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TITLIS

 

The manufacturer, "Titlis Fiber Composites Ltd." (TFC) active since 1970 and located in Ennetbürgen, Canton Nidwalden, ceased activities in 1990.

 
During the mid-1980s, the Swiss AF was looking for an aircraft suitable to replace the Mirage III. Among those evaluated the Northrop F-20, Mirage 2000, F-16 and the F/A-18, the evaluation winner.


Due to the ever-improving performance and air combat tactics, pilots were increasingly exposed to high acceleration. As a result, according to the Dübendorf FAI (Fliegerärtzliches Institut - Aero Medical Institute), spinal disorders were increasing observed with the weight of the pilot's helmet/mask system playing an important role.


The FAI consequently proposed to the AF to evaluate/ purchase new lightweight helmet and mask systems, with the lowest possible weight, optimal centre of gravity and good wearing comfort.


Looking for a “light helmet” bound to replace the in service “old” Gueneau 316 and DH-151, Two Titlis (#2 and #3) were flight tested and evaluated by the end of the 80s with other two competitors, the Gueneau ZEUS C and the Gentex H/ATS.

 

For more details about the evaluation, see HERE 

 

During the evaluation of the potential new helmet, "in-house" manufacturing was also considered.   

At that time, TFC was in the design and test phase of an aircraft built of fiber composites, the capability to process this kind of material was known to the GRD instances that were in charge of testing the various helmets.

 

It was decided to request TFC, in cooperation with Dräger, to build a helmet prototype to GRD specifications.  

The same was tested, with the other competitors, in the Manching (now Airbus) wind tunnel in Germany.    


To our knowledge, at least three Titlis were built, fitted with a Dräger P/N 787665-667 oxygen mask. 


The helmet was evaluated positively in terms of comfort and balance, good centre of gravity and very good mask fit even under high “g”; nevertheless a number of snags were present:

 

  • The major one its weight - the highest of the three competitors; 

  • Poor (tinny) audio quality; 

  • Mask support cumbersome to operate;

  • Chin strap configuration not acceptable as it was not provided with a quick release system;

  • Due to the oxygen mask hose routing, a certain determent to turn the pilot’s head to the left.


The Titlis, as the other two tested helmets did not meet the necessary requirements. The procedure for the purchase of a lightweight helmet was discontinued. 


Proto #1 (the one pictured here) was probably a proof of concept, undergone some tests in the lab and possibly never flew.

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