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Parachutes / Mae Wests

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RARE WWI RFC Auliffe pattern life belt with extremely rare inflation lever and cartridge.

The Auliffe life belt was first issued to RFC pilots in WWI and remained in use until replaced by the green 1932 pattern waistcoat. Made from heavy rubberized canvas, it wrapped around the body and was inflated by a lever that inflated a CO2 cartridge - years ahead of its time. In very good, clean condition, the vest is nice and pliable, with very slight stiffness along part of the lower edge (but still flexible). All instructions clearly printed as well as a name and serial number. Most importantly, it is still fitted with its extremely rare inflation mechanism with the original cartridge; one of only two I have ever seen. A fantastic find for any WWI / RFC kit collector.

$1,195 / £950 / €1,115

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RARE WWI RFC Auliffe pattern life best with extremely rare inflation lever and cartridge

RARE WWI RFC Auliffe pattern life best with extremely rare inflation lever and cartridge

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AAF B-4 life vest in excellent condition dated April 1944.

Excellent B-4 life vest, dated April 1944 and appears to be in unissued condition. There are no names, ID or service numbers written or printed on the vest, just the factory nomenclature which is nice and clear and what looks like  the initials MW lightly in pencil at the corner of the chest reinforcement rectangle. The rubberized fabric is perfectly flexible with no hard spots or wear. The back of the collar is slightly curved in it's "at rest" position (probably from storage) but still flexes perfectly. Original rubber tubes for oral inflation also flexible. Dye marker pouch has been cemented into place between the front and rear lobes and pull tabs are still bound with whipcord. All straps and hardware in excellent condition with light oxidation on rivets securing the straps in place. Very hard to find one in such good condition.

$400 / £358 / €415

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AAF B-4 life vest in excellent condition dated April 1944

AAF B-4 life vest in excellent condition dated April 1944

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AAF B-4 life vest in excellent condition dated April 1944

AAF B-4 life vest in excellent condition dated April 1944

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Set of 3 original kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest.

A good, original set of kapok pads for the stole inflated life vest (commonly known as 1941 Pattern Mae West). These are the later pattern which contained teased kapok inside a cotton case. There s a clean  Air Ministry mark on the neck pad and slightly fainter markings on the other two. The cotton shows its age with minor staining but has no damage. One of those accessories which is becoming more difficult to source.

$250 / £198 / €230

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Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Set of 3 kapok pads for the stole inflated (1941 Pattern) yellow life vest

Complete panel of an early wartime silk parachute.

Hard to tell if this is from a US or British made parachute, but it is silk, not rayon or nylon, and the only marking is the panel number 15.  Measures about 12' (365cm) long by about 3' ( 92cm) at it's widest end, going down to 6" (15cm) at the thin end. Clean, excellent condition and would make several great scarves or could be used to wrap the packing on an actual parachute.

$125 / £100 / €115

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Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

Complete segment of an early wartime silk parachute

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only).

Top cover of the K Dinghy pack, Type A Mk III issued to fighter pilots and single seat aircraft, with pockets for accessories and survival items and the scarce conhnector for the Mae West still attached. This is in excellent condition, showing very little use or wear and still has a clear crisp instructions in 4 languages. It is marked on top with a yellow stripe and "VET DINGHY DRILL." These packs are rarely found in such great condition and this makes a very good display - just needs the bottom cover.

$125 / £99 / €115

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RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF Type A Mk III pack for the one-man Type K Dinghy (top cover only)

RAF 1941 Pattern Mae West toggle rope.

Toggle rope as issued with the 1941 Pattern Life Vest for tying as needed together once having landed in the sea. One end was sewn to the inside of the vest  and coiled up in the pouch between the flotation chamber and the outer layet. It could be uncoiled and the wooden toggle  secured to other ditched crewmembers, the dinghy, rescue vessel etc. as needed.

$45 / £38 / €43

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RAF1941 Pattern Mae West toggle rope

RAF1941 Pattern Mae West toggle rope

RAF1941 Pattern Mae West toggle rope

RAF1941 Pattern Mae West toggle rope

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest.

 

While bearing a resemblance to the issue types used by the Air Force and Navy of many of the warring nations, this is a commercial life vest, though it's actual origin is unknown. It had two labels attached at one time, long since removed (stitch holes are visible as shown). Though overall grubby and with some oil stains typical of use—as well as rust stains and rusted adjustment buckles at both sides—the vest is in reasonably good condition, with a few small holes and worn spots but none of the stuffing missing. It fastened with six buttons at the front, now missing. It would make a good project if restored for an aviation or marine display, or the kapok "sausages" could be salvaged for another restoration.

 

$55 / £45 / €50

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Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

Commercial 1930s kapok filled life vest

1930s commercial kapok life jacket.

 

OD green cotton life vest made of kapok stuffed tubes, very similar in design to the types worn by German Luftwaffe and Japanese Air Force pilots and aircrews— in fact this resembles the Japanese float vest closely enough that it would work well—and a considerably cheaper alternative for display or re-enactment (since an original Japanese life vest can cost upwards of $5,000). Of course it can also be displayed  as a good example of a commercial life vest of the period as used by sailors and aviators.  Excellent condition, with s mall black mark to the rear and a linen label which is virtually washed out and illegible. 

$120 / £95 / €112

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1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

1930s commercial kapok life jacket

AAF parachute back cushion/pad.

Olive drab/khaki canvas back cushion for the AAF parachute harness in excellent condition - possibly unissued (just a little storage wear). Feels like the standard horsehair stuffing.

ON HOLD

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute back cushion/pad

AAF parachute / equipment bag.

Olive drab canvas hold-all issued as an equipment bag but mostly associated with parachute equipment. Very useful bags! Especially when in such great condition with a fully functioning zip and no wear or damage. Nicely marked and named to two different airmen, with a nice AAF logo to the front. Storage wear but overall very good.

$100 / £83 / €94

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AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF parachute / equipment bag

AAF Pack for the Type C-2 Pneumatic raft.

 

Heavy canvas pack for the Type C-2 Pneumatic raft for attaching to the seat-type parachute harness. This is one of the later types with the hooks reversed so that the wearer sat on the opening. manufacture date of March 1945. Made by Rubber Raft Corp. of America. Very good condition, with some staining and soiling from storage.

$220 / £180 / €200

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AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

AAF C-2 Pararaft pack

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern Mae West.

 

Small version of the heliograph / signal mirror which was intended for the Type K dinghy survival kit, but invariably finished up being carried in the  small pocket on the 1941 pattern Mae West. Complete with cotton pouch and siting tool, all in excellent condition, with printed instructions on back of steel mirror. Minor rust stain on pouch and tiny speck of rust on siting tool. Retains cord for attaching to eyelet on Mae West.

$65 / £52 / €60

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RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

RAF small heliograph / signal mirror for the 1941 pattern mae west

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