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The History of Vintage Flying Helmets


Several years ago, I wrote a book about early flying headgear. My motivation was largely (and unashamedly) selfish: I had begun acquiring flying helmets, goggles and oxygen masks, and wanted to learn and document as much information as I possibly could about them. At that time, there were two references of note and I eagerly devoured both: Jim Weld's "Flying Headgear of the World"  which, I am quite certain, launched many collections besides my own; and "Flying Clothing: the Story of its Development"  by Anthony Harold and Louise Greer, a more comprehensive history which nonetheless left at least one reader hungry for more! 


I took detailed photographs and made copious notes on every flying helmet I could lay my hands on, starting with my own collection and those of other collectors I met along the way. With the help and support of these fellow collectors, museums, historians and official record keepers all over the world, as well as surviving veterans, I was eventually able to complete "Vintage Flying Helmets".


Over the years, my collection and my interests grew to include life vests, gloves, boots, escape and survival equipment. I was particularly intrigued by the similarity – and the contrast – between the styles and technology of the nations involved in WWII, which resulted in a two volume set "Luftwaffe vs. RAF"  which compared the flying clothing and equipment of the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe. I am currently working on a similar study of Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and US Navy / Marine Corps flying kit.


Some people have generously called me an "expert" on flying clothing and equipment, although I prefer to think of myself as an "opinionated enthusiast" who has been fortunate to handle a lot of material over the years!


My collecting interests continue to expand, and now include uniforms, flying log books, photo albums and even non-aviation historic items such as English Civil War armour and antique weaponry. I also keep a small representative collection of artifacts and documents from the era of the Napoleonic and American Revolutionary Wars.


I am passionate about history and enjoy researching items. 


I am not a "dealer" and do not sell collectibles to make a living (although I have a great respect and admiration for those who do). However, I cannot keep every item I acquire, for the simple reason I do not have the space – nor the unlimited resources. Therefore, from time to time, items are offered for sale to private collectors via this website. Serious collectors are also invited to use this website as a portal for showcasing items which they may have for sale (no dealers please – you have your own websites!). 


If you would like to receive notification whenever new items are added to the site, or you are looking for something specific – or have an item or collection which you think may be of interest to others, please send me an email and let's discuss.


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Vintage Flying Helmets by Mick J. Prodger, Schiffer, 1996. The book which started this whole thing going!

Vintage Flying helmets, as well as both volumes of Luftwaffe vs RAF, can be ordered directly from Schiffer Publishing or from


If you would like a personalized, author signed copy of any of my books, please email me.

Luftwaffe vs RAF Volume 1 (Flying Clothing) - aka the "white" cover.
Luftwaffe vs. RAF Volume 2, Flying Equipment (aka the "blue" cover!).
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