© 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

SALES January 2020

(click on pictures to enlarge)

RAF ground crew engine fitter's large spanner.

High quality early RAF ground crew engine fitter's large spanner, for use on early aero-engines and airframes.  1/2-inch and 7/16". Dated 1939 and Air Ministry marked, made by BRITOOL ​and marked CHROME VANADIUM. Tools like this rarely come along because they remained useful long after the war (and still today!). Excellent condition.

SOLD

RARE RAF Escape Purse Mk III F43 for France complete with map, compass, hacksaw blade and currency.

 

Oilcloth pouch stamped with large F and dated 43 on one side and marked as Mk III on the back. This was specifically made for aircrews flying over France. Contains silk escape map sheet 43 C and D covering north eastern France on one side and south eastern France to the reverse, along with its border territories, together with miniature compass, hacksaw blade in its cardboard sleeve and French currency (total 255 French Francs). These were called purses because they contained currency and had to be signed for and returned after each mission, hence they are very rarely found. This is one of the mot scarce and desirable of the escape items carried by allied pilots and aircrews, in excellent condition.

SOLD

RAF Type 21 microphone assembly for the Type D oxygen mask.

 

Getting harder and harder to find! Type 21 microphone assembly, comprising Type 20 electromagnetic microphone with Type Q cord and bell-shaped jack plug. Microphone is in very good condition with minor wear and slight paint loss but no dings or damage. Cord is excellent and plug shows minor age wear, no chips or cracks. Ready to attach to the front of a Type D mask - or just install into a Type B helmet for communication use only (yes, they were used that way).

SOLD

RAF oxygen breathing tube / hose for WWII the Type G and Type H oxygen mask.

 

Correct wartime tube for the Type G and type H oxygen mask. Corrugated black rubber tube with plastic screw-in connector for attaching to the mask body at one end, and brass bayonet connector at the other end with alligator type clip for attaching to flying suit. Both ends secured with twine. Rubber is good and supple with no damage evident and no cracking even in between the folds. The steel clip has some oxidation and one tiny corner has rusted away a few millimeters but does not detract or affect function in anyway (see pictures). A hard to find accessory these days.

SOLD

RAF Type A tropical cork flying helmet named to a South African Air Force pilot.

Another first for me! This is the first Type A flying helmet I have ever come across that actually shows use. Most appear to come from stores unworn (suggesting they were rarely if ever used). Of course we have seen photos of them in use but "used" examples seldom seem to show up. This one is well used, though still in very good condition, and is named to a South African pilot. The cloth covers over the eyelets appear to have been removed a long time ago, and I do recall seeing photographs of them being worn this way, (the "flaps" being of no use in the old DH9 and similar aircraft used in the Middle East and India). In addition to being named to "King H.J." serial number 48135 the helmet came with a small SAAF collar dog which may have been attached to the front at one time, as there are two small holes the correct distance apart in the pugaree. The badge is included in the sale and I will leave it to the new owner to decide whether to replace it. Helmet retains its small strap for retaining the goggles inside at the back and is complete. A lovely example with lots of character and plenty of scope for research.

SOLD

RAF Type C helmet (second type for internal wiring) with painted ID and named inside to NZ airman.

 

Great second pattern Type C flying helmet, intended for the internal wiring (but no wiring or receivers present). Good leather and fairly clean inside with light use, soft pliable rubber ear cups. Painted to front in bright yellow aircraft paint is 155 DON. Inside is neatly hand inked a NZ serial number and the name "Dale." Possible research project? Very nice helmet which deserves to have a wiring loom and receivers installed.

SOLD

Very good RAF 1941 pattern life vest "Mae West" complete with correct stole/bladder fitted with inflation lever mechanism and kapok pads. 

Lovely example of the RAF 1941 pattern life vest fitted with correct rubberized fabric stole (bladder), dated 9/44 and a further test date of Feb 1945. There are two small official period repairs to bladder, stamped with inspection mark. Also includes a set of correct original kapok pads, Air Ministry marked. Vest has a lovely Air Ministry label. Lever mechanism is intact and carries an engraved broad arrow and inspection stamp. Stole is perfectly pliable with good oral inflation tube and valve. Vest is in excellent condition, and is fitted with grab handles, floating torch pocket, dye pouch (dye removed but red stitching where it was sewn down remain) and accessory pocket to front for heliograph / skull cap. No connector for life raft is fitted, dating this as as 1944. Small snap fastener on accessory pocket is rusted shut and eyelet for attaching whistle has pulled through. Leg tapes have been removed - which was done by some crew members because they got in the way or could get tangled on aircraft controls. Large number 291 is stencilled to front. Could be a partial aircraft serial number or crewman's serial number. An excellent example of the mae west, overall clean showing light use and minor staining. Complete examples are becoming extremely difficult to source.

SOLD

Excellent 1940 dated Type B flying helmet in size 4.

 

Lovely example of the iconic Type B flying helmet in the largest size made (size 4). The leather is glove soft and the chamois lining is very clean. Great label to manufacturer Frank Bryan and of course the 1940 date. AID stamped and has two names inked inside: J.H. Nash and H. Highfield. Helmet retains both leather zip pullers and metal "V" tip on chinstrap. Zips operate smoothly. New (old stock) sponge rubber pads fitted. Bennet buckle on chin strap fastener lacks leather covering and there are no telephone receiver holders fitted - which was often the case. One of the nicest Type B helmets I have seen in a long time and of course the large size is extremely rare since few were even made in the first place.

SOLD

Ultra-rare RAF 1943 pattern escape boot knife.

 

The most difficult WWII military knife to find yet the simplest construction. Comprises a single steel blade in a folded steel housing secured by two rivets. Unmarked and retains some blueing with very minor surface oxidation. Wrapped in wax paper, it was carried in the small slit inside the right flying boot (1943 pattern). These were made by the thousand and intended for one-time use: to cut away the upper section of the flying boot leaving what appeared to be a standard man's shoe. Most were lost, destroyed or used up as penknives after the war and few survive.

SOLD

Extremely rare survival item: Nestor waterproof match case with safety matches for Beadon suit .

 

The match case alone is a difficult item to find, but this example still contains a full compliment of matches! Doubles walled aluminium tin keeps the matches dry. The outer case is lined with a special striking surface for the safety matches. Excellent condition with no dents or dings in tin, 95% of interior striking surface present (often flaked off or worn away). Well marked with broad arrow and stores ref. and 95% of decal remaining

 

SOLD

Relic from 600th aircraft shot down by fighters operating out of Biggin Hill.

On November 30th, 1940, Spitfires of "Sailor" Malan's 74 squadron flown by F/O Mungo Park and F/O Stephen shot down a Messerschmitt Bf109 - the 600th "kill" for the station of Biggin Hill. It was a much celebrated event, great for public morale who had endured the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. The media covered it in depth (including a wonderful Pathe newsreel click here). In January 1972, the remains of the aircraft were recovered by an archaeological group and this piece was presented to an RAF veteran who was also one of the organizers of reunions for RAF veterans. In turn it was given to a major collection which is now being dispersed. The piece measures 9" x 4" (230mm x 102mm) and is mounted on a  wooden plaque measuring 9" x 7" (230mm x 179mm). A superb piece of history.

SOLD

AAF original 14th Air Force "Flying Tiger" Distinctive Insignia.

Lovely original WWII DI (Distinctive Insignia) for the 14th Air Force "Flying Tiger" depicting a winged tiger on a blue field with AAF insignia. Enamel and gilt with pin back. Shows wear but all enamel is intact. Just under 1" diameter.

SOLD

RAF loose/separate shirt collar dated 1942.

 

Very high quality RAF shirt collar, though the slightly darker blue grey colour as worn by other ranks rather than the lighter blue of an officer. It may just be because the collar is a bit grubby, but it is in very good condition, with no excessive wear and no fraying or damage. Well marked to a private maker and dated 1942.

SOLD

6 x RAF WWII flight charts / maps of Great Britain.

All in excellent condition and properly folded. RAF / Air Ministry Flight charts of the British Isles including the following: Shetlands, Highlands, North Scotland, Border, North Wales and Midlands, Southwest. Six altogether, all wartime dated as used by RAF pilots and navigators during training and while practising for important raids, and also for being able to find their way home after operations. Also used by the AAF. Hard to find better in better condition - and they make an excellent back drop to any aviation display. All six together.

SOLD

WWII Model M33 Italian steel helmet 

Late or post war example of the Italian M33 steel helmet in absolutely excellent condition. Though intended as an infantry helmet, these were issued and worn by pilots and aircrews of the Regia Aeronautica for protection against flak (in the same way that US and German crews wore infantry style helmets over their flying headgear). The M33 remained in service until long after the war but, like the US M-1, its design didn't change at all. Steel shell with a glove soft leather liner, swivel bales and a canvas webbing chin strap. Maker / batch marked M80 on shell. Italian headgear is quite difficult to find and this is a great opportunity to add a beautiful example to a WWII Italian flight gear collection at an excellent price.

 

SOLD

RAF Regiment army battledress blouse.

1943 dated, 1940 pattern army battledress blouse in khaki wool, with printed shoulder titles for both the Buffs and the RAF Regiment. The blouse also has WWI medal ribbons and the army rank of major. Though unnamed, it would seem this army officer with WWI experience was probably seconded to the RAF Regiment as an instructor in WWII and thus entitled to wear both sets of shoulder flashes - which was quite unusual. BD is in very good condition, with a few worn spots and a couple of moth nips, mostly out of sight for display. 

SOLD

6 x RAF WWII flight charts / maps of Great Britain.

All in excellent condition and properly folded. RAF / Air Ministry Flight charts of the British Isles including the following: Shetlands, Highlands, North Scotland, Border, North Wales and Midlands, Southwest. Six altogether, all wartime dated as used by RAF pilots and navigators during training and while practising for important raids, and also for being able to find their way home after operations. Also used by the AAF. Hard to find better in better condition - and they make an excellent back drop to any aviation display. All six together.

SOLD

RAF Pilot's Notes for Spitfire Mk IX, XI and XVI.

 

Note: this is a reprint of the original Air Ministry publication - but it is one of the early reprints produced in the 1960s, produced as per the original, with blue card covers and glossy coated paper interior with fold-out diagrams and photos of the cockpit. The Mk IX is considered the best version of this famous fighter. the IX, XI and XVI were the last Merlin engined variants. Excellent condition.

SOLD