Video: Lockheed's F-35 cockpit is the ultimate video game

Posted by Shane McGlaun

I always wanted to be a jet pilot growing up and tended to gravitate towards flight simulators at the arcade. Truth is, I probably spent more quarters than I could count blowing up pixilated aircraft and tanks way back in the day.

Of course, none of the games of yore come close to Lockheed Martin's new cockpit demonstrator for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - which I think would make one of the coolest video games ever.

It never ceases to amaze me when I see footage shot from inside a modern jet aircraft in terms of just how complicated everything is with multiple switches and knobs that the pilot has to be aware of at all times.

The F-35 cockpit certainly has less clutter, with more data streaming on the two main screens and heads up display (HUD) than some cockpits in older aircraft I've seen like the F-16, but it's still highly complicated.

In any case, the gang at Engadget recently managed to spend some hands-on time with Lockheed's F-35 fighter cockpit demonstrator, which is is an exact replica, down to every button and switch, of the real deal.

As you can see in the video above, the cockpit is equipped with a pair of 8 x 10-inch touch enabled displays, offering a total of 8 x 20" combined screen space. The screens also offer dedicated modules for weapons systems, targeting, and navigation. Depending on what the pilot is doing at that particular time, the screens can be reconfigured to show different information as needed.

In addition, the displays are equipped with a pair of joysticks on each side - providing control and direct access to a cursor that can be moved around the screen to track air or ground targets. And last, but certainly not least, the helmet boasts infrared mapping capabilities and instrument readouts streaming on internal screens. Pretty cool, eh?