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, controlling the dam-
age on a sinking ship simulator, surviving at sea and
On board James Craig, the ADFA trainees received
initial training by the ship's crew and, under supervi-
sion, served as the crew day and night for a 72-hour
Cadets said the most challenging part of the expe-
rience was climbing to the top of the masts to trim the
sails, particularly at night.
"Leadership Challenge Three is demanding,
requiring cadets to function as an effective team and to
lead their peers under high stress situations with lim-
ited rest to prepare them for the challenges they may
face in the future," CDRE Kafer said.
"The Leadership Challenge exercise greatly assists
in developing their leadership qualities and character
as future leaders of the ADF."
to test on
STAYING AFLOAT: Third-year ADFA cadets test
their sea survival skills in Jervis Bay as part of
exercise Leadership Challenge. Photo: David Paterson
READY FOR TAKE OFF: Pilots LEUT Ben White and CAPT Daniel Mearns check out the cockpit of DSTO's MRH 90 simulator in
Melbourne while evaluating trial symbology for use in the aircraft.
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