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True early Jet Age transitional helmet


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#26 BlueBookGuy

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 02:59 AM

Just for comparison here is what I believe is referred to as the "USAAF Protective Flight Helmet Style" or P1 helmet. I believe this was a manufactured jet helmet rather than a modified item. This was worn over a cloth or leather flight helmet.

 

 

 

hello, thanx for posting this very interesting picture in large size and full of details.

Just a note on my part, this one should actually be the so-called Style 1 helmet, put over a standard soft flight helmet, not a P-1.  The P-1 is a true one-piece, hard constructed helmet and much likely could be the new, official name of the Style B-1, this in turn being derived from the Style B helmet.

The Style B had a prominently flattened crown, very much like the famous 'Dr. Lombard's Helmet' that eventually gave birth to the 'Toptex 3 BM' model.

 

'Style B-1's nomenclature, but virtually with no changes at all in the item itself, might have been changed into the 'P-1', I believe around November (or, maybe October?) 1947.  Sure the P-1 was since the beginning a 100% operational model, and the 'Style B-1' much likely as well; possibly not so for the 'Style B' helmet (even though almost identical to B-1).

In my opinion many a helmet we can see in photos from 1948 up to early 1949 when only P-1 helmet are mentioned being worn by operational units, might be actually 'Style B-1' specimens still in use by then.
 



#27 PacificGunner

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:30 AM

From the tank, I would hazard a guess it's a P-80?

 

I can definitely see it being a P-80, my other guess would be an F-84.  I wonder what the date is on the picture, that could help a lot since the P-80 took its first flight in 1944 and the F-84 came into the picture during early 1946 



#28 VenitHora

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:06 AM

Here is another picture of a modified jet tanker helmet in use.

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  • tank 2.JPG


#29 VenitHora

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:10 AM

Another. These pictures are all from a 1948 Life Magazine pictorial  and I believe are all the 36th Fighter Group at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base.

 

 

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  • tank3.JPG


#30 VenitHora

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:18 AM

An interesting picture of pilots with various types of helmets. 
 

 

From Wikipedia about the 36th FG:

"As a result of the Berlin Blockade and other Cold War tensions in Europe, the 36th Fighter Group was reassigned to USAFE. The squadron was assigned to Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base West Germany on 13 August 1948, being the first USAFE unit to be jet-equipped with the Lockheed F-80 "Shooting Star". At Fürstenfeldbruck tactical operations included air defense, tactical exercises, maneuvers, and photographic reconnaissance. "

 

 

 

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  • tank.JPG


#31 MattS

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:37 PM

On a side note, it appears the older style split-lens goggles (B-7s, AN-6530s, etc.) fall out of favor right about 1945 and post-war pilots seem to prefer the B-8s.



#32 PacificGunner

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for posting the additional photos and mentioning the context of the photos, I would have guessed the photos were taken in 1946 or 1947 in the states.  These are very interesting photos, love seeing the pilots in their gear next to the artwork on their aircraft. That must have been quite tense to be flying in the USAFE in 1948 with the Berlin airlift taking place.  



#33 BlueBookGuy

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 02:45 AM

An interesting picture of pilots with various types of helmets. 
 

 

From Wikipedia about the 36th FG:

"As a result of the Berlin Blockade and other Cold War tensions in Europe, the 36th Fighter Group was reassigned to USAFE. The squadron was assigned to Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base West Germany on 13 August 1948, being the first USAFE unit to be jet-equipped with the Lockheed F-80 "Shooting Star". At Fürstenfeldbruck tactical operations included air defense, tactical exercises, maneuvers, and photographic reconnaissance. "

 

 

 

 

Very interesting photo.

At least a couple helmets here are easily discernible as tanker helmets fitted on soft flight models. Others are definitely the so-called Style 1 pattern, purposedly made to be used the same identical way of the tanker helmets  -   again, fitted on soft standard models but, conceived from the start as a true protective pattern for aviators.

If recall correct, the Style 1 has been (quite briefly) produced by Paramount Rubber Co. firm. It's very much likely, there never was any true project by authorities about making the Style 1 a standardized helmet 'cause some serious efforts were already toward a true one-piece, 'crash' helmet that would become the 'Style B' helmet as early as summer 1946.

 

As a side note, I remember reading somewhere of some disputing about how much Dr. C. Lombard's helmet (progenitor to the future TopTex 3BM model) could have affected the design of Style B pattern, since their designs are surprisingly very very similar: massive helmet resembling those for football playing, sporting a distinctive crown somehow flattened rather than really rounded.

As it turned out from some more in-depth searching, it seems Lombard kept on with his own way seperately from others and the two things didn't cross each other. It might also be that the Style B helmet (later transitioned into Style B-1 helmet, then finally into the P-1) actually came out BEFORE than Lombard's one.
 


Edited by BlueBookGuy, 07 February 2019 - 02:47 AM.


#34 VenitHora

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:03 AM

Here is a picture of the helmet together with the A-13A Oxygen mask and the B-8 goggles it came with all belonging to the same pilot.

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  • tankforum5.jpeg


#35 Bebel

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:10 AM

Wonderful! Although the maks is a bit too "modern" for the helmet. I had some A-13 and A-13A maks from the 40s which would have matched very well with your fantastic helmet. Unfortunately for me, I never have been able to get such a helmet...

 

Franck




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