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Flying Helmets and Headgear

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AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask.

Excellent example of the early wartime A-9 flight helmet, as issued without ear cups but fitted with snap/stud fasteners for the A-14 mask (2 each side positioned correctly for the strap attachment). In all other respects, the helmet appears to be in unissued and certainly unworn condition. GReen cotton with lambswool fleece pads inside and fleec wrapped leather chin strap. Size medium with a good label inside.

$70 / £55 / €65

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AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

AAF Type A-9 flying helmet with snaps fitted for A-14 oxygen mask

Original and extremely rare USAF K-1 Pressure helmet.

One of the rarest and most sought after items of flying headgear dating from the Cold War and used in aircraft such as the U-2. Pressure helmets were produced in extremely small quantities, at great expense, and were custom fitted to the individual. This example has been customized either during or after its USAF life by painting it red and adding a clenched first/thumbs up emblem and several MLB baseball team logos. Helmet shell and inner helmet are 100% original and in very good condition. the thin rubber facial seal is perfect. Chamois pads are all in great, clean condition, though the sponge padding is a little stiff in a few places. The helmets are incredibly difficult to find and the faceplates almost impossible (most were destroyed to prevent accidental suffocation). A replica faceplate is included which is quite convincing from a distance but strictly non-functional. I wonder if this was used as a film prop? Who knows? It would not be difficult to remove the red paint and restore this helmet to USAF display standard - or leave as is for a one-of-a-kind piece. Interior label is dated February 1955. A classic piece of USAF history and the first I have ever been able to offer.

$2,650 / £2,125 / €2,475

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RAF Type C flying helmet, internally wired, first style issued, late 1943.

RAF Type C helmet, complete with correct internal wiring loom (cord) and Type 32 receivers, in absolutely stunning condition. This is the first style of internally wired C helmet, introduced late in 1943 (the so-called "3-strap" with 2 press-stud fastening 

goggle strap tabs and a short strap and buckle to the rear). Helmet appears to have never been worn. The leather is perfect, the chamois is bright and clean and the rubber earcups are like new. Chin strap has full elasticity. Helmet is well-marked with Stores ref. number embossed on the outer right hand side, and size ink stamped inside (size 2 medium). Excellent receivers, cord and bell-plug. Hard to find a better example!

$495 / £395 / €465

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RAAF Type B helmet, large size dated 1943.

Excellent, unissued example of the Australian made Type B helmet. Kangaroo leather exterior and chamois interior is in excellent condition throughout. Zips i good workng order and earcups padded with NOS sponge pads. Quite difficult to find in the larger sizes and this one is marked 7-1/8 on its 1943 dated label. Lovely helmet.

$350 / £280 / €328

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WWII US Navy green deck crew helmet.

Lovely used example of a US Navy deck crew helmet in green unlined cotton, well marked with the USN stamp on the chin strap. These helmets were worn for identification for the duty of the crewman by the pilot while manoeuvering on deck and taking off. They were often preferred by pilots to the issue flying helmets and fitted with receivers or worn as is for flying. Shows light use but no wear or damage.

$90 / £75 / €85

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US Navy / Marine Corps  NAF 1092S flying helmet with receivers and wiring.

 

The standard issue summer flying helmet of the US Navy and Marine Corps from the mid-1930s until late in WWII. It was procured from through two sources: the Naval Aircraft factory (which designated it as NAF1092S) and the Bureau of Aeronautics USN (which named it model  M-450). Both were identical pattern - and this example is the NAF1092S. It has oyster/grey leather receiver cups and chin cup and is fitted with ANB-H-1 receivers and the correct Naval pattern Y-cord braided and oiled wiring. Named on the rear goggle strap and overall i verey good, gently used condition.

$350 / £280 / €325

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RAF MK 3C "bone dome"  fast jet flying helmet.

Lovely example of the long serving Mk 3 "bone dome" flying helmet, this being the 3C variant, fitted with a dual visor system—clear and dark tinted. The Mk 3 was essentially a Mk 2 shell and lining with a new visor system. This one is painted overall drab green and is complete with its communications; receivers and wiring plus plug for the mask microphone. Curiously it has no hooks (nor any other means) for attaching the oxygen mask, so may have been used for low level flight, possibly helicopter or Air Sea Rescue–althoughv it has no signs of a book microphone ever being fitted. No doubt it could easily be upgraded by adding one of the above. A lovely clean helmet though some of the internal foam padding is beginning to shed (as they all do).

$300 / £240 / €280

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AAF A-11A flying helmet.

Nice early example of the more scarce variant of the A-11 helmet, featuring an elasticized nape rather than the strap and buckle. The A-11 was the standard USAAF issue from mid-1943 and the A-11A was produced in smaller numbers but actually provided a better fit. This helmet has been post-production fitted with snaps for the A-14 oxygen mask (2 snaps per side) and has a metal tip on the chi strap. Size medium but seems generous and fits a male feature display head well. Leather is excellent and chamois lining is very clean; good woven label. No receivers fitted. No markings but what seems to be a clear indication of where the AAF decal would have been on the front right hand side.

ON HOLD

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RFC / RAF Mk I flying helmet dated 1918.

Scarce WWI dated Mk I flying helmet, with WD / broad arrow property mark and manufacturer's label dated 1918, plus original owner's name and address. Fur lined interior shows its age and some of the fur has moulted, but the leather is in very good condition and the helmet displays well.  The Mk I helmetwas introduced in 1918 and remianed in service until 1930, and wartime dated examples are rare indeed. A lovely item, worth researching.

$380 / £300 / €355

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US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943.

Issued for cold weather conditions as protection against frostbite, these masks were also issued to aircrew exposed to extreme cold at altitude, after it was discovered that frostbite was responsible for more injuries then enemy action. It could be worn under a flying helmet and oxygen mask without any problems. This is an unissued example (eye holes never cut out) and retains its original QM label, which is very unusual. Appears to have got wet in storage but no damage or ill effects. Elastic strap still stretches like new. Haven't seen on for years and never with the label.

$120 / £95 / €112

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US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army and AAF Mask, Field, Chamois dated 1943

US Army knitted balaclava style head and face protector.

US Army knitted balaclava style hood issued to all branches of the Army including AAF air and ground crews servng in colder climates. Heavy, ribbed knit pattern in OD wool with facial opening that could be pulled under the chin to accommodate an oxygen mask. Nice 1941 dated printed QM label indicating manufacture by Lion Knitting Mills. Very good condition with no damage.

$85 / £70 / €80

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Excellent example of a rare RAF Type C flying helmet, first pattern, largest size 4, made in India.

Lovely rare example of the first pattern RAF Type C helmet, in the largest size available, size 4, with leather chin strap and Bennett's Buckle, 4-goggle strap tabs and a great label indicating manufacture by Phelps & Co., and Indian based company. Shows use but no damage or abuse and is in great condition. The rubber ear cups have stiffened up a little but are not misshapen and remain pliable enough to insert receivers (I would suggest gently warming them with a hair dryer first).  Leather and chamois lining are in great condition. Bennett buckle retains leather covering and chin strap has its metal tip. 

$550 / £435 / €510

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Luftwaffe LKpN101 summer flying helmet with all communications and long cord.

Very good and complete example of the Luftwaffe netzkopfhalbe summer flying helmet favoured by fighter pilots. It was produced without a chin strap, the idea being that the oxygen mask completes the headgear and serves to hold the helmet in place. This is an early production model with dark brown leather trim and housings for the receivers, plus a long (1 m) cord and beehive plug. The receiver pads are lined with sheepskin and retain their plastic membranes for improved sound. The helmet is fitted with integral throat microphones, Type Mi-4c. There are 3 small nips in the mesh at the right hand rear of the helmet and a larger area of netting over the internal crown strap which shows similar damage. Fortunately these do not show from the front when the helmet is on display. The helmet is a size 55 (medium) and fits a standard male display head perfectly. It is fitted with studs for attaching the 2-strap oxygen mask (10-69 or 10-6701) and is shown with the 10-6701 which is not included, Overall a good displayable helmet.

$500/ £395 / €460 each

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S. Lewis privately purchased flying helmet with de Havilland Gosport receivers, 1930-1940.

Excellent quality black leather flying helmet, chamois lined with pockets on the sides fitted with de Havilland Gosport receivers. Labeled "S. Lewis's of Racing, Flying and Motor Clothing Fame, no connection to any other company." (Just to clarify that they were nothing to do with D. Lewis, who sold identical helmets!). These helmets are quite beautiful and fit considerably better than the RAF issue Type B, as a result of which they were preferred by many RAF pilots as well as by students and auxiliaries – and notably the Schneider Trophy team. Some were  modified to permit the installation of radio receivers and an oxygen mask for RAF use. The leather is in excellent condition. Metal fittings have a little surface rust and one of the press studs has partially pulled through, however it is solid and if handled with care, will not be an issue. Similarly the brow strap has been affected slightly by the oxidation but remains intact. Overall a very clean and displayable example. Note: last 3 images show helmet with Luxor 16 goggles which are not included but were also popular (see Flying Goggles).

$195 / £155 / €178

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1940 dated RAF Type B helmet, named and with artwork.

 

The iconic RAF Type B flying helmet, forever associated with the Battle of Britain. This example in very good condition – complete with rubber telephone holders and NOS sponge pads, the Bennett buckles in perfect condition, both leather pullers present and the metal tip on the chin strap. The helmet is named  inside, Looks like Barer or possibly Baker and has a faint inked four-leaf clover on the left hand side. The artwork has faded/darkened over time, and is difficult to photograph, but quite visible in certain light. Label indicates manufacture by Frank Bryan and is dated 1940. It s a size 2 (medium). 

Leather is in excellent condition and chamois lining, while slightly grubby, is also in very good condition. A lovely helmet with the added character of the artwork. If only it could talk!

$820 / £650 / €760

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US navy NAF1092 flying helmet, ID'd. Large size and great condition.

Lovely example of the standard issue US Navy and US Marine Corps intermediate flying helmet form the late 1930s until about 1943-44. Goatskin leather with chamois lining and chamois lined chin cup. Manufactured by Slote and Klein to Naval Aircraft factory contact specs. Helmet has a name and serial number to the inside of the brow/peak of J.T. Pope and CF1. Size 7-1/4 with an unusual early sewn chin cup. No earcups for receivers ever sewn on, but it is stamped in the back "USN". Not an uncommon helmet, but ID'd examples are always nice.

$120 / £95 / €112

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RAF Type B helmet by G. Waddington & Sons.

 

A lovely RAF Type B helmet in in very good condition,  complete with its scarce G. Waddington & Sons manufacturer's label. One of the more unusual makers, the helmet is distinctive in having a very heavily padded brow/forehead area. The helmet is complete with both zip pullers, metal "V" tip on chin strap and both Bennett Buckles retain their leather covering. It also has both telephone holders present and a new set of old stock sponge pads to help keep their shape. Zips are a bit sticky. The helmet is AID stamped and has a barely legible name and number inside which looks like Parr or Parks.  Label is dated 1941, which was the final year of production for the Type B and it is quite unusual to find one with its label left intact, as most were removed or had the manufacturer information obliterated. Size 2 (medium) but a very generous cut and displays well. 

$850 / £685 / €785

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AAF / US Navy AN6540-4S flying helmet with receivers.

 

Exceptionally nice used AN6540 helmet in size X-large, modified in typical AAF style with oxygen mask snaps  on webbing straps sewn to each side. The AN6540 was intended for and issued to both AAF and USN though it is rarely seen in AAF configuration. Very good condition overall and fitted with ANB-H-1 receivers.

$155 / £125 / €145

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Scully "Air Mail" luxury privately purchased commercial flying helmet, 1930s.

One of, if not the, most luxurious privately purchased flying helmets of the interwar era, c1930. The beautiful  Scully "Air Mail" helmet by Scully Bros. of Los Angeles was made from the softest glove leather and lined with butter soft suede. The helmet has elasticated gussets on each side for a snug fit, sturdy copper Gosport pipes and receivers, a rolled leather edge for comfort.  Slightly dark staining on one side (looks like it might have been lying in oil at some time) but this looks worse in the pictures than real life and does not affect the feel or quality of the leather – there is no residual oiliness.  Great label and large size. Lovely helmet.

$165 / £138 / €155

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Scully "Air Mail" luxury privately purchased commercial flying helmet, 1930s

Scully "Air Mail" luxury privately purchased commercial flying helmet, 1930s

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US Navy carrier flight deck crew helmet in green.

Another carrier flight deck crew helmet, this time in green cotton. Each "station" in a flight deck crew had its own colour coded helmet so that pilots could distinguish between mechanics, armaments fitters, launch crews, etc.  This green cotton unlined helmet is in excellent condition. Standard USN stye with long chin strap. These helmets were often purloined by pilots, and sometimes modified to install communications equipment. This example is original and unmodified.

$85 / £70 / €80

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US Navy carrier flight deck crew helmet in green

US Navy carrier flight deck crew helmet in green

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US Navy Type NAF1092 flying helmet with ANB-H-1 receivers and wiring.

Lovely example of the iconic US Navy intermediate weight flying helmet in use from the late 1930s and throughout the war. Made from dark, reddish brown goatskin lined with chamois and fitted with a chamois lined chin cup. This model is fitted with ANB-H-1 receivers and a long cord with Type 54 plug. The helmet is in excellent overall condition, the leather and chamois superb; it appears to have had "powder puff" pads sewn in at one time and subsequently removed.

$195 / £160 / €185

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US Navy Type NAF1092 flying helmet with ANB-H-1 receivers and wiring.

US Navy Type NAF1092 flying helmet with ANB-H-1 receivers and wiring.

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RFC / RAF Cowl helmet, modified, WD marked and labeled AdAstra.

 

Superb and rare example of a RFC / RAF Cowl type helmet which has been modified by the wearer or his tailor to enable it to open at the front. The external chin strap and cord has been removed, the front seam opened up and 2 press stud / snap fasteners added to enable the helmet to be more easily put on and taken off.  The rolled leather "wind-deflectors" have also been removed (they proved to be ineffective and superfluous). Leather is soft and supple with some minor surface scuffing in places but overall remarkably clean. Chamois lined crown and nape are excellent; there is some loss/shedding to the fur but it retains about 60-70% of fur inside which is a lot better than most of these 100+ year old helmets! The official War Dept. broad arrow ink stamp is clearly legible on the chamois, and it has the AdAstra woven label in the crown. AdAstra was a trademark of George Williamson, one of the suppliers of flying clothing to military aviators both privately and under contract to the Air Board/Ministry.  The AdAstra range was considered very high-end and this helmet (pre-modification) is featured in the AdAstra catalogue shown in the last two pictures (catalogue NOT included with sale but I will gladly include photocopies if required). It was not uncommon for RFC and RAF aviators to modify their helmets in similar ways for a better or more comfortable fit, though surviving examples are seldom offered for sale. A lovely rare example.

$775 / £655 / €770

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WWII Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm aircraft carrier deck handler's helmet.

 

A very scarce accessory - cotton helmet as worn by Royal Navy deck crews while manhandling aircraft on the flight decks of aircraft carriers during WWII. Each colour denoted a specific role or duty and I believe royal blue indicated starboard general duties. Simple unlined cotton helmet with a chin strap and buckle (essential for it not to be blown off in the high winds and propwash). Size 2 (Large) in unissued condition.  See last photos for wartime colour photos of helmets being worn on cover and editorial in Illustrated News dated 1943. Note: this helmet is not the same as the US Navy issue deck helmets which were often modified into flying helmets by USN pilots. Very scarce item and the last one of a small batch I obtained a while back.

$75 / £65 / €75

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Nicely worn USN / USMC AN6542-1 flying helmet with receivers fitted.

 

Combat worn and weary example of this late war US Navy and Marine Corps flying helmet with lots of stories to tell – if only it could! Khaki cotton unlined helmet is grubby overall from use. Goggle straps have been removed leaving small holes in the back. The chin strap snap closure has pulled through but is still present (attached to chin strap). Buckles on each side for attaching the oxygen mask are still present. Retains a good pair of ANB-H-1 receivers in the hard rubber noise attenuating holders which are fitted with a good set of chamois "donuts." Could be used for spares but actually displays nicely as a true combat veteran.

$75 / £70 / €78

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USN / USMC AN6542-1 flying helmet with receivers fitted

USN / USMC AN6542-1 flying helmet with receivers fitted

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Scarce early RAF Type F flying helmet.

The Type F flying helmet was first developed and tested in 1950 as a successor to the ubiquitous Type C, because a new helmet was needed that would A) house new telephone receivers with larger noise attenuating pads and B) fit underneath a crash helmet (or "bone dome") when needed. The Type C remained in service for many years. The Type F, finally introduced into RAF service in 1954, was in service for less than a year, quickly superseded by the Type G which, though similar, featured additional mask fittings for the new P/Q series and a more comfortable, integral nape strap. Made from the same blue-grey Airtex fabric as the Type G, the two are often confused.  This example has seen better days but still displays quite well. Rust stained on one side with a small tear (about 3/4" long) in left crown area, and one or two pinhead sized holes in the Airtex, it has a couple of the snap fasteners pulled through, although these are still present and could be repaired easily. It includes the hard-to-find large leather/rubber ear pads in good condition and, rather than  a label as was sewn to later production helmets, it is ink stamped with sizing information (size 2, medium). Lacks chin strap in photos but I have now installed the correct chin strap. A very scarce helmet that is still quite reasonable for display and priced accordingly. 

$50 / £47 / €52

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Scarce early RAF Type F flying helmet

Scarce early RAF Type F flying helmet

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