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Antique shop HGU-55


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#1 hink441

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 05:28 PM

Found this one today in my travels. It is in excellent shape. Has the communications gear and the earcups. Unfortunately it is missing the ear cushions and the interior foam. Those should be easy to replace. Had a name on the rear but it has been partially removed. There was also a F-16 flight manual with the helmet, but like a [email protected]$$ I did not buy the manual. I will get back up there and pick up the manual next week.

Here are some pics. No indication of any squadron markings. I am not too familiar with USAF helmets, but does this look like a F-16 configured helmet??

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Edited by hink441, 03 May 2019 - 05:31 PM.


#2 hink441

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 05:30 PM

Two more pictures.

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#3 mohawkALSE

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 06:06 PM

Just a standard "light weight" HGU-55 that has the integrated chin n nape strap setup from the factory.  Id say it was either someones helmet from UPT or was a loaner helmet in a AFE shop for DGs or VIPs etc.  I think if it was actual tac air helmet for a fighter, it would have had the combat edge mod installed and also NVG brackets for the ski boot/banana bar mount.  Sort of odd being a no frills helmet and has the velcro mounted in the rear which is what made me think it might be a spare from the AFE shop and would have a custom name tag attached for a DG or something.  If it actually had the NVG brackets I would have said that velcro was for the battery pack, as sometimes the quick detach dovetails arent used but the only helmets that would be using a actual battery pack in the rear would be for an airlift aircraft like a C-130 or C-17 and then it would have the boom mic mount on the helmet which I don't think it was ever drilled for.  In the UPT realm as I also said, this would fit the bill being no frills being used in a trainer aircraft that only needs the O2 mask and no other add ons.  In pretty good shape and those missing parts are usually on ebay or can get them from Gibson Barnes.  Def go get that manual, especially if its a later one.



#4 hink441

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for the great info.

Kind of a plain helmet without the tactical add ons and probably used in a training capacity, makes sense to me.

#5 hink441

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 05:23 AM

Question I was curious about.

When did the combat edge roll and the NVG banana clips come into use?

Chris

#6 phantomfixer

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 06:44 AM

Nice find Chris...shows very little use for a 2002 helmet...could very well have been a loner...no dings no scratches...wonder if it is  a rack number on the back versus a name.....  C-xx maybe a rack number

Dover helmets are named and numbered  and spares are generally marked Spare and a number



#7 hink441

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 10:30 AM

Nice find Chris...shows very little use for a 2002 helmet...could very well have been a loner...no dings no scratches...wonder if it is  a rack number on the back versus a name.....  C-xx maybe a rack number
Dover helmets are named and numbered  and spares are generally marked Spare and a number


Thanks John,

Yes, this helmet is in remarkable shape, almost unissued condition. I was wondering if the Dover helmets are marked in the same location with similar label tape? I found this helmet up on the Virginia Eastern Shore.

Chris

Chris

#8 phantomfixer

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:02 AM

Pretty much Chris, same style label tape and font...location is generally in the rear..

agree with Mohawk that AMC, here at Dover anyway,  would have the boom mic and NVG mounts

ACC would most likely have had the combat edge bladder installed..

But I wouldn't mess with it  maybe throw on a 12/P or even a 5/P...



#9 mohawkALSE

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 04:22 PM

Question I was curious about.

When did the combat edge roll and the NVG banana clips come into use?

Chris

 

The helmet Combat Edge portion is a small yellow bladder like whats inside a G-Suit that would be installed between the styrene impact liner and the actual TPL or Zeta Liner.  That bladder has a small plastic elbow that gets attached to a small connector that is installed on the helmet shell behind the mic plug.  A MBU-20/P Combat Edge oxygen mask would be used with the setup which has a small black hose that mounts from the top of the main supply hose on the mask and then has a quick detach fitting to fasten to that little connector on the helmet.  This will pipe in O2 into that bladder and inflate it preventing the mask from pulling down in a high G environment.  The MBU-20/P mask always has that CE hose attached, the other non Combat Edge mask that is the standard for non fighter aircraft is actually a MBU-20A/P.  They started to use that CE setup in the mid 90s, as well as the banana bar NVG mounts, mid-late 90s.  The full CE setup used to be the helmet setup that way along with the CRU-94 ITB, then the usual CSU-13 G-suit along with the CSU-17 G-vest.   I'll post a pic of the setup I have.



#10 mohawkALSE

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 04:36 PM

This is a ACC helmet I have from Seymour Johnson AFB from the 336th FS.  Has the CE mod installed and the NVG brackets.  The banana bar brackets are on the left (shown) and a right one not shown.  The CE connector is the elbow behind the mic jack.

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  • 55pCE.jpg


#11 mohawkALSE

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 04:42 PM

Another pic showing the helmet with the 20/P mask, if you look close you can see the black CE hose in route with the mic cable going to the left side of the helmet.  Also with the mask is the correct CRU-94 ITB which you can see the CSU-17 G-Vest plug into as well.  My friend was with the 336th FS for his casual status and upon leaving them to go to UPT was given this helmet as a gift.  Also while he was with them he had the squadrons order of visor covers made and had a special one made for me and gave me the helmet since he was issued his own at UPT.  Hard to see it all resized but it has a small F-15E, the 336th FS insignia and then my last name since I dont have a call sign embroidered on it.

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  • CEsetup.jpg


#12 hink441

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:49 AM

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation, it definitely answered all my questions. Those are some really nice helmets you have posted, and I need to learn more about USAF use of these features.

I was career Naval aviation maintenance and retired as a CPO in 2001. I never saw the CE used in our squadrons before I left the service. My last outfit was VF-211 and we were on the last leg of the F-14A and I had seen the NVG brackets in use but not the CE gear.

I will try and find a mbu-20 mask and display as is.

Chris

#13 mohawkALSE

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:16 PM

Does the visor on yours still have the decal showing the PN and also what mask its cut for?  Looks like its a 12P cut visor but cant fully tell from that pic angle.  12P or even a 5P would be a good mask to put with this being early 2000s.  I wouldn't doubt even today some 12Ps are still trucking on in service waiting to be phased out by a 20A/P.  I know 5Ps were still being issued up til 2008 or so for those who couldn't fit a 12P correctly.  I had friends who were issued 12Ps in 08 and complained they pinched too much and were then issued a 20A/P.  I think one of my friends who is actually down at Dover in C-17s still has the 12P he was issued at UPT, never got a 20A/P yet.

 

The Navy started using CE stuff on the 68P helmets I think around the time frame you were leaving service.  Not sure if they really use it much anymore.  I know the original kits the USAF used had a yellow bladder for inside the helmet and then were was a newer version the Navy started using with a black bladder.  The Navy was using their CE stuff with the MBU-23 masks and kept using the 14Ps I know, but it seems service wide the 23 is the standard now. Not sure if they call theirs a 23A/P if it lacks the CE  hose setup or what since the 12P had a bunch of different designations in the Navy like 14P, 17P etc etc. depending on setup and aircraft they are for.



#14 hink441

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:57 PM

Thanks again for the great and helpful info.

Here is a picture of the decal on the visor.

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#15 mohawkALSE

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:50 PM

Boom, there's the answer.  I asked if it was there as you can see from the pic they get dog eared and eventually peel off from heat exposure etc.



#16 hink441

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:35 AM

I went back to the antique shop and the flight manual was still there so I bought it this time! This was with the flight helmet when I first bought the helmet. I really don't know if the two are a group. The manual is dated 1986 and named to R. Stepp.

I did find a retired Colonel (Robert J.Stepp) who was a flight surgeon, could be him I really don't know.

Here are some pics of the manual.

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#17 phantomfixer

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 10:31 AM

Will look good under the 55/P



#18 mohawkALSE

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:07 PM

Could be the guy. Flight Surgeon would go for rides in the back of a 16B.  Helmet is obviously much newer being a 2000 contract and 02 DOM.  I think the 55P CE helmet I posted above is of the same date as well, I know its def a 2000 contract.  Even being the -1 for a legacy Viper, its still a pretty cool find.  Dont find to many tactical aircraft pubs just floating around stores.  Best I ever found was a KC-135R manual at a store near me for a whopping 3 dollars.



#19 hink441

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the comments, here is a picture of Major Stepp in 1984. I don't know if he is the guy, but I am glad to have the manual.

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