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History of army helicopter flight helmets


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I never had the "pleasure" of installing the surgical tubing. The most fun I had was installing CEP's. If the soldering part didn't argue with me, I could have an installation done in about 10-15 minutes.

 

The problem with the tubing is not the tubing, it's the time honored hatred of trying to get nut backs through two or three different materials, centered on the hole through the shell and then with one hand, get the screw started on the other side. I was never so happy when we went away from the strap retention system to the TPL. It was truely an art form to be able to put a old SPH-4 together properly.


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ahhhhhhhhh!! So thats how the goggles work with the tubing! And I could never figure out what the two pieces of velcro on the visor cover were for.

Thanks for posting those pix, you've answered many questions I've had.

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Time to downsize! I'm selling off a large portion of my collection. Message me for the most up to date list of items.

I have American and foreign; Army, Air Force, and Navy; Span-Am War to current; mostly originals but some reproductions.

 

Always looking for numbered Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. Message me if you have any, maybe we can make a deal.

 

Looking for Purple Heart number 172669.

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Oh, wow, that SPH-4 in #52 is dead-nuts on. Good job, Hawk!

 

 

Ya, well, I can't take all the credit, I have to give partial credit to my %10 disabled neck for most of the technical help.

 

In all seriousness, most of the thanks goes to my friend Ed, he helped the most with this and I appreciate his generosity in it.


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How more people didn't die pioneering night vision device flying in the Army is beyond me. Common now Hawk, we need a full face mask setup displayed next!

 

Well, the death toll was actually pretty steep. I can remember CW3s and CW4s throwing in their paper rather than fly NVGs, but thought nothing of launching unaided on a zero illum night.

 

Nowadays, night unaided scares the crap outta me. I can't imagine NOT using goggles...

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Figured Id add this one as its certainly a historical Army flight helmet. I've had this on in my collection for a couple years now and its probably one of the more unique ones. Its a 1966 dated Gentex APH-5 flyer's helmet in the old while color. One unique part to it is the fact that it had early Sierra Engineering self adjusting oxygen mask bayonet receivers. Usually for Mohawks oxygen masks hadn't been used except for higher altitude missions like SLAR. Post Vietnam era it became standard to install O2 bayonet receivers on the SPH-4s, HGU-26's and later the HGU-55's

 

The most unique thing is the Grumman Mohawk insignia applied to the back. This helmet might have been used by a OV-1 test pilot or a Grumman tech rep. It seems like the insignia was cut out from a larger decal, one that might have been applied to the nose of early Mohawk aircraft. When I got the helmet it was missing the mic so I threw my father's old banana mic on from his APH since his was upgraded to the newer M87 mic. Unfortunately whoever had this helmet before cut the ICS plug off. Its definitely seen alot of flight time:

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Well, the death toll was actually pretty steep. I can remember CW3s and CW4s throwing in their paper rather than fly NVGs, but thought nothing of launching unaided on a zero illum night.

 

Nowadays, night unaided scares the crap outta me. I can't imagine NOT using goggles...

 

Ahhh, Night Hawk, unaided formation flying, talk about a ball sucker. There is a reason Huey's had stretched nylon seats, if they had the sheepskin seats that the Blackhawk has now, you would never be able to get out of them because you would have had to much material sucked up your arse. To stupid to know how close to death we were.

Remember time weighted averages? Two hours of goggles equated to five hours of day flying? I actually had to explain why 23% moon illum was still on our risk assessments, no one knew but me, probably time to take it off. Remember the holy grail of "death", NVG hot gas! You were as much considered dead already, it was touted as the most dangerous thing the Army did. Now, after nine years of combat, you can't imagine not doing it. Funny how things change. I still have a red light switch in my office from the days when we actually had red lights to "dark adapt" before we went flying.

Mohawk, nice helmet, that is definitely a keeper.


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Aided vs. unaided is not really much of a competition. I'm with Varangian, unaided scares the crap outta me too! I always got my 1.0 night unaided 0.1 at a time. End of the mission, after taxiing into parking, flip the goggles up for shut down.

 

AFH-1

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Time to downsize! I'm selling off a large portion of my collection. Message me for the most up to date list of items.

I have American and foreign; Army, Air Force, and Navy; Span-Am War to current; mostly originals but some reproductions.

 

Always looking for numbered Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. Message me if you have any, maybe we can make a deal.

 

Looking for Purple Heart number 172669.

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Front and back cover for the AFH-1 manual

 

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Time to downsize! I'm selling off a large portion of my collection. Message me for the most up to date list of items.

I have American and foreign; Army, Air Force, and Navy; Span-Am War to current; mostly originals but some reproductions.

 

Always looking for numbered Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. Message me if you have any, maybe we can make a deal.

 

Looking for Purple Heart number 172669.

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Aided vs. unaided is not really much of a competition. I'm with Varangian, unaided scares the crap outta me too! I always got my 1.0 night unaided 0.1 at a time. End of the mission, after taxiing into parking, flip the goggles up for shut down.

 

Unfortunately, as an SP, I don't get that luxury, I have to do it. At least we don't have to do confined areas anymore.

 

Nice, mint helmet by the way, that is a real looker.


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Here's an unusual thing that I got from a storage locker liquidation. Usually artwork was painted on by a local artist or someone with talent in a unit. This has the company patch glued to the back. I had another from the 11ACR Air Troop with MIDNIGHT RAIDERS patch glued on to a red white painted guidon on the helmet. That helmet was trash so I took the patch off. This one has definite wear and the fabric is split in areas. The pilot flew with the unit in 1967 and 1968 then went on to Ft Rucker through 1969. There are no labels inside the shell but helmet appears to be a large.

 

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OK, now y'all got my blood cooking and instead of working on my garage, I decided to get my early ANVIS project going. Thank God for eBay and all it's evilness, recently I got the final big pieces, it was the smaller ones I don't have, so this is cobbled together right now, so don't look real close. It has the original clear lens caps and you can see the minus blue coating on the objective lenses. Still gotta find the battery caps for the battery pack. The helmet is a SPH-4B.

 

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Well, that will probably be the last goggle project for awhile, the newer stuff is so expensive that it is unaffordable to most of the masses. One side note, on the early ANVIS, they had a 15mm eyepiece as this set has. Most people think that the 15mm means the eyepiece glass is 15mm across. The current goggles have a 25mm lens and while they are bigger across, it does not mean the measurement of the glass. The 15mm means that for optimal viewing, the eyepiece has to be 15mm away from the eye. The problem is that with the issue NBC mask, this isn't sufficient clearance, so the newer, bigger lenses allow them to be further away from the eye, 25mm away to be exact. This now allows sufficient room between your eye and the goggle lens for the mask lenses to fit.


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Looks nice. Those batt pack caps will be a PITA to find I think stand alone. I just picked up another one of those older batter packs for the SPH-4B. My 4 and 4B have those packs, and my 56P has the newer low profile pack.

 

Here are the ones I have now:

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That low profile you have, I believe is an Air Force pack. Look at the bottom, if there is a hole in the bottom of each side, it's AF and that is where you secure the weights. The Army will not allow us to use the weighted packs.

 

No holes. I think the ones with the holes for attaching weights on have the dovetail for the QD mount like the AF and Navy/Marines sometime use. This ones got the hook velcro on the helmet side, and as you can see pile on the other.

 

What are the covered jacks for on the battery packs? The old ones have the little chain secured cover on the sides.

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mohawk - I *think* the covered jacks are for external/acft power. Nice collection of batt packs. When I went through the NVG Class in CT, one of the guys in the class was PA NG and a PA State trooper. He brought with him a set of 7's (or were they 9's?) that the PA State Police had recently bought. They had the batt pack with the screw on weights. These also were amber instead of the usual green when the goggles were turned on. That batt pack with the screw on weights was pretty bad a$$!

 

hawkdriver - You got my jealous blood flowing! Love the goggles!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Time to downsize! I'm selling off a large portion of my collection. Message me for the most up to date list of items.

I have American and foreign; Army, Air Force, and Navy; Span-Am War to current; mostly originals but some reproductions.

 

Always looking for numbered Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. Message me if you have any, maybe we can make a deal.

 

Looking for Purple Heart number 172669.

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mohawk - I *think* the covered jacks are for external/acft power. Nice collection of batt packs. When I went through the NVG Class in CT, one of the guys in the class was PA NG and a PA State trooper. He brought with him a set of 7's (or were they 9's?) that the PA State Police had recently bought. They had the batt pack with the screw on weights. These also were amber instead of the usual green when the goggles were turned on. That batt pack with the screw on weights was pretty bad a$$!

 

hawkdriver - You got my jealous blood flowing! Love the goggles!!

 

 

They were probably the civilian version of the AVS-9s like the AF uses. I forget what ITT calls them M###

 

What was the the NVG class in CT? CT has a mixed CH-47 detachment part of the 104th between CT and PA ARNG

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These also were amber instead of the usual green when the goggles were turned on.

 

hawkdriver - You got my jealous blood flowing! Love the goggles!!

 

Cruise eBay, everything you need will come up at some time or another. It's much like fishing, just have to have the patience and know what you are looking for by picture and not by description. As for the amber color, they are standard gen III image tubes, the difference is the protective film is much thinner, hence the name "thin film" technology. The advantage is they are brighter and appear clearer, but the tubes burn out twice as fast, so the trade off can be expensive, depends on who is paying for them and how much you will actually use them.


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