Curious to hear other opinions on these helmets. I had an interesting 'debate' with a guy at a flea market, last weekend. I dared to opine that the HGU-7 was actually intended for transport aircraft crews -- C-130/C-141, etc -- and wasn't used by FAC pilots.
Got the standard "you don't know what you're talking about" response and that "everyone knows these were used by FAC pilots in Vietnam".
I know a couple of guys who were actually issued these helmets in the mid-1960s and they were C-141 and C-130 guys. This, of course, doesn't mean issue was restricted to just those airframes. It merely reflects the known users I am aware of.
So, my conversation continues with a question to the guy -- "If these are FAC pilot helmets, how come there aren't pictures of them being used?"
Response: "there are hundreds of them. I've seen them."
My response: "Could you please show me or send me a link to a photo?" Dude whips out his i-Pad and starts looking. Comes up with nothing. I offer up some search words that I've used and we collectively come up with some additional search terms -- again, nothing.
The result didn't surprise me. I've been skeptical of the whole "FAC helmet" thing from the beginning. As a helmet, it's total unsuited for use in a tactical aircraft - even the lowly Bird Dog.
Most photos of Bird Dog pilots do not show the helmet used. A couple show the HGU-2 style helmet (the green ones could be AFH-1s?) in use. Quite a few show what appear to be HGU_2 style helmets hanging in the cockpits but teh majority are just pilots in flight suits standing outside the aircraft.
The Army didn't use HGU-7s -- at least I've not found a reference or photo indicating otherwise.
Digging around, the whole FAC helmet myth (my term) seems to revolve around an obscure 1970s publication purportedly showing a RNVAF pilot (student) wearing one. I've not seen the photo so no idea what aircraft was involved, where the photo was taken, etc
Edited by FtrPlt, 05 May 2017 - 10:11 AM.