RAF aircraft control spade grip Type AH8400 (also known as the Dunlop Mk II Control Ring handle). Type used on late production Spitfires as well as Sea Fury and early RAF jets.


This Mk II control ring or spade grip Type AH8400 replaced the earlier spade grip on late and post war aircraft including the Spitfire Mk 22 and 24, Meteor IV, Vampire and Sea Fury. More streamlined than the Mk I which was circular, the Mk II featured a "one-third circle" design. Its use was very shortlived, being replaced with the much less appealing straight "stick" for improved safety when ejection seats were introduced. This example includes the original gun button and gun button housing (button is currently stuck and nonfunctioning and safety cover is held in place with a screw). Original brake lever operates and locks. Push-to-talk switch on top of grip functions. All hard rubber coating remains on grip. A very displayable example of what is quite a scarce control grip and the association with the sleek late Spitfire and Sea Fury aircraft make this a very desirable item.



(click on pictures to enlarge)

A truly UNIQUE and historical artifact: the complete 

undercarriage control switch assembly from Erich Hartmann's Messerschmidt 109G – complete with historical provenance.


Erich "Bubi" Hartmann is the all time “Ace of Aces” with more aerial combat victories than any other fighter pilot in history. He shot down an astounding 352 enemy aircraft for the Luftwaffe in World War II. Although most of his victories were Russian aircraft, in 1944, he shot down at least 5 American P-51 Mustangs. 

Unlike most fighter pilots, he didn't rely on accurate deflection shooting (leading the target with gunfire so the projectile and aircraft collide). Instead he used quick sweeps and approaches, sometimes diving through entire enemy formations. 

Perhaps even more remarkable than his 352 victories is the fact that in his 1,404 combat missions, Hartmann was never shot down or forced to bale out or crash-land due to enemy fire. He did however crash-land his damaged fighter on 14 separate occasions, mostly because of mechanical failure or damage caused by debris from an enemy aircraft Hartmann had downed (his technique involved getting in very close and shooting almost from “point blank range”). On one such occasion, a German soldier retrieved this control button and rod from the cockpit of Hartmann’s Messerschmidt Bf109G crash-landed aircraft as a souvenir. After the war, when Hartmann was repatriated and back home in Stuttgart, the soldier contacted Hartmann and presented him with the switch assembly; it is quite possibly the only known piece of an aircraft flown by Hartmann to survive – certainly the only one he ever possessed personally – and the Ace kept it displayed on his piano for many years until he gave it to an American Army Captain with whom he became friends in the 1970s, when both of them were members of the Red Baron Flying Club in Frankfurt.  The complete assembly is approximately 12” / 30 cm long and includes its mounting bracket. In good condition, made of aluminium with oxidation to the ferrous metal parts. The undercarriage control switch is red and marked “Flug." A letter of provenance from the US Army Captain (later Major) accompanies the piece. A copy (DVD) of a video of a TV documentary about the Red Baron Flying Club, made in 1976, which features the US army Major and several of the WWII German veterans is also included.



Rare 1937 dated Luftwaffe LKpW100 flying helmet in excellent condition, complete with throat microphones receivers, long cord and plug.


One of the most difficult of all Luftwaffe flying helmets to find, especially in such near perfect conditon. the LkpW100 was issued from 1937 until 1940 and worn by Luftwaffe aircrews during the Battle of Britain. Fleece lined gota or lambskin leather, the hemet incorprated a built in communications system of throat microphones and radio receivers years head of its time. Receivers are housed in metal oval cups mounted t the side of the helmet. This example has both its labels intact and is dated November, 1937 making it a very early issue. The throat microphones are on a single strap which buckles across the neck (later variants had a snap fastener and friction buckle). Very clean helmet vshowing little or no use. Decent size 56 displays well. This would be very difficult to upgrade.




Very nice example of an early internally wired RAF Type C flying helmet, circa 1943, used but in great displayable condition.


The Type C flying helmet with internal wiring was introduced first in 1943 and early models are identified by having 3 leather tabs to the rear for securing the goggles in place: two with stud / snaps and one with a buckle (later examples had 2 additional short tabs for holding the wiring in place - it being quickly discovered that the wiring looms needed frequent maintenance or replacement - and that hiding them inside the helmet made them diiifcult to access). This helmet shows use and wear but no damage except for a couple of small rubbed holes inside the nape. The inside is stained with hair cream. The leather is excellent and overall it makes a great display. Includes the complete wiring loom, correct receivers, plug for attaching oxygen mask mic. lead and bell-shaped aircraft plug jack (the outer rim og plug jack is chipped, probably from banging aganst the airframe). My best guess is that this belonged to a fighter pilot (obvious wear and stains inside cheeks from being pressed to face - an obvious sign that the mask was worn from take-off to touch down, wear to nape from craning the neck and loom tied short). If they could only talk! If flying kit that screams "I was there!" is your preferece (like mine) this is a real keeper!




WWII RAF Type G oxygen mask in unused, unissued conditon, fitted with external wiring loom, receivers and plug. An incredible find in superb condition.


The Type G oxygen mask is now a very difficult item to find, and early versions, fitted with the external wiring for the first Type C and D helmets are considered a rarity. A mask such as this, in virtually mint, unisuued condition, is a remarkable find. The rubber is in perfect condition, with no stress cracks, no signs of use, very pliable, very clean and with its nosewire strong and intact. The elastic webbing straps are like new, and still retain all three of their yellow rubber bands. The only signs of stress is on the black rubber ring that covers the edge of the microphone, but that too is perfectly pliable. The wiring loom is in perfect condtion and wired to a pair of Tye 16 receivers (10A/12443) as well as a bell-shaped aircraft plug. Mask is size Large and also includes its moisture shield and shield clip inside the microphone. A museum quality collector's item ath would be nearly impossible to upgrade.




WWII AAF / USN knit inserts for gloves type D-3A. 


Knit inserts for flying gloves. Though marked as being for te D-3A glove - new research indicates that these same knit inserts were also issued for use for the A-11A glove. Since I have a set of each type of glove available I am offering the inserts separately. Excellent condition OD wool with no damage, no visible mothing, appear to have never been worn or issued. Still have both labels attached and marked size Large.


Please note last image is of another label from a DIFFERENT pair of knit inserts (not the one offered for sale) which is included to show that the same inserts were issued with both the A-11A and D-3A gloves.



WWII AAF / USN Type AN-G-29 (AAF designation

A-11A) Intermediate Flying Gloves in excellent condition.


Since first listing these I have carried out a little more research. They are one of the less frequently encountered flying gloves from WWII.

Intended as a replacement for the B-3, AN-G-29 intermediate gloves were originally designated A-11A for the AAF, but the joint forces designation adopted in 1943 introduced the nomenclature AN-G-29 - so I would conclude that this pair were most likely US Navy issue. Soft, dark brown leather, unlined and intended for wear with knit inserts (available separately), they have an elasticated strip across the inside of the wrist (the earlier A-11 had a tightening strap which was dropped for the "A" model). This pair shows minimal use and no wear, excellent condition throughout and well marked inside. A scarce pair of flying gloves intended for issue to both the AAF and the Navy.



Beautiful WWII AAF Airborne Troop Carrier pilot's A-2 flying jacket by Aeroleather.


A really lovely example of a horsehide A-2 jacket by Aeroleather, in very good condition, with a leather 1st Troop Carrier Command patch to front and an embroidered Airborne Troop Carrier patch to the left upper arm. Also has a name tag to N.A. Hess. This is the second name tag (stitch holes show there was another previously - which is not unusual - jackets were often reissued). This A-2 jacket is a size 36 which makes it great for display ior for a small person to wear (probably why it survived in such great shape) and features the beautiful russet cuffs and waistband which were so popular. Lining is in grreat shape also. Zipper is original and works perfectly, there are a couple of minor snags / holes in the wool but nothing serious. It's a great, unmessed with, original wartime airborne A-2 jacket worthy of researching and deserving of a good home.



Exceptional RCAF issue, Canadian made Type B flying helmet with zip ears and inclouding RCAF marked telephone receivers.


These Canadian made examples of the B type flying helmet differ somewhat from the Air Minsitry version in that they are made of superior quality doeskin leather, light brown and butter soft. The pattern is slightly different and friction buckles are used instead of Bennetts buckles. This helmet is in amazing conditon and appears to have never been issued or worn - perhaps tried on a time or two. Size 2 though it fits a styrofoam diosplay head with ample room to spare. Included is a pair of RCAF marked Type 16 receivers and sponge rubber insert pads. This helmet would be very difficult to upgrade. 

The Mk III goggles displayed with the helmet are available separately.




Lovely example of a RAF Mk Ia "bone dome" jet helmet with Type G liner, fully wired with all communications gear and customized to 100 squadron (Canberras).


The first hard shell crash helmet used by the RAF, introduced in the mid-1950s, was the Mk I. It was quickly modified by adding a visor track and visor and issued as the Mk Ia. Worn over the Type G cloth helmet containing telephone receivers, cord and plug plus connector for the mask microphone. This helmet was apinted white (commo practice) and had "skull and crossbones" decals added, the 100 squadron badge. 100 squadron flew the famous Canberra aircraft from RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire. All in good condition with a couple of paint chips here and there but nothing serious. Visor is very good and includes the velveteen lined cloth cover. The helmet is a size 2 regular and the Type G liner is a size 3. Mixing sizes was not unusual.

Painted RAF jet helmets are very scarce and this is a beauty, all original.



WWII US Navy M-450 flying helmet complete with TH-37 receivers, short rubber loom and Mk II flying goggles.


Came as a set from one man, so it seems a shame to sepaate them after all these years. Tan cotton unlined helmet with leather earcups holding TH-37 telephone receivers, short loom and connectors. Willson Mk II flying goggles are still attached. Helmet is in very good condition, though the right leather earcup has some issues: snap fastener has pulled through and surface of leather is cracked, but still flexible. Will display just fine. Helmet retains its leather chin cup. Goggles have good frames and great dark green lenses. One piece rubber cushion has hardened and has lots of surface crazing, with some loss at the edges. It displays fine and hasn't parted company from the frames so works as is, but I would recommend looking for a replacement cushion in the future. A nice piece of history, priced according to condition.



Fabulous 1930s / 40s privately purchased American Optical Safety Goggles in case.


First of all I have to state that there is no evidence that these were used as flying goggles - but getting that aside, it must also be stated that the majority of "sunglasses" worn for flying, including those used by aviators with the AAF and USN, were commercially obtained and privately purchased. I have seen ne other pair of these, many years ago, and they are absolutely beautiful. Light green lenses in plated frames which open "backwards" (the comfort cable arms fold in front, rather than behind, the lenses) and then celluloid green side shield swing out on hinges and snap into position. Heavy metal case is well marked. A rare and wonderful find , and they don't look at all out of place on a fighter pilot...



WWII AAF B-8 flying goggles by Rochester Optical. 


Much more scarce than the Polaroid manufactured goggles though identical in every way (except the markings). Rochester Optical produced B-8 goggle kits in 1944 and 45 under license from Polaroid for the Army Air Forces, though they are probably better known for their US Navy contracts. Goggles show light use but rubber is still perfectly pliable and clear lens as fitted is in good shape. Strap has plenty of elasticity. Additional lenses are included along with the instruction / care booklet, all contained in the original cardboard box. 



Good, issue pattern WWII RAF officer's side cap.


Very good, clean example of a standard issue item officer's side cap; blue barathea wool body with correct RAF buttons to front, gilt eage and crown badge, golden silk ribbed lining and blue velvet sweatband. One small moth nip to right hand side (visible in photos) otherwise in excellent condition showing little or no wear.




Extremely rare RAF / RAAF Tropical 1932 pattern life vest "Mae West" in grey green rubberized fabric.


A genuine 1932 Tropical Pattern life vest made from grey green rubberized cotton, made by Dunlop Rubber Australia Ltd, dated 1943 and fitted with 3-piece joined kapok pads.

The vest is overall in very good condiiton with no damage and still very flexible. The rubberized coating is on the outside of the vest and has flaked off in the creases and stress areas but has in no way weakend the fabric. If you look at period photographs, you can see this type of creasing and surfcae cracking happened almost as soon as these vests were issued and worn. Retains both original webbing tapes. Printing to front is crisp. The vest does not have its bladder but it does have a 3-piece kapok pad inside, and although the pads are somewhat stiff, they fill out the vest nicely for display. 

These vests were primarily used and worn in the Far East and Pacific theatres of war. The tropical pattern differed from the temperate pattern life vest in that it had tapes only, and no buttons, the tapes held in place by a "swallowtail" shaped strip of fabric down the back instead of a full waistcoat. This was supposed to be cooler more comfortable for the wearer in hot and humid climates, though actually the tropical pattern was also knbow to be used in the European theatre too, including during the Battle of Britain.

Tropical pattern life vests are extremely rare, especially in the grey green finish.



WWII Luftwaffe one-man life raft "Einmannschlauchboot" with extremely rare "vest" pack in MINT UNISSUED condition and with history: belonged to a nightfighter ace / Knight's Cross winner. 


A Luftwaffe Einmannschlauchboot, with it’s rare “vest” pack in totally unissued condition. The CO2 bottle is still charged and live.  It is folded up as it was in 1943 (I unfolded it just enough to see inside and take pictures, then carfeully refolded it allong the same creases). The rubber is perfect, completely flexible, with all accessories still sewn inside with red thread. The waterproof manual / booklet is still sewn to one of the ropes and in perfect condition. Waist strap of pack is still bound together and the tack-stitching remains visible in the shoulder straps. This is the mintiest of mint and would be impossible to upgrade.This raft and pack belonged to one of the top LW night fighter aces and Knight’s Cross winner, Major Fredrick Karl “Nasen” Müller of NJG11 and JG300. He flew the Focke Wulf Ta152 and the Me 262 among other aircraft. At the end of the war, Major Müller took the brand new raft and pack from the Luftwaffe equipment stores. It was his intention to use the boat for fishing after the war, but he never got around to it.

Major Müller was killed in a flying accident t in 1987.

Before he died, he gave to boat to a US Army (Special Forces) major / helicopter pilot who was stationed in Germany and became close friends with Major Müller (they flew airshows together and formed an aerobatic club to which many American and former Luftwaffe pilots belonged, including Galland, Hartmann, etc). This raft and pack came directly to me from the US major and has never been offered for sale before.



WWII AAF C-1 Vest, Emergency Sustenance (more commonly known as "survival vest").


WWII AAF C-1 Vest, Sustenance (or Survival Vest as they were more commonly known) in excellent condition. The vest is manufactured by Breslee Mfg. Co. and named to Spangler. It has a faint AAF stamp to front and another, clearer, inside and there is a small rust stain inside. All pockets are labeled for contents.

Comes with good quality copies (reproductions) of the Instruction Manual and Survival Booklet. 



Canadian made WWII RAF pilot wing brevet.


Many RAF pilots were shipped over to Canada for training and received their "wings" while still there. Canadian manufacturers therefore made wings with the RAF cipher i the wreath, similar to the RCAF type but without the red filled crown (and obviously without the "C"). 


2 sets available. Both identical, unused / never sewn on.

Price is for one piece.




WWII GQ Parachute pin.


While not the extremely rare gold pin, numbered and named, given to RAF and FAA crews who escaped from stricken aircraft and survived by using a GQ Parachute (of which only a few hundred were issued), this is an official Gerald Quilter Co. pin / badge which I have been told would have been given to paratroopers who used GQ Parachutes, or possibly people who jumped with a GQ Parachute but NOT in an emergency (such as training instructors etc). It is a nice pin and defintely not the post war type made in shiny chromed metal. Die struck with a typical period pin and may be silver, though not marked as such. Shows light age. If anyone has further details, please share!



Scarce pre-war / early WWII Royal Navy or slip on rank slide for the tropical dress / bush shirt (single).


These early rank slip-ons are very scarce. The "regular" Royal Navy dropped the idea of distinguishing its aviators with the placement of the "A" in the centre of the rank curl very early in the war, so examples are quite scarce. Tropical versions of RN rank insignia are also extremely scarce, especioally in the "slide-on" type such as this. The combination of the two is very rare. This is the first I have come across in many years. Excellent conditon.




Superb matched pair of WWII Royal Navy VR (Aviation) shoulder boards for the Working Dress  / Battle Dress blouse and Tropical uniform.


Rank of Sub-Lieutenant (single row of lace) for a RNVR ("wavy navy") officer's BD blouse or tropical uniform. Dark blue wool with gold lace. The "A" signifies Aviation branch sothese were only worn by aircrew. These are excellent condition, retaining tapes for tying in place. Minor stains to white cotton backing, otherwise near perfect condition.




Rare accessory! A perfect matched pair of slides for the Mk IV goggles, for attaching to the guide plates on the Type  B helmet.


These brass tubes with snaps / press studes attached fit onto the large loops found on Mk IV, IVA and IVB goggles, enabling them to be secured to the guide plates fitted to some Type B helmets. Issued as part of the accessory kit with Mk IV goggles, these are very rarely found on the loose and often missing.



Unissued, boxed pair of  WWII era RAF Mk VIII flying goggles.


Excellent pair of late WWII or possibly very early post-war production Mk VIII flying goggles, marked with a clear broad arrow stamp on the leather behind the bridge hinge and nice white ink acceptance stamp on nose cover. These goggles are unworn and never issued, showing only storage wear, minor rubbing of paint from the box and light oxidation on the buckle which has left minor stains of the strap. Fitted with clear lenses which show minor delamination but remain perfectly clear. Strap retains full elasticity. Leather is perfect. Includes broad arrow marked 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 and box is labeled "untinted windows only."

Note: The Air Ministry "A-crown-M" stamp was replaced in 1944 by the broad arrow, so while AM marked goggles can be guaranteed wartime production, broad arrow marked examples may be later. These goggles display the characteristics of wartime production. 



Extremely rare and highly sought after Luxor 12 goggles with original box. The classic privately purchased model worn by Battle of Britain flighter pilots.


Luxor 12 were the only privately purchased flying goggles officially sanctioned and approved by the Air Ministry for use by RAF pilots in WWII. They are one of the hardest items of flying headgear to find. Featuring very large, glass, laminated lenses, they are synonymous with the Battle of Britain and appear in several iconic photographs of RAF fighter pilots. This pair comes complete with its original blue cardboard box. The frames are excellent, with almost all their chrome plated finish intact. They are well marked with the Luxor brand and "Made in France." Adjustment screw on bridge works just fine.  Strap is original and intact but slightly grubby and retains little elasticity. Lenses show very slight discolouration in the centre but still display very well. The one drawback is that the pink/orange rubber cushions have completely hardened, however they are not misshapen and the goggles can therefore be displayed just fine. While not perfect, the goggles display very well. Luxor 12s are extremely rare in any condition. 



RAF Type D oxygen mask hose (replica) fitted with original Mk IIIB bayonet connector.


Original D mask hoses are very rarely found and more often than not are hardened or broken because the original rubber as used was poor quality and uncured. This is an exact replica of an original hose, with braided cloth covering in black with a yellow fleck pattern, and fitted with an original connector. Just push it onto the mask nozzle (that's how Battle of Britain pilots used them) to complete the perfect display.



RAF Type 21 microphone assembly with full external wiring loom and plug.


Quite a scarce assembly comprising Type 20 microphone for the Type D oxygen mask, full length Type Q cord and bell-shaped plug. Overall condition of the complete assembly is excellent and the microphone is complete with all innards including the wide ribber band that secures the wiring connections in place.



RAF Type G oxygen mask. Fair condition and in need of work.


The rubber on this RAF Type G mask is actually not too bad, cleaner than most and still pliable without any edge damage or cracking. Unfortunately the copper nosewire has pulled through the lugs at the top and right hand side with some loss and damage to the rubber, and the copper wire securing the strap in place on the left hand side has also pulled through both lugs and is missing. Interior suede lining is clean. Good Type 48 microphone with short cord and plug. Small size. Priced according to condition.



Unissued, boxed pair of Air Ministry marked 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, just minor storage wear and very slight oxidation  to the metal strap fittings. Fitted with lightly 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).



Beautiful pair of WWII AAF A-9 flight gloves / mittens as issued to air gunners on heavy bomber aircraft.


A really excellent matched pair of AAF Type A-9 air gunner's flight gloves, essentially mittens with a separate trigger finger. Dark brown leather with thick shearling lining show very light use but very little wear. Labels sewn internally indicate 1943 order and these are a generous size Large. A really nice set in very good condition.



RAF 1941 pattern life vest / Mae West connector for securing dinghy pack.


This small but important accessory is often missing from the 1941 pattern life vest. Attaches by a short webbing tape to the life vest and the "male" part is attached by a longer tape to the raft pack.



Rare accessory: original cardboard shipping / transit box for the Luftwaffe Packung blue / square Scho-ka-kola rations.


This is the packing box for the ultra-rare blue, square "Luftwaffe Packung" tins of caffeine infused chocolate rations known as Scho-Ka-Kola. Marked in blue ink to the top / lid and on the end of the box is a very clear, but partial Luftwaffe eagle. Fantastic condition. Sold EMPTY. Box measures 24cm x 9cm x 5.5cm. Must be a one-of-a-kind to have survived in such good condition. Not sure how many tins it would hold because I have never owned one of the blue square tins! (Note: does not fit the round Wermacht Packung tins).



AAF Type D-3A leather gloves in unissued condition.


Dark brown leather horsehide gloves with strap and buckle across back of wrist as issued to AAF aircrew and ground crews, and also included with the C-1 survival vest. Gloves are marked Medium and a perfect matched pair,  unworn, with no damage.



WWII RAF K Dinghy survival pack flare tin with replica (inert) flares.


Small flare tin designed to hold 3 red emergency signal flares for the 1" flare pistol. This tin will have been sealed and carried in the K dinghy pack fitted to the seat type parachute. Tin is painted bright red and retains 99% of its original paint. It is well marked and clearly dated 1944. For display purposes it contains 3 replica dummy flares made from original 1" brass and cardboard cartridges filled with inert clay. Tin is 100% original and in very good condition.



© 2020  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