© 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

PAST SALES I0

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Superb and rare 1930s US Navy leather flying helmet fitted with TH-37 receivers and including a great set of Meyrowitz Luxor 6 flying goggles.

 

The perfect display companion for the USN flight suit on the "flying clothing " page! This is a typical "commercial purchase converted to issue" helmet, supplied by Karl Ort of York, Pennsylvania with fitted earcups to house the TH-37 receivers complete with rubber coated wiring oom and twin-pin plug. Padded chin strap (a typical feature of period Navy helmets, as are the "powder puff" inner ear pads). This is a luxurious helmet in excellent condition and includes the US Navy issue type Meyrowitz Luxor 6 model goggles, with amber lenses for cutting through haze. Goggles are in very good conditon, the rubber cushions slightly grubby but still pliable. The strap has lost its elasticity but display well. This is a hard helmet to find.

 

SOLD

Excellent "rigger modified" pre-WWII US Navy green Bedford cord flying helmet fitted with TH-37 receivers and wiring loom.

 

Quite a scarce 1930s-WWII USN flying helmet. This example has been modified to provide a tighter, more secure (and therefore more effective) fit by taking in the center seam and semi-circular side seams. The work is very well done  and the seam lining / reinforcement strips have been carefully sewn back into place. In spite of being taken in, it is stiil a very large helmet, but fits much better around the face. In addiiton, the long chin strap has been cut, the end folded under (doubled up) and a chin cup added in its place. The "N" of the original "USN" unk stamp is still visible. The helmet is additionally fitted with standard USN type light broen leather earcups and TH-37 receivers with an early braided cloth wiring loom which has been custom fitted to the helmet so that a short "pig-tail" cord and plug remains. A really nice and  unique variation of this rare early navy helmet. 

 

SOLD

Original WWII AAF Type B-3 shearling flight jacket in fairly good condition and size 42. Classic US bomber jacket.

 

Getting hard to find in any kind of decent condition. This B-3 shows some signs of age but overall displays fine. Very clean, with good leather and thick fleece interior. As with most B-3 jackets, the polyacrylate coating (essentially reddish brown acryllic paint) has dried and there are are few areas where it has stiffened, with some surface cracks and peeling. This is most noticeable on the rear left shoulder and lower sleeves, but is only the surface, not all the way through. The shearling lining is still soft. Nice early model, with reddish brown coating and 2 panel back as opposed to the later dark brown finish and multi-panel construction. Great label and original hanging chain still present. Original Talon zipper has some issues.

I have tried to coax it to work but it really needs replacing. Jacket could be cleaned and resurfaced if desired (the polyacrylate coating was not expected to last even a few months, let along 75 years!) but will display just fine as is. Priced according to condition.

 

SOLD

Nice late WWII or very early post war RAF officer's peaked cap tailored by Moss Bros.

 

Very nice RAF officer's peaked / visor cap dating from late WWII or possibly immediately post war, with the half-moon peak. Tailored by Moss Bros, a popular tailor for the RAF. Blue barathea wool with black mohair band and lovely padded badge which is tarnished evenly. Excellent shape with no visible damage, and only light wear to the leather band. Oilcloth sweat shield is intact. A very good example.

 

SOLD

Extremely rare first issue RAF 1941 flap type life vest "Mae West."

 

One of the true "Holy Grail" items amongst collectors of RAF flying kit. The 1941 pattern life vest  (correctly named "Waistcoat, life saving, inflatable, stole pattern") was first issued at the beginning of 1941 following the loss of so many pilots during the Battle of Britain wearing the inadequate and green camouflaged 1932 pattern. It was essentially the same as the 1932 pattern except for two improvements: it has a dye pack attached and it was self-inflating from a lever operated CO2 cartridge. In July 1941, the "Flap Type" was announced - the same waistcoat with the addition of a triangular flap added to the back to increase visibility. Existing inventory had the flap added in the factory while new patterns were made and these newer ones were labeled "Flap Type." In April 1942, the flaps were ordered to be removed from all exisitng life vests, for two reasons: 1. the flaps wrapped around the pilot's neck, pulling them under water.  2. the introduction of the K dinghy elimated the need. This is an example of the first issue type with the flap factory added, after production, to a first run 1941 vest. This vest has no leg tapes, no grab handles, no pockets; just the dye flap (no dye pack present), brass dished buttons, Air Ministry label (slightly faded but perfectly legible), correct early yellow silk covered stole / bladder dated 8/41 (first month of issue) complete with inflation lever mechanism and CO2 cartridge still present and a good orignal set of kapok pads. The flap type existed for only 9 months and underwent several modifications in that time (adding grab handles, leg tapes, pockets, etc). This is the earliest of its type. The rarest of the rarest!

 

SOLD

Excellent WWII RAF 1941 pattern life vest "Mae West" complete with all accessories - possible AAF use.

 

An outstanding example of a 1941 pattern life vest "Mae West" complete with all accessories as issued circa 1943-44 with built in grab handles and leg tapes. The vest shows minimal wear and light soiling but includes its correct stole / bladder dated 8/44 which is fitted with the hard-to-find inflation lever mechanism. Set of 3 correct and original kapok pads all Air Ministry marked and dated with test dates into the 1950s. It also has its floating light which has a slight dent but has perfect wiring (not hardened or crumbling like most), unmarked tube whistle in whistle pocket, heliograph and sighting tool in linen pouch in pocket, wooden dinghy toggle and dye marker pack sewn into flap on left hand side. Dye marker pouch is AAF issue type but is 100% original to the vest and is secured with correct regulation red thread. Maybe it was worn by a USAAF pilot? AAF pilots certainly wore these when they could get them. Great Air Ministry label which indicates "flap type" but it is common to find non-flap types still using this label. Markings / ink stamps inside. Size Large. Good working zip. Overall an excellent example, perfect for RAF or AAF display and extremely rare to find complete.

 

SOLD

Luftwaffe uniform breast eagle for an enlisted man's uniform (1)

 

Beautiful, unused embroidered Luftwaffe insignia for the right hand breast pocket of the enlisted man's tunic or Fliegerbluse. Nice original in off-white silk on blue-grey background.

 

SOLD

Luftwaffe uniform breast eagle for an enlisted man's uniform (2)

 

Beautiful, unused embroidered Luftwaffe insignia for the right hand breast pocket of the enlisted man's tunic or Fliegerbluse. Nice original in silver-grey thread on blue-grey background.

 

SOLD

Genuine WWII period replacement RiRi white plastic zipper for Luftwaffe uniforms and flying clothing.

 

RiRi white plastic on blue fabric, 20cm (8") used, removed from clothing but good working condition.

 

SOLD

WWII RAF issue flat hook for attaching Type E*, G and H oxygen mask to early type flying helmets.

 

Now extremely difficult to find. These were mounted to the left hand side of the flying helmet for hooking the oxygen mask in place. For the early unwired Type C, D and E helmets as well as specially modified Type B helmets. US made hooks will work - but these are the genuine RAF issue.

 

4 available. All are WWII production though vary slightly in design and manufacturer. When these are gone they are gone...

 

SOLD OUT

WWII Italian Regia Aeronautica flying goggles by Brevetto Fopais with flip up sun screens.

 

Uniquely designed flying / racing goggles by Brevetto Fopais feature independent;y functioning amber haze screens over each glass lens. Very good conditon, the white rubber cushions are rough in places on the surface but remain pliable, strap retains elasticity, frames and lenses are very good. Adjustment screw on bridge in good working order. Italian headgear is quite scarce and thse are a unique and interesting design which were offered in two versions: this summer model (with white or orange rubber cushions) and a winter version with afur lined mask.

 

SOLD

Excellent pair of RAF issue 1940 pattern flying boots

 

Very good pair of RAF 1940 pattern flying boots. Though too late to be included in a Battle of Britain collection, these boots were designed and produced to replace the expensive 1936 pattern boots and not very successful 1939 pattern. These were so successful and popular they were issued and worn throughot the war and well beyond (I personally know of one veteran who wore his until the 1970s to go fishing!). Brown suede uppers are in excellent condition, very clean. Sheepsking linings are perfect. Rubber coating around the foot section has hardened but is completely intact. Original soles and heels. The zips are perfect, Lightning brabd and Air Ministry marked. The tan leather tongues are also A-crown-M marked and marked as size 7 (which converts to 8 US). Sizes were always generous and allowed for multople layers of socks to be worn inside. A very decent pair. NOte: these are the 1940 pattern - produced without ankle straps. Ankle straps were added in 1941 and the new boots redesignated 1941 pattern.

 

SOLD

A very nice used pair of rare, early WWII Luftwaffe issue "double-zip" flying boots. 

 

So called because each boot zipped up on both the inside and outside. This was so that in the event of injury, medics could remove the boots easily. They were issued up until about 1940 but the need to conserve materials (steel and brass) for the war effort led to the end of production. They are now considered quire rare and very desirable. This is a very nice pair, showing use and wear but in remarkably good, clean condition. Black suede uppers with leather shoe section and "Original Wilop" rubber soles. The soles show moderate wear but have never been replaced and still have plenty of miles left in them. There is one small repair (undoubtedly period and very well done using matching suede) to the rear of the right boot, and a small area of wear to the suede on the inside of the left boot (see photos). Otherwise these are overall in very good condition. Linen labels are faded - one has a leather "E" affixed; probably an initial of the original owner. My guess is that they are approximately a size 8UK / 9US. All matching RiRi steel zips with pullers, work perfectly; fleece linings are excellent.  Leather is very good.

 

ON HOLD

Very early Luftwaffe flying suit trousers. Velour type with multiple pockets for housing survival equipment. Manufactured and dated in the 1930s by Karl Heisler of Berlin.

 

Very rare early flying pants by Karl Heisler and labeled as such with the date 193– (last digit left blank for over-printing). Made of dark grey velour with a crushed velvet lining similar to the electrically heated suits. The waist is similar to the later issue channel pants, with internal cinch belts and buckles inside the waist (belts are made of leather instead of webbing), buttons for suspenders / braces, Rapid zip fly and two button top. Zips at ankles. All zip fasteers are metal and in good working order. Two large patch pockets on the front of the thighs for storing maps and equipment, but unlike the later Channel pants which replaced these, the pockets do not have the internal loops and ties for specific equipment. Two zip pockets (one on each outside leg) are for survival equipment such as flares (pockets are specially shaped and designed with fabric and leather loops and tubes to hold survival kit). Photographs exist of these pants in use during the Battle of Britain (see photo of Adolf Galland wearing this style in 1940) and a matching jacket was also issued. Great condition, with light soiling and one very small snag in fabric on the seat (half an inch). Marked on label as size 1a. One of the rarest items of early German flying clothing.

 

SOLD

Extremely rare WWII Soviet Air Force flying goggles

 

In 30 years of collecting, this is the first pair of these rare goggles I have ever come across! Plated brass frames with

orange rubber cushion and raised vents. Grey elastic strap still has a little stretch. Grey tinted celluloid lenses (not glass) one of which has a small hole drilled in the top corner - maybe for extra venting?  Lenses may have been replaced but are definitely old, thick and stiff.  The Soviets were known for improvising, mending and using their kit for as long as they could. These goggles show plenty if honest use, frames are slightly dinged but 100% original. The chamois backed rubber cushion is in great shape, just grubby.

Note: helmet pictured is not included but is available (scroll down the page).

 

SOLD

 

WWII lightweight Italian flying / all-purpose goggles

 

Sleek, lightweight, plated alloy frames, orange tinted celluloid lenses and orange rubber cushions are typical features of Italian manufacture. Overall condition of the goggles is good, although the plating on the alloy has oxidized. Lenses are very slightly misshapen and have surface scratches. Elastic is still good with lots of stretch left. Rubber cusshions are still pliable. 

 

SOLD

American Optical Airway brand goggles.

 

Nice set of these AO Airway goggles which were sold commercially as an inexpensive "entry level" flying goggle to cadets. Though they could be fitted with standard B-7 / AN6530 lenses, they were also sold with celluloid lenses so that in the vent of a crash, glass shards would not go into the student's eyes. There is some photographoc evidence to suggest these may have been used by AAF aircrew but they were not an issue item. This set is in very good condition, appear unused but just have a little storage / age iling. Good rubber cushions and elastic strap.

 

SOLD

CBI Theatre made US 48 star flag in leather, worn as ID by AAF pilots and aircrews on their A-2 jackets.

 

A slightly larger version to the one I listed and sold a few weeks ago, this flag measures 25 cm x 20 cm (10" x 8"). Though technically not a survival item, these were purchased locally by airmen as souvenirs, but they were worn as easily recognizable ID by sewing them to the backs of their flying jackets. Multi-piece construction 48 star US flag in red and white leather and blue suede. 22cm (9") x 18cm (7"). Has been sewn on but excellent condition, the white leater slightly yellowed with age.

 

SOLD

Spectacular pair of WWII Imperial Japanese Navy flying goggles with original box, maker marked to the Manchurian Shipyards (MAN).

 

Excellent pair of WWII Imperial Japanese Navy issue flying goggles, complete with their original issue box. Goggles show little if any use, and the elastic still retains some stretch to it (very unusual for Japanese goggles). Brown velvet pads, reddish-brown metallic lacquered frames and brown elastic strap with leather fittings are all excxellent. Lenses are clear with no fogging and no cracks or damage. Box has minor wear around the rim and features the crossed anchor and propellor emblem on the lid. Best pair I've seen in many years. Very slight signs of the screws being turned on one side, otherwise these could be unissued.

 

SOLD

Scarce Shield Assembly for the AAF A-8B oxygen mask.

 

A very scarce accessory for the A-8B oxygen mask, the shield assembly was purely for high altitude use, and its function was to protect the thin rubber of the delicate rebreather bag from freezing. Moisture from breathing out would condense in the bag and freeze at low temperatures, causing the rubber bag to burst.  The fleece lined cotton bag, which was secured to the mask by its straps passing though slits at the front and then a metal wire band could be squeezed around the base of the mask to provide furter support. The shield bag expanded with the rubber bladder but kept it warm. In use it was cumbersome and awkward - and newer demand masks soon replaced these old constant flow masks anyway, so they were seldom used. Now they are quite rare collector's items! Thois example is in unissued, perfect conditon.

 

SOLD

 

Scarce A-8B oxygen mask demand converters.

 

Another very scarce accessory for the A-8B oxygen mask was this pair of rubber "turret" covers - which slipped over the sponge housings mounted either side of the facepiece, and functioned to allow the mask to be used with a demand regulator. It was a temporary, interim fix, while crews awaited issue of the A-9 and A-10 masks, but newer aurcarft were fitted with demand regulators (instead of constant flow). Made from grey rubber which is perfectly pliable and shows no damage, only storage wear and minor surface "spider veins."  THese are not cracs and do not inhibit the flexibility of the rubber. NOTE: These covers were NOT intended for use with the Shield Assembly bag (above) as is sometimes depicted. 

 

SOLD

 

Unissued, unworn boxed pair of Air Ministry marked genuine WWII Mk VIII flying goggles. 

 

It would be very difficult to upgrade this fabulous pair of RAF Mk VIII flying goggles, which are guaranteed WWII production, marked as they are with a clear A-crown-M emboss / stamp on the leather behind the bridge hinge. These goggles are unworn and never issued, showing no paint rubbing whatsoever. Fitted with tinted lenses. Strap retains full elasticity. Leather is perfect. Includes correct box of issue but no extra lenses or cleaning / demisting cloth (most were NOT issued with extra lenses to save cost. Extra lenses of various tints were available from RAF stores by request). Box is marked as containing goggles with tinted lenses.

 

SOLD

Excellent pair of Luftwaffe Model 306 large lens flying goggles by Otto Wagner.

 

Getting harder and harder to source, these official issue model 306 flight goggles are in very good condition. Dark grey rubber cushions, grey-green painted frames with double screw adjustment and clear lenses with green, ribbed elastic strap. Strap has lost much of its elasticity but still functions perfectly well. at least 95% of paint remains on frames. No date but initials O.W. stamped on bridge. 

Note: LKpS101 helmet displayed with these goggles is NOT included but available spearately.

 

SOLD

 

AAF T-30-S throat microphone, missing neck strap but otherwise in very good condition.

 

Very decent, used T-30-S throat microphone by Universal Micro Co of Inglewood, California. Rubber is a little stiff but still pliable, no cracking or damage, with cord and plug. Lacks the elastic neck strap but one could be fabricated - or if an original cold be found, so much the better.

 

SOLD

Excellent, original WWII manufacture AAF Type A-8B oxygen mask, with original rebreather bag / bladder in perfect condition.

 

The most difficult US oxygen mask to find in decent displayable or archive condition. This example of a 1942 dated A-8B mask is quite stunning. The rubber is outstanding, barring a few tiny hairline spider cracks on the very edge of the right hand "turret" sponge housing and a separation on one edge of the cardboard formers which secure the strap to trhe sponge housings. The mask body, hose and, most surprsingly, the rebreather bag, are all in perfect shape. The mask comes with its leather straps fitted and will include three connectors which can be buckled to the straps: Two have the D-ring for quick detachment and the third has the arrow-shaped insert for attaching to the hooks mounted on A-9 / B-6 helmets. The standard way of wearing the mask (with either the A-9 or B-6 helmet for which it was designed) was to use this arrow-hook on one side and the D-ring on the other - although there were numerous other ways the mask could be modified for wear with different helmets,  or with no helmet.

It's been many years since I offered one of these iconic masks for sale, and this is the best I have seen in a long time.

 

SOLD

AAF Type A-9 oxygen mask - incomplete but excellent condition for rebuild.

 

This AAF A-9 oxygen mask body is dated 1-42 and appears to have never been issued or perhaps completed because apart from slight soiling fromn storage, it shows no use and no wear. The rubber is pliable as new. It lacks a hose and straps and also the mosewire, which appears to have never been fitted. The short elastic straps are present in the upper position on each side.  Perfect to replace an aging or worn example with the rest of the parts. 

 

SOLD

Experimental Great War RNAS flying goggles, complete with wooden case, colour "light" filter windows and original instruction manual 

 

Experimental flying goggles with 9 sets of "light filters", each with their own special intended use, such as searching for coastline, submarines, oil and soot on the surface of the sea, etc. and used by the Royal Naval Air Service in WWI, prior to merging with the Royal Flying Corps to form the RAF.

All specific uses and weather conditions are described in detail in the booklet (for example: Mist cutter No. 73. "Especially useful on very bright days, and when flying in the sun. Also for gun flashes and the fall of shot."). Goggles are in as issued, unused condition. Leather mask with velveteen backing and faux fur trim, hinged brass frames and brown elastic strap. Contained in beautiful fitted wooden case with green baize lining and compartments for 18 shaped and laminated glass lenses (9 pairs). Each lens in a different bright, vibrant colour (the photos are not enhanced - these are the actual colours) and its use is described in the enclosed booklet.  One lens is missing but the other 17 are present and correct. The accompanying booklet contains detailed instructions on the use of these goggles, as well as a directive to contact the Commanding Officer at the RN Experimental Station, Stratford, with "valuable observations".  The history of the Experimental Station is very interesting. Its Commanding Officer was Frank Arthur Brock (of the Brock's fireworks family). Brock, who was a pilot in the RNAS and RAF invented and developed these special colour light filters. His other inventions include smoke screens, flares and incendiary bullets (used to shoot down zeppelins). He was awarded the OBE for his work but died in April 1918 in the attack of Zebrugge (he was supposed to be observing the use of his smokescreen but insisted on joining the raid and was KIA).  A set of these goggles is on display at the Peabody Museum at Yale University with full history noted. A rare opportunity to acquire what must be one of the most unique and interesting items of flying equipment from the Great War.

 

SOLD

Excellent pair of WWII AAF / USN AN6530 flying goggles.

 

The type with the streamlined, integral vents and nickel frames, this very nice example of the classic American flight goggles has clear glass lenses, a perfect, 100% period original one-piece rubber cushion with a totally clean chamois backing, and a clean white elastic strap which still has plenty of stretch. There is a small area of surface corrosion to the left side of the frames which could be polished out if desired, and a few very minor dings, but otherwise these display perfectly. Not rare perhaps, but as with anything, they won't be around forever and good examples like this will always make the better investment.

 

SOLD

Extremely rare WWI Royal Naval Air Service officer's cap badge.

 

Another very scarce badge in excellent condition, featuring gold bullion wire embroidered leaves surmounted by a heavily padded velvet crown and a silver eagle, all on a black wool background. Very heavily padded and a waxed cotton backing. Nice even patina. Not sure of the significance of the affixed paper label with number 10 - perhaps an old museum inventory number? 

 

SOLD

Scarce WWI Royal Naval Air Service Chief Petty Officer's cap badge.

 

Another scarce badge in excellent condition, featuring gold bullion wire embroidered crown over a heavily padded black velvet dome and a gilt eagle, all on a black wool background. This design was retained for a short time after the inauguration of the RAF and is therefore less scarce than other RNAS badges. Very heavily padded and a waxed hessian backing. Very good condition.

 

SOLD

Scarce WWI Royal Flying Corps Flight Sergeant's badge.

 

Worn above the stripes or chevrons to indicate the higher rank of Flight Sergeant. Four bladed prop with a superimposed four-pointed star on a khaki background. Excellent condition.

 

SOLD

Excellent RAF first pattern (unwired) Type C flying helmet in a rare size 4 (extra large).

 

Lovely example of the first pattern RAF Type C helmet, designed for an external wiring loom and with a leather chin strap and Bennett buckle chin strap, plus fore-and-aft goggles retaining tabs. This is a huge size 4 (7-3/8 to 7-1/2) and retains its manufacturer's label inside indicating it was made by Phelps Ltd. in India. The leather is excellent, if a little darker and a little stiffer than that found on British made helmets, the grain reminiscent of goatskin. The chamois lining is exceptionally clean. The rubber ear cups are still quite pliable but each has a small split at the base where receivers were fitted and have been removed at some time. This does not show for display. A very nice helmet in a very desirable size.

 

SOLD