© 2019  Vintage Flying Helmets

Superb original WWI WRAF photograph

 

Excellent and large fornat original photograph showing three women of the WRAF in WWI. an outstanding example of the uniforms they wore c.1918-19.  Approx. 4" x 6" with slight creasing / cracking at bottom corners.

 

£28 / $35  / €30  email for more details

Flying Helmets

(click on pictures to enlarge)

1930s Burberry flying helmet with Gosport receivers fitted.

 

While many RAF pilots are depicted wearing Lewis Leathers helmets during their halcyon training days with the Auxiliary Air Force, no doubt the well-to-do weekend warrior would have had a helmet exactly like this! Bearing the exclusive Burberry label - the company that first made its name by supplying the very highest quality military uniforms and clothing. Borrowing from the very first RFC flying helmets (Burberry was a preferred supplier to RFC officers), this style is known as a "lappi" helmet, because of its extraordinarily long strap, designed to wrap around the head to provide a tight and secure fit. This example was well loved and saw a lot of action, though by the sheer quality of the leather, remains in great shape. There is wear internally to the brow area, and a few surface scrapes on the strap from where it has been tightened, but the glove soft black leather is superb and remains supple and strong. The gold silk embroidered Burberry label is clear and intact, and the helmet retains its original De Havilland type chrome plated Gosport receivers. The rear seam has separated for the bottom half inch (or may have been opened up by the owner for a more comfortable fit). A fabulous flying helmet which displays superbly and would look great alongside a Type B as a reminder of those Auxiliary Air Force training days.

$250 / £205 / €232  email to secure this item

Very good RAF Type B Flying Helmet, correctly and officially relabelled by Air Ministry.

A lovely example of a Type B flying helmet in very good, gently used condition, the leather and chamois very clean and untouched. An early production model, which once had a diamond shaped label sewn inside the crown that was carefully removed per Air Ministry directive late in 1940, has been replaced with an official A-crown-M ink stamp. (Directive was to remove all labels indicating company name for fear it would legitimize city of origin as a military target). Heavily padded crown and high quality leather suggests one of the premium manufacturers, perhaps Waddingtons or Wareings. Retains leather covering on Bennett's buckles, metal tip on chin strap and rubber receiver holders. NOS sponge pads are included. Helmet is named inside to Chapman with serial number, so could be researched. Marked as size 2 (Medium) but as with many of these early helmets, it's a generous size.

$795 / £640 / €715  email to secure this item

WWI US Air Service issue pattern flying helmet.

 

The standard pattern flying helmet as issued to aviators in the US Army Air Service at the tail end of WWI. Soft leather helmet lined with blanket wool, with rectangular ear flaps, long chin strap and short bill. It also had short goggle retaining tabs on each side and was stamped on the back with Quartermaster's Stores information. The ink stamping, in reddish purple ink, is almost always blurred to obliteration, but contained words to the effect of "US Air Service" followed by a date (usually May 1918 based upon previous examples I have handled). The ink stamping is illegible but obvious what it represents. One of the goggle tabs is missing, and there is a small square area of leather worn away on the rear, otherwise this helmet is in good condition. Few are found these days due to to the poor quality of leather and tanning process used, this being a rare survivor in above average condition.

$300 / £260 / €280

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Scarce early AAF type A-11A flying helmet.

Lovely example of the early production run of A-11 helmet, later re-issued as A-11A. These early pattern helmets were made from a higher grade of cape leather which soon ran out forcing a change in the contract. Early examples had no provision for attaching the mask, with snap fasteners being added in the field as needed (or in this case, not added, perhaps suggesting use of the A-8B mask, or the A-9/A-10 with Juliet harness). The helmet also features an elasticated gusset at the back instead of the strap and buckle fitted the later A-11. Spec. label has been removed - most likely because this helmet was redesignated mid-production. I would estimate it's a Large size. It is stamped inside with the AAF acceptance mark and is in overall very good condition.

$195 / £160 / €175  email to secure this item

AAF Type B-5 flying helmet modified with cut out sides for wear with the early A-10 oxygen mask.

 

Rather scarce modification to the B-5 helmet but cutting the sides back to provide a better for the early A-10 oxygen mask, with the addition of the hooks on the helmet for securing the masks. Helmet is in excellent condition, with good leather, soft and pliable, excellent shearling interior and a great 1941 dated label. Lovely example of a fairly scarce variation.

$195 / £160 / €175  email to secure this item

RAF Type B Flying Helmet without zipped ear cups (never been added).

Appears to have been used  but never had the zipped ear cups added. A lovely helmet in very good condition with light wear but not as grubby as most. Size 2 (medium) with beautiful Wareings label and 1939 date. Retains both Bennett buckles with leather coverings and metal "V" shaped tip to chin strap. Some minor scuffing, mostly to front brow area where goggles would have been worn. Leather and chamois are both in very good condition. Unusla to find a Type B wihtout the zipped ears showing any kind of use - although they were also worn by British paratroppers duitng training.

$325 / £250 / €300  email to secure this item

Unissued RCAF Canadian made Type B flying helmet in a large size 3.

Excellent example of the Canadian made flying helmet based on the iconic RAF Type B. Lovely soft chestnut brown leather with soft chamois lining, leather chin strap and chrome plated metal buckles. Inside is marked with broad arrow inside a "C" and clear ink stamped National Hat Mfg Co. with a date of 1942 and size 3. In near pristine condition, impossible to upgrade.

$200 / £155 €185  email to secure this item

Lovely RCAF Canadian made Type B flying helmet in a large size 3.

Excellent example of the Canadian made flying helmet based on the iconic RAF Type B. Lovely soft chestnut brown leather with soft chamois lining, zipped ear compartments for telephone receivers (not fitted), leather chin strap and chrome plated metal buckles. Inside is marked with broad arrow inside a large "C" and size 3. It is also named iniside one of the ear cups. A really nice gently used example.

$425 / £330 / €395  email to secure this item

AAF Type A-1 Snap-on Visor for flying helmet.

Quite a difficult item to find because they didn't make or issue too many of these. For pilots who spent any amount of time flying in direct sunlight, these, together with sunglasses, could help alleviate glare and the stress. It required 2 male snaps fasteners to be attached to the flying helmet, usually on the hard rubber ear cups. Excellent condition and well-marked. 

 

$85 / £65 / €79   email to secure this item

Extremely rare issued and used example of a transitional model RAF Type C flying helmet.

 

This is the first example of one of these helmets I can recall actually handling. Though seen occasionally in period photographs and IAM catalogues, this is a helmet which started life as a standard early production Type C (the kind built for an external wiring loom). It has a leather chin strap and Bennett buckle fastening, fore-and-aft goggle retaining tabs, and externally mounted, non-noise attenuating rubber ear cups. At some point it was modified, presumably in the factory, to be retrofitted with an internal wing loom. To do this, the helmet had a slit cut at the side and neatly finished for installing the plug jack, one of the rear seams opened up for installing the loom (though curiously not the centre seam - note: it is the left hand panel seam at the rear) and holes cut below and behind the ear cups and finished with zig-zag stitch for the emerging wires. The helmet shows use (though thankfully no excessive wear or damage) and is named inside the ear cup to Phillips 294511 AC2. Generally AC2 was non-aircrew status so I am assuming this was made for trial and observation rather than service use. It is also a small size (though it fits a mannequin head fine for display). There is evidence that an internal wiring loom was fitted and subsequently removed (perhaps it failed or was transferred to another helmet following testing). I considered installing the internal loom but decided to leave it as I found it - this is a fascinating piece of history in the development of RAF flying clothing and I wonder how many others could possibly be out there? Condition is very good; leather and chamois are clean and rubber ear cups are pliable. Small tear to leather where plug jack was removed, easily repaired or left as is it doesn't detract.

$625 / £480 / €560  email to secure this item

Luftwaffe LKpN101 Netzkopfhaube mesh flying helmet with all communications and short cord with plug. 

Lovely used example of the net/mesh summer flying helmet most favoured by fighter pilots with the Luftwaffe. This is the first type, with provision only for the double strap oxygen mask (studs on each cheek). Brown cotton mesh is perfect - no holes or snags. Leather is excellent, lightly scuffed on the outside of the ear cups but with a little dressing would come up beautifully. Metal fittings have some oxidation. One snap fastener has been removed from neck strap which was a standard and common practice. Helmet is fitted with receivers, including the small celluloid noise attenuators in place (though one is cracked/split). Includes wiring, throat microphones and short cord with 4-point plug. Great label - appears to be a size 56. Definitely above average condition and nice examples are getting harder to find.

ON HOLD

AAF Type A-11 flying helmet size Medium by Fox Chase Knitting Mills.

 

Nice example of a used - but not abuse - A-11 flying helmet manufactured by Fox Chase Knitting Mills, one of the least often encountered labels in my experience. Leather is excellent, chamois lining is a little grubby from wear but there is no damage. Has several names written inside and then inked out. The small U-shaped lock on the chin strap buckle is absent but could easily be replaced and pilots almost never buckled their helmets anyway. Nice decal to side is 90% complete, which is unusual - these "water slide" decals almost always wore away. Size medium which makes it the perfect size for display on a standard male feature head. No receivers or wiring fitted. 

$150 / £122 / €126  email to secure this item

Scarce 1920s US Navy intermediate / lightweight flying helmet.

 

This is a scarce early US Navy issue intermediate weight flying helmet, made from super high quality glove leather lined with chamois. Though the helmet is sadly not in pristine condition, the leather is still soft and pliable and actually displays well. The surface of the leather has dried out and rubbed from being folded and perhaps improperly stored, but it does not appear to be rotted or weak and the wear is to the surface. t is most noticeable on the centerline where it was folded, around the edge and the rear panel at the nape. The snaps for the goggle straps have partially pulled through but remain secure. The chamois lining has separated at the crown on the inside. However, the leather is strong and the helmet displays well. It is of the unusual pattern with the extremely long "lappi" style chin strap and buckle.  The helmet is well marked "USN" with a size tag that reads "7" and is named in two places to "Cox." A seldom seen helmet that would certainly fill a gap in most collections until a better replacement can be found. Priced according to its condition but a very scarce helmet nonetheless.

$135 /  £105 / €120  email to secure this item

Great War French Roold aviator's safety helmet in good condition and a large size. 

 

Produced for and sold in the Roold Department store in Paris, this helmet became ubiquitous in the Great War and was used by all the warring nations. It was standard issue for French aviators but also found its way into Royal Flying Corps inventory and was also used by German flyers, since at one time or another, almost all armies were stationed in or around Paris. This example shows use but is in remarkable condition for its age. The oilcloth covered cork is nicely darkened from engine oil  but retains its shape well;l. The brass "wheel" inserts in the ear flaps appear to have been removed, perhaps to facilitate better communications? There are two holes purposely cut into the side skirts, perhaps to toe a scarf or even an early oxygen mask? The helmet retains its quilted lining and inner elastic strap (no longer stretchy) as well as its original chin strap button. A very large size 59. 

$850 / £650  / €760  email to secure this item

AAF Type A-11 flying helmet fitted with Type A-1 sun visor.

 

A very scarce modification of the A-11 flying helmet, fitted with snaps mounted in the hard ribber ear cup surrounds to mount the Type A-1 Sun Visor, which is included. I have occasionally run across the visors, and even more rarely found helmets modified to fit the visor, but this is a complete rig. The A-11 helmet is in excellent condition, though it would definitely benefit from a little leather dressing; interior is very clean, size is Large, snd it has correct ANB-H-1 receivers fitted, but lacks the wiring loom. The visor is in similar condition, Both show light use. 

$325 / £268 / €295  email to secure this item

WWII US Navy / USMC model NAF1092W flying helmet.

 

A good example of the winter version of this standard issue US Navy / Marine Corps flight helmet from the mid-1930s throughout WWII. This example has never had the pressed receiver cups fitted and is in very good condition, barring a little surface wear to the polyacrylate coating - however the skin is as soft and pliable as the day it was made. Includes the fleece lined chin cup -often missing. While not uncommon, the 1092W (the W stands for "winter") is the least common version of the 1092 series of helmets. No size tag but it is a large size and has a good nomenclature label.

$135 / £110 / €121 email to secure this item

Scarce AAF Type AN-H-16 Winter Flying Helmet.

By far the most difficult of the WWII AAF flight helmets to find, largely because it was not produced in anywhere near the same quantities as the A-11 intermediate and AN-H-15 summer versions. The US Navy version of this helmet is more common (AN6540 series) but AAF labeled examples are very scarce. This example is in very good condition, and appears to have been issued and worn but quite gently. The shearling is nice and soft with very little evidence of the usual surface cracking to the polyacrylate coating. The rear goggle strap studs show oxidation and partial separation, as is the case almost without exception, but they are still present and still attached to the shearling, which is unusual. I suggest not closing the straps down to preserve that. There is one small surface nick beneath and behind the right hand earcup, but it shows no signs of worsening. Great woven spec. label shows nomenclature and AAF property. There is a nice white AAF ink stamp to the top as well. Overall a very decent and displayable example of a scarce helmet and in a large size.

 

$285 / £220 / €255  email to secure this item

1920s - 30s style flying or motoring helmet with European styling. 

 

Most likely a recent vintage copy of a WWI /1920s style German / European type flying helmet. Made from glove soft "Napa" leather (and marked as such on the earflap studs) with a blue fleece lining. There is no chin strap and as far as I can see, never was. Also no goggle tab. Very small size - probably for a woman or child. This vintage retro look was popular in Europe in the 1980s and 90s and these helmets were sold in many colours of leather. This example is in chestnut brown leather. A couple of slight dark spots (oil or grease stains perhaps) but otherwise new condition. Will work for a display or re-enactor with a small head!

 

$40  / £35  / €30  email to secure this item