© 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


(click on pictures to enlarge)

RARE RAF Escape Purse Mk III F43 for France complete with map, compass, hacksaw blade and currency.


Oilcloth pouch stamped with large F and dated 43 on one side and marked as Mk III on the back. This was specifically made for aircrews flying over France. Contains silk escape map sheet 43 C and D covering north eastern France on one side and south eastern France to the reverse, along with its border territories, together with miniature compass, hacksaw blade in its cardboard sleeve and French currency (total 255 French Francs). These were called purses because they contained currency and had to be signed for and returned after each mission, hence they are very rarely found. This is one of the mot scarce and desirable of the escape items carried by allied pilots and aircrews, in excellent condition.


RAF escape pouch MAPS ONLY 


Oilcloth pouch stamped MAPS ONLY containing silk escape map sheet E and F (Germany, northern Italy, Slovakia,, Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Montenegro), 

together with miniature compass and hacksaw blade in its paper wrapper. A name and serial number has been inked on the flap, together with the number 219. Name is Capt. Tom Cambisi 12166696 so he may have been American Air Corps. Though the MAPS ONLY pouches are more common than the purses containing currency, they are still rare to find, especially with all contents present. Excellent condition.

$625 / £480 / €560  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

RAF Type 21 microphone assembly for the Type D oxygen mask.


Getting harder and harder to find! Type 21 microphone assembly, comprising Type 20 electromagnetic microphone with Type Q cord and bell-shaped jack plug. Microphone is in very good condition with minor wear and slight paint loss but no dings or damage. Cord is excellent and plug shows minor age wear, no chips or cracks. Ready to attach to the front of a Type D mask - or just install into a Type B helmet for communication use only (yes, they were used that way).


RARE wartime dated RAF Type H oxygen mask modified for high altitude pressure breathing.


Wartime dated examples of the Type H oxygen mask are extremely scarce to begin with - but this mask has been further modified for pressure demand breathing / high-altitude use by removing the anti-suffocation/inspiration valve and blocking it with a mica plug. It is also rare in that it is the only example I have encountered with a nosewire fitted - again indicative of its use for pressure breathing requiring a secure facial seal. Most likely it was used for flight testing of pressure breathing equipment but could well have seen combat service in early high altitude PR aircraft. Fitted with correct Type 57 microphone with cord and plug. Mask shows use and is soiled, but rubber is in very good shape, still supple with minor surface crazing around stress points. Clear date moulding of 3/45. Dark grey/green patina and chamois lining is soiled but overall very good condition. Unusual variation of a rare mask.

$490 / £375 / €440  email to secure this item

RAF oxygen breathing tube / hose for WWII the Type G and Type H oxygen mask.


Correct wartime tube for the Type G and type H oxygen mask. Corrugated black rubber tube with plastic screw-in connector for attaching to the mask body at one end, and brass bayonet connector at the other end with alligator type clip for attaching to flying suit. Both ends secured with twine. Rubber is good and supple with no damage evident and no cracking even in between the folds. The steel clip has some oxidation and one tiny corner has rusted away a few millimeters but does not detract or affect function in anyway (see pictures). A hard to find accessory these days.


RAF ground crew engine fitter's large spanner.

High quality early RAF ground crew engine fitter's large spanner, for use on early aero-engines and airframes.  1/2-inch and 7/16". Dated 1939 and Air Ministry marked, made by BRITOOL ​and marked CHROME VANADIUM. Tools like this rarely come along because they remained useful long after the war (and still today!). Excellent condition.