Cockpit of The Future? – Jet Fighter Canopy Test

Cockpit of The Future? - Jet Fighter Canopy Test


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The accident suffered by Felipe Massa at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix – when his helmet was struck by a suspension spring – raised questions about whether a driver’s head should be better protected. For 2011 a zylon strip has been developed for F1 helmets in the visor area.

Now ongoing canopy research aims to establish if, and where, further improvements can be made with a number of tests which recently took place at the Bentwaters Airfield near Ipswich, England.

The test consisted of firing a 20kg Formula One wheel and tyre, at 225km/h into, first, a polycarbonate windshield and, second, a jet fighter canopy made from aerospace-spec polycarbonate and measure what happens, to establish whether the canopies could cope with a wheel at this speed.

Full scientific results of the firings were recorded by six accelerometers and have now been presented to the Formula One Technical Working Group.

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