© 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

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(click on pictures to enlarge)

Superb, unissued WWII RAF Type G oxygen mask.

 

Getting harder to find all the time, and very difficult to source in this kind of condiiton. A WWII RAF Type G oxygen mask moulded in green-grey rubber and fitted with its Air Ministry marked Type 48 microphone with short cord and plug. Brown suede lining and moisture or "spit" guard over inside of microphone. This mask is unissued and unused. Minor stress cracks here and there, mainly around the inspiration valve, but nosewire is still firmly secured by the rubber lugs and the elastic webbing harness is fresh, bright and stretches like new. This mask would be difficult to upgrade. (Great hose to go with this on the accessory page).

 

SOLD

RARE Pioneer Parachute Co. model B-3-B back type parachute dated 1940. Later standardized as the AAF Type B-8.

 

Designed by Pioneer Parachute Co. of Manchester, Connecticut, as a replacement for the cumbersome and unwieldy Type B-7, the Pioneer Model B-3-B was officially standardized by the AAF as the Type B-8 Parachute in 1942. Contrary to popular belief, back type parachutes were worn by the majority of fghter pilots flying P-38 and P-51 aircraft as well as being used by P-47 pilots and B-17, B-24 and B-26 crews, yet is one of the one of the most difficult parachutes for collectors to find today. This 1940 dated example was one of the first prototype models and comes complete with harness and pack containing its silk canopy, drogue, ripcord and D-ring, log book (showing use from 1940 – 1944) and original elastic cords. Somewhat grubby form storage and use, the pack has a little wear to the back and there is some surface oxidation to the metal fittings, but is otherwise in excellent condition. Well marked and clearly dated, this is one of the earliest prototypes and would make a great addition to an AAF parachute collection.

 

SOLD

Scarce WWII Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm white leather immersion suit helmet complete with internal wiring, receivers and plug

 

Always a difficult helmet to source and getting harder to find. It's also - in my opinion - one of the most attractive flying helmets. Based on the pattern of the Royal Navy Type C, but constructed from high grade white leather, lined with light grey suede and featuring a long, square cut neck flap which once formed part of the immersion suit (glue residue remains along the edge where it was attached). This example is a large size (probably a size 3) and shows definite signs of use. Some staining and soiling overall, but the leather still soft and pliable (except for the glued areas which are understandably a little stiff). Fitted with receivers, internal wiring loom, plug connector for mask microphone and bell-shaped jack plug and retaining sponge rubber pads in the zipped ear compartments. Overall a very displayable helmet. Photographic evidence shows these were used at the end of the war and continued in use into the 1950s by ASR helicopter crews.

 

SOLD

 

Scarce WWII Luftwaffe emergency sun goggles in pristine condition with case and instruction booklet.

 

These goggles do turn up from time to time, but very rarely in such fine condition, with their original case – and certainly I have never found a pair with the original intruction sheet. The condition of this set is simply outstanding and would be impossible to upgrade. Grey leather mask with tinted round lenses and an elastic strap. Contained in their original leatherette case and including the original printed instruction sheet indicating that they were manufactured by Nitsche & Gunther of Rathenow, the most prestigious of goggle designers for the Luftwaffe.

 

SOLD

Rare and probably unique prototype Irvin Suit jacket made from fur fabric. RAF service tested. Includes history.

 

RIGHT OUT OF THE WOODWORK and never offered for sale before! Issued to a Hawker Fury pilot in the mid-late 1930s;  one of what was probably a very small batch produced for service testing. The Fury pilot wore it during the war and then several years ago, gave the jacket to the current owner who owns and operates a vintage Tiger Moth. He stored it until a few weeks ago when he contacted me. Absolutely identical in every way to the traditional fleece / leather Irvin (including Dot brand zips, underarm grommets, chain hanger and elastic collar strap) this jacket is made entirely of fur fabric – the same type used for the teddy bear liner in the Sidcot suit.  The seams, collar, belt etc. are made from green heavy denim-like cotton. The fabric was also given the same brown weatherproof coating, or "chroming" that traditional Irvins had, though clearly this has almost all rubbed off so was not as successful on the fabric as it was on the sheepskin. Interestingly, Leslie Irvin's original patent does not state that the Irvin Suit was made of leather or of fleece; no doubt Mr. Irvin realized that sheep’s pelts would eventually run out and was seeking alternative materials from the very beginning. Perhaps best of all is the label. Though the weave has separated (as they do) enough nomenclature remains to positively identify it, especially when compared next to an intact Irvin label of the same time period. The letters “…TE” of Air Chute” are visible along with the last few letters of the address “Letchworth, Herts” and the last digits of the patent number and date “407445/32.” The distinct and stylistic crown of the "A-crown-M" –  the official Air Ministry property mark – is also still intact on the label.

Overall very good condition, with a couple of very minor snags to fur fabric. No fur loss. All original zips in good working order.

 

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

Scarce boxed set of AAF / Signal Corps R-14 telephone receivers for flying helmet.

 

Dated 3.30.42 - very early in the US involvement in WWII, these R-14 receivers come wrapped in tissue and packed in their circular "drum" shaped boxes as manufactured. They have been out of the box and a there are couple of very tiny chips to the edge of the bakellite but othewise almost perfect, either for disply or use in fllying helmet like A-8, A-9, B-5, B-6 etc.  R-14 receivers are probably more difficult to find than AN-B-H-1 – especially with their original boxes! One pair.

 

SOLD

Excellent WWII RCAF battledress blouse and trousers with pilot wing, medal ribbons.  

 

Very nice RCAF battledress blouse is size 4 (5'5"-5'6" / 34"-35" chest) and dated 1943. Trousers are size 10 (5"8"-5'10" / 31-32" waist). It was actually not unusual for sizes to not match since everyone is a different shape). These came together from the estate of a RCAF pilot and history can be provided with some photocopy documents. He was a Welington pilot, born in England but emigated to the USA before the war. Went to Canada to join the RCAF n 1940 and flew several ops including Berlin, Duisburg etc. Blouse has nice RCAF pilot wing plus ribbons for the 39-45 Star and Canada Volunteer medal with maple leaf clasp. Both blouse and trousers are excellent, with n damage, very slight wear in crotch area but no holes. A few fly buttons missing, all others seem to be present. Trousers feature the much sought after flap pocket to left leg front. A great set in a decent size and excellent condition.

 

SOLD

Very good and scarce RAF uniform shirt with detachable collar - includes collar studs.

 

Very nice RAF shirt in the style of full opening front, complete with all buttons. Cuff buttons are different style and may be replaced but look period. Shirt was made fro a separate, detachable collar which is included. Collar, like most, is not  a perfect match for colour, but is nicely Air Ministry marked. Shirt is marked in ink with serial number - all nomenclature markings have washed out and can no longer be read. A correct set of two copper collar studs is included (one short for the back of the neck, one longer for the front / fastening). There are two or three very small holes in the back of the shirt and sleeve which cannot be seen on display or even if the shirt was worn. Overall a good example and quite difficult to find these days.

 

SOLD

Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht issue Scho-ka-kola ration tin –

empty of all contents but decent used condition.

 

Always a nice accessory for a Luftwaffe (or other branch) display, even if empty. Shows use and wear but overall good condition as shown in pictures. Maker marked on the base Hildebrand Kakao und Schokoladenfabrik GMBH Berlin N 20.

 

SOLD

Scarce WWII dated AAF Type B-5 life vest "Mae West" in excellent condition.

 

The Type B-5 life vest was introduced late in WWII but still saw service both in the European and Pacific Theatres with the Army Air Forces. However, most examples found today are dated after 1947 and property stamped to the USAF. This is one of the exceptions: a very early B-5, property stamped Air Forces US Army and with a date of manufacture of August 2nd, 1945 - 4 days before the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 7 days before the second atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki - and 2 weeks before Japan surrendered - making it perfect for a B-29 flight gear display. Vest is in excellent conditon, the internal rubber bladders still soft and pliable, with both oral inflation tubes still present and complete. It includes the dye marker pack in its appropriate  pocket between the lobes, as well as all straps, clips and buckles. Leather patches are excellent and show inspection dates up to April 1950 - quite unusual for a piece of equipment bearing wartime AN stamps to still be in service this late.

 

SOLD

Beautiful Italian Air Force pilot /aircrew issue tailored flying suit trousers with detachable, beige blanket wool button-in liner.

 

Quite a scarce item of flying clothing and superbly made. These were available with a matching jacket, but, like the Luftwaffe, Italian pilots often wore just the pants with the large pockets for carrying survival gear together with shirt sleeves or a different jacket. Green wool with zips at the cuffs, large zipped pockets, adjustment buckles at the waist and detachable, button-in blanket wool lining for cold weather / high altitude. Rome tailor's label inside waistband and buttons are marked with same tailor's brand. A very good example showing almost no wear, with all zips in perfect working order. The separate, detachable blanket wool lining is also in superb condition. Both pieces are marked in matching size 6. Not an easy item to find, especially in such excellent conditon. Italian flying clothing is typically high quality designer style.

 

SOLD

Matching set of two Luftwaffe  "daytime" and "nighttime" flight navigation charts "Luft-navigationskarte in Merkatorprojection" on oilcloth / rubberized linen.

 

A rare – if not unique – matching set of double sided Luftwaffe flight navigation charts, both dated 1942 and featuring sheet 2312 Morocco / North Africa on one side, with sheet 2300 Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania on the other side. Both are very large, measuring 90 cm x 130 cm  (36" x  51") and both are in excellent, near mint cndition. One is printed on white oilcloth and the other on yellow (for night use - it shows up under the red cockpit lights). The North African theatre was of course one of the most crucial in the war making these charts among the most desirable – as well as very hard to find. Sold only as a set.

 

SOLD

WWI era / early style RAF pilot wing brevet.

 

Lovely early style hand-embroidered pilot brevet using heavy, oatmeal coloured thread for the wings and dark orange for the wreath, all on a fine wool background. Minor loss to wool - has been trimmed close (as was the fashion). Small dark stain to one feather.

 

SOLD

WWI Royal Flying Corps 1st Class Air Mechanic's badge.

 

Worn on the sleeve of the tunic. Two bladed prop on a khaki background. Excellent condition.

 

SOLD

Early WWII hand-embroidered RAF pilot wing.

 

Superb, used example of an early WWII RAF pilot brevet. Silk thread on a very heavily padded fine wool background with typical black paper backing. Shows wear but all detail remains.

 

SOLD

WWI 1918 Royal Air Force enlisted shoulder eagle for the khaki tunic. 

 

Red silk embroidered on khaki wool background in excellent, unused condition. A scarce badge used only in the early days of the RAF prior to the issue of blue uniforms.

 

SOLD

WWII AAF / USN issue Polaroid Model 1021

All-Purpose / Flying Goggles.

 

Introduced circa 1944, these cheap goggles were intended as all-purpose goggles and considered disposable, but proved to be popular with flight crews - especially fighter pilots with the AAF and USN. Lightweight grey rubber frames with a single celluloid or acetate lens which was easily interchangeable. They were issued with green, amber, dark, clear and red lenses. Offered here is a set with the red lens (for night adaption and also for observing tracer in daylight). In very good condition, the rubber still flexible.  Produced by the thousand, they are getting hader to find because they were discarded after single use.

 

SOLD

Scarce WWII USN / USMC flying helmet radio receivers Type TH-37 (pair) in brown bakelite

 

Many collecrtors consider these TH-37 receivers in brown bakelite to be particularly desirable and perhaps of earlier manufacture than the black examples. TH-37 receivers are certainly one of the most difficult accessories to find. Offered is a pair of Telephonics Corporation TH-37 receivers moulded in brown bakelite, ready to drop into a NAF 1092 or M-450 helmet. These were used with both the standard Y-cord and the rubberized harness and remained in service for most of the war. I have two sets available but get them now because when they are gone, I have no idea when or if there will be any more!

 

SOLD

WWII RAF Type G or H oxygen mask hose / breathing tube

 

Excellent condition black corrugated rubber breathing tube with alligator cllothing clip and screw in connector for the Type G or H oxygen mask. Nice Air Ministry marked brass connector pipe. Perfect for the Type G mask featured on the flying headgear page!

 

SOLD

Very nice, unusually marked pair of Imperial Japanese Navy flying goggles.

 

Very clean pair of Japanese Goggles showing light use, and the elastic still retains a little bit of stretch. Brown velvet pads, reddish-brown metallic lacquered frames and brown elastic strap with leather fittings are all excellent. Screws show signs of wear (lightweight aluminium and heads were chewed up very easily) but not too bad. Frames have very minor paint loss. Lenses are clear with no fogging and no cracks or damage. Unusual maker mar / logo on both sides. 

 

SOLD

WWII US Navy / Marine Corps Mk II flying goggles by Chas Fischer Spring.

 

Very nice set of USN / USMC flight goggles Mk II with streamlined vents, brown / tan rubber cushion and grey elastic strap. Overall conditon is excellent, shoin g mininaml use, if any, and only minor age. Rubber cushion has light but even surface crazing (top surface only) but is fully pliable with no damage, no stickyness and no hard areas. Chamois backing is lightly soiled from storage. Frames are good with no dings or oxidation. Strap retains good elasticity. Green lenses. 

 

SOLD

RAF Mk VII goggles "cut down" - all original parts.

 

This pattern is often offered as "interim" issue between Mk VII and Mk VIII and sometimes as "Mk VII-and-a-half" or as "Mk VIIB". No such issue goggles ever existed. The consensus among those of us who have "been around' a while is that these were surplus Mk VII goggles minus their cumbersome brow bar which was replaced with a stiff spring and the frame cut down and the edge turned (similar to Mk VIIIs). These are offered here NOT as WWII RAF issue goggles, but as a filler or re-enactment item, with the bonus that they have an original WWII production Mk VII strap, pads and lenses (worth the asking price alone). The strap is the correct pattern and in very good condition. The lenses are original WWII manufacture and in very good condition with one very small surface chip in the left lens (at the edge of the angle) . The pads are clean and soft although the sponge filling is a little crumbly and dry in places. Overall a decent pair of goggles.

 

SOLD

Very nice AAF Type A-11 flight helmet, early issue with 3 snap fasneters each side for oxygen mask.

 

Very decent example of the AAF Type A-11 helmet, as issued without any receivers (I have receivers avaiulable: see Accessories page). Used but still in great condition and Large size. Early issue with 3 snap fasnerers on each side for the oxygen mask. Soiled inside from hair cream, and with the initials BRP inked near the label.

 

SOLD

WWII RAF oxygen mask hose / breathing tube minus clothing clip (narrow).

 

Excellent condition black corrugated rubber breathing tube lacking alligator cllothing clip and screw in connector. Thinner tube for the  E, E* or early G Type oxygen mask. Nice Air Ministry marked brass connector pipe. 

 

SOLD

Excellent WWII AAF A-14 oxygen mask complete with microphone.

 

Extremely nice A-14 oxygen mask showing light use, modified for 8trh AF use with black anti-freeze baffles cemented in place inside, and fitted with a longer than standard hose, with connector typical of that used in the ETO. It is also fitted with the correct AN-MC-1 microphone covered in waxed silk anti-moisture shield. Rubber is in great shape with no hard areas and no splits (the thin rubber strap around one buckle has hardened slightly but this does not affect either the appearance or function and strength of the mask - and there are NO splits). The thin rubber straps are actually in excellent shape. Dated June 1945.

 

SOLD

 

Fabulous "Wings for Victory" poster featuring cartoon by Ben Hooper showing Fleet Air Arm aircrew.

 

Extremely rare Fleet Air Arm “Wings for Victory” poster with art by by Ben Hooper dated 1943. 20” x 30” (510mm x 762mm). Fantastic Art Deco style cartoon depicting 3 Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm aircrew: one regular RN (with circular rank curls) one VR (with “wavy navy” rank curls, and one other ranks / able seaman. Poster has been stored folded since the war so it is a little grubby on the outside panels. Minor creases at the corners and one very small tear (about 10mm). Pinholes in corners. Retains clear bright colours and would frame beautifully. Fleet Air Arm posters are very scarce.

 

SOLD