Lovely RCAF Canadian made Type B flying helmet in a large size 3.

Excellent example of the Canadian made flying helmet based on the iconic RAF Type B. Lovely soft chestnut brown leather with soft chamois lining, zipped ear compartments for telephone receivers (not fitted), leather chin strap and chrome plated metal buckles. Inside is marked with broad arrow inside a large "C" and size 3. It is also named iniside one of the ear cups. A really nice gently used example.

$425 / £330 / €395  email to secure this item

NOW $375

Scarce AAF Type AN-H-16 Winter Flying Helmet.

By far the most difficult of the WWII AAF flight helmets to find, largely because it was not produced in anywhere near the same quantities as the A-11 intermediate and AN-H-15 summer versions. The US Navy version of this helmet is more common (AN6540 series) but AAF labeled examples are very scarce. This example is in very good condition, and appears to have been issued and worn but quite gently. The shearling is nice and soft with very little evidence of the usual surface cracking to the polyacrylate coating. The rear goggle strap studs show oxidation and partial separation, as is the case almost without exception, but they are still present and still attached to the shearling, which is unusual. I suggest not closing the straps down to preserve that. There is one small surface nick beneath and behind the right hand earcup, but it shows no signs of worsening. Great woven spec. label shows nomenclature and AAF property. There is a nice white AAF ink stamp to the top as well. Overall a very decent and displayable example of a scarce helmet and in a large size.


$285 / £220 / €255  email to secure this item

NOW $245

RARE RAF Type J Pressure Breathing Oxygen Mask.


The Type J was the first pressure breathing mask developed by the RAF. Though based on the design of the successful Type H mask, it required a completely new set of moulds and actually has no common parts. It was produced in very small numbers for high altitude trials, but never adopted on any scale, the US designed A-13 being preferred instead. The Type J in general did not survive well, having a soft sponge rubber interior and different cure of rubber for the exterior. Most found today are hard or damaged. This, by comparison, is in excellent condition. The exterior rubber is pliable, and though it exhibits some surface cracks in high stress areas, there is no actual damage. The interior sponge rubber, though a little brittle at the edges, is overall very good. Mask is clean, showing light use, with good straps. By far the best example I have ever come across. An extremely rare mask, dated 2/54.

$550 / £450 / €510  email to secure this item

NOW $450

British Army tank crew and RN Fleet Air Arm throat mic. No.2 Mk II


Contracted by the Army for use in armoured vehicles, the No. 2 Mk II throat microphone was also adopted by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm for use in low level aircraft such as the Swordfish. This example appears unissued and is still in its original box. Minor oxidation but no damage and cable is completely pliable. Wired for Army vehicle radio as manufactured - for FAA aircraft use, the single pin plug would have been replaced by a rigger with a 2-pin female aircraft radio jack. Note: the RAF did NOT issue or use throat microphones during WWII - only the Army and Fleet Air Arm. Unusual to find one in such good condition and boxed.

$120 / £95 / €110  email to secure this item

NOW $95

Scarce RAF early external wiring loom with Impedance Switch box attached.


Getting very difficult to source these days, an early RAF external wiring loom, type used in the B helmet and early Type C. Medium brown cord is fitted with Type 25 microphone and bell plug, and has the long, metal Impedance Switch box fitted. This enabled the communications system to be used with either Low or High impedance radio (US aircraft typically used Low Impedance radios, while British aircraft used High Impedance). The cord has several lightly frayed areas, and a couple more serious where the external braided cover has worn through as shown in the pictures, but is substantially complete. Switch box has paint loss and surface oxidation. Microphone has typical paint loss and bakelite backing plate has chips and damage. This can be replaced or installed in a mask is not visible. A very scarce item, even though perhaps not the best, but priced according to condition.


Luftwaffe Channel trousers in blue suede, complete and in very good condition, 1943 dated.

Lovely pair of Luftwaffe Channel trousers in blue suede leather with heavy cotton fabric reinforced areas and large bellows pockets for carrying survival equipment when flying over water (hence the name). Overall condition is used but very good. I can find one very tiny hole in the suede, just below the satin waistband (barely shows although I tried to show it in the photos). There is some wear to the cotton on the inside of the pockets but only on one of the multiple layers of cotton fabric. All zips are metal and in very god working order with leather tabs still attached; all buttons present although one of the buttons on the waist is a period field replacement. Leather loops for securing flares and smoke canisters present; flag pocket on leg present, built in holster for flare pistol is good. So often these pockets are removed inner tabs are missing - these are complete. Great label with RB number and issue date of 1943.

$875 / £670 / €775  email to secure this item

NOW $795

RAF 1941 pattern  gauntlets. 


A good pair of RAF 1941 pattern flying gauntlets. As is often the case, not a perfect match - but very close in appearance. One is marked size 9 and the other size 10 - though in fact there is no discernable difference and without doubt they were issued and worn as a pair. They show use but the leather is very good and soft, if somewhat grubby. There is a very neat period repair to the index fingertip on the right hand, but you have to look hard to find it. I would say these belonged to a gunner, because the right hand shows slightly more wear than the left, and is a little dirtier, especially around the trigger finger. Both zips work perfectly. Overall a vey good, used example, both nicely marked.

$250 / £200 / €225  

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NOW $220

USN M-592 Survival Kit Backpack - early example.

Lovely early example of the US Navy M-592 Emergency Survival Kit Backpack, worn as a back cushion under the seat type parachute primarily by fighter pilots flying in jungle and tropical areas. Pack is in excellent condition, with all compartments and straps in place - no contents.  Made from heavy green waterpoofed canvas rather than the more commonly seen "battleship" grey oilcloth. This example appears to be unissued judging by the condition. Talon zip closes from both ends and works perfectly. Canvas straps are clean. Getting to be a difficult item to find.


$250 / £190 / €230  email to secure this item

NOW $200

Complete AAF Pilot's Navigation Kit to pilot of 489 BG, 846 BS, 8th AF.


The most complete example of one of these kits I have ever come across, named to Lt. W.S. Buckmaster, 489 BG, 846 BS. The leather case is in excellent condition, with just little wear at the edges and fully functioning zip fastener and contains the owner's photo ID card plus some printed name tapes; 11 wartime aeronautical charts of the US, mostly east coast plus Pheonix, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc.  Additional 5 charts of Asia and the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Philipines, etc plus military street maps of Tokyo and Manila. Owner was in Europe with 489BG and then later in the Pacific.  Includes several blank navigation plotting sheets and landing fields/bases en route. Also includes his "housewife" sewing kit and E6-B computer. A full case in great condition which would be well worth further research.

$475 / £365 / €425  email to secure this item

NOW $400

Scarce and interesting near complete set of 24 WWII Royal Navy Admiralty charts of the Mediterranean plus 4 additional charts including Spain, Portugal and North Africa.

The first time I have ever seen these. From the estate of a Fleet Air Arm Observer who flew in Swordfish, Albacore and Avenger aircraft from various carriers. This is a near complete set of charts (numbered sheets 1 to 26 with only sheets 18 and 24 missing). Each sheet is printed on very heavy paper, single sided, approx. 17" x 17" (43cm x 43cm). In additon, there are 4 additional sheets: Spain and Portugal, N. Africa (2) and a different scale Mediterranean (Italy). 28 total sheets. All are dated from 1939-42 with some annotations. Very good condition overall, one or two are grubby from storage but no damage. Excellent for a table top or wall display. If no one buys as a set I will consider selling separately.


$150 / £115 / €135  email to secure this item

NOW $110

RARE RAF / Fleet Air Arm glass mounted aircraft recognition slides of later wartime / early postwar aircraft 

The last of a large batch I bought of the many years ago. These are official Air Ministry / Admiralty Aircraft Recognition slides, 3" x 3" (75mm x 75mm) with the celluloid slide mounted between two sheets of glass. Many rare aircraft are featured - including the Saro A1 jet flying boat fighter, Sea Hornet, Sea Vampire, Sea Fury, Meteor, etc. (see pictures). All are in excellent condition; 2 have hairline cracks in one side of the glass but are securely held together by the taped edge. One has a series of spider cracks in one side but is again held securely by the tape. Will be well-padded for safe posting (they came to me from the UK).  16 slides in total.

$90 / £70 / €80  email to secure this item

NOW $70

Rare 1942 RAF dropped propaganda leaflet "Le Courier de L'Air" no. 2 


Though The RAF dropped these by the thousand in the early days of the war, very few propaganda leaflets survive, and this original from 1942 is absolutely superb. A 4-page bulletin dropped on France tells the French people that  General Wavell is in charge and that the American army will soon be arriving in Europe! The back cover is devoted to assurance that the Russian winter will take care of the German army! It also publishes the frequencies at which French patriots can tune in and listen to BBC broadcasts on the radio! Excellent condition, no damage and minor soiling to front. At great risk, the RAF often flew missions where they dropped leaflets instead of bombs, or else dropped them on civilian targets on their way to or from a bombing mission. A rare piece of history.

$120 / £92 / €108   

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NOW $85

Complete and original "Erection and maintenance manual for the  P-38 Lightning models H, J and F." 


Simply gargantuan and amazing, especially for any true fan of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Dated April 15, 1944 and published by the AAF commanding general, this 758 page leatherette bound book,  12 x 9 inches, and illustrated throughout, tells you everything you would need to know to build a P-38 Lightning as well as maintain it in flying condition. An invaluable tool for anyone who owns one, but as a historical document simply unequal in its depth and detail, with many folding out pages, diagrams of every system and complete list of parts. Over 2-inches thick! Excellent condition, with oxidation to the gilt titling on the cover but no other wear or damage.

$250 / £195 / €225  email for more details

NOW $200

Official Air Ministry manual / dossier for Avro Lancaster B Mk III ME545 and the Round the World Flight of 1946.


The official, original Air Ministry manual prepared for and used on a historic round the world flight, departing from RAF Watton on October 21st, 1946  and returning on December 17th. Her mission, as an equipment test bed with the Radio Warfare Establishment & Central Signal Establishment at RAF Upwood and RAF Watton was to service test radio communications, navigation, radar and radio direction finding equipment, British and American, in place at RAF stations throughout the world. This dossier includes lists of all equipment being tested (much of which was secret and classified at the time), route maps of the flight, technical data on ground receiving stations and RAF stations en route, frequencies used, reports and detailed results. The minutes of all meetings, both prior to, during and after the flight are included. Historical notes include problems to be anticipated en route in certain areas (India, Suez etc), which were still under British rule at the time. A fascinating and historic document containing information that contributed greatly to the future defence of Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

Approx. 100 pages including fold-out maps, checklists etc.

Prior to the Round the World flight, ME545 served operationally in WWII with 186 Sqn, 218 Sqn (code XH-L nose art “Lovely Lou”), 22 MU, 15 MU and 38 MU before being transferred to the Radio Warfare Establishment & Central Signal Establishment at RAF Upwood (as WB-E) and RAF Watton (as V7-E).

The aircraft was scrapped, 25 April 1950. Some copy photos are included.


$75  / £59 / €69  email for more details

NOW $50

WWII Air Training Corps lapel badge

Beautifully made gilt and blue enamel lapel badge measuring just 1" x 0.75" across with a buttonhole fitting on the back. The ATC was formed as a branch of the RAF in 1939 to prepare Air Cadets for a future career in the RAF, and many WWII pilots, aircrew and ground crew began as 13-17 year olds in this organization. The Air Training Corps remains strong today and is still the only youth organization that is a direct branch of its parent military service. A lovely badge from the earliest days of the organization showing wear but no damage.


$30 / £24 / €28   email to secure this item

NOW $20

WWII RAFVR lapel badge

Beautifully made gilt and enamel lapel badge measuring just 0.75" x 0.5" across with a buttonhole fitting on the back.  The RAF Volunteer Reserve was  a valuable resource of pilots and aircrew in WWII, most of whom learned to fly at their own expense prior to the war and were the first to be called up when hostilities broke out. This small badge may  have been worn on civilian clothes or given as a gift to loved ones to show their support. A lovely badge from the earliest days of the organization showing wear but no damage.


$35 / £28 / €32   email to secure this item

NOW $25

WWII era enamelled Air Cadet lapel pin.

7/8" diameter Air Training Corps lapel pin, gilt with sky blue enamel inlay. I presume this was issued to a civilian instructor, since Air Cadets usually wore a silver metal lapel pin when not in uniform. Lovely badge with great detail and "horseshoe shaped button back for fitting into a button hole. Only ever seen a handful of these so quite scarce. The Air Training Corps was founded in 1940 with the specific intent of recruiting youth into the RAF by providing basic training in aeronautics, drill, etc. to boys aged 14 and up. The ATC remains the only cadet force/youth organization in the UK that is officially part of a military branch and is wholly sponsored and maintained by the RAF .

$25 / £20 / €23   email to secure this item

NOW $18

WWII US Army/Air Corps pendant based on the  "Miraculous medal of Our Lady" religious message in sterling silver.

Sterling silver pendant with red, white and blue enamel circular "stars and stripes" shield at the top, with angel's wings to protect the wearer and virgin Mary figure under the word "Army" with a prayer encircling her. The reverse depicts the "Miraculous Medal of Our Lady" featuring a monogram M, stylized as a priest's stole, below the Cross, surrounded by stars and ornaments. Exceptionally nice piece no doubt given lovingly to a Catholic son or husband to protect him from harm. 

$40 / £30 / €35  email to secure this item

NOW $30

Unused WWII AAF sterling ID bracelet.

Lovely sterling silver ID bracelet as worn by many AAF pilots and aircrew, but this example was never engraved or used. Strong clasp.

$45 / £35 / €40  

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NOW $35

Set of 2 Distinctive Insignia for the Army Air Corps Advanced Flying Training School. 

Lovely matching pair of enameled DIs, pin back and maker marked NS Meyer bearing the famous UT VIRI VOLENT scroll under the flaming torch. Excellent condition.

$25 / £20 / €23 

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NOW $20

© 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