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Air force Flying Helmet Type P 1B


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I would like to know more about this Flying Helmet and the time frame it was worn. It is missing a few parts, earphones I am fairly sure, can these be obtained and is this Helmet worthy of restoration? Many thanks, Clive.

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Clive...I also have one of these. Mine is effectively the same helmet without the visor. They were a later add-on. Internally you are missing the "donut" receiver pads..very like the rubber/chamois ones you find on late /post-war headsets. These helmets are quite scarce and date from the early 50s > KW period and beyond. There's a guy on eBay/Australia who does replacement parts...I can't recall his ebay handle at the moment but if you do a search for P-1 flying helmets you'll probably find him? Though you're missing the earphone pads, once on a display head you won't see them anyway!

 

Also, try here as a source of spare parts.

 

http://www.bellsaviation.com/mm5/merchant....p;Store_Code=BA

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Sorry about the title, should have put Army Air Force and not Army Air Corps! Clive.

 

Also I believe that label says "P-1B," not "1E."

 

The P-1 was worn with goggles: then retrofitted with a visor and called the P-1A. The P-1B was basically a redesignated P-1A. It was followed by the P-3.

 

These are the Steve Canyon helmets, after the old comic strip/TV character and I think they epitomize the early Jet Age. They even made a toy version for kids:

 

canyonhelm.jpg

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Thank you for the comments and time-frame, also the link for spare parts, I will try to obtain the earphone set to complete it. The stitching of the label partially obscures the last letter, but I am sure you are right about it being a P-1B. Regards, Clive.

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There was a guy on ebay who had the parts for the helmets.He had the leather tabs for the oxy mask,rivits,visor frames,decals etc.I have 3 of the helmets.Last one I got was painted red but came with the bag and some parts.Course not the visor I need for the other helmet I have :pinch:

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Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

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The sides show signs of once having oxygen mask hook-ups. The helmet was most likely used into the early 60's. The oxygen mask receivers look like the "Christmas Tree" type. I would skip the repro leather tabs, and find a set of Oxygen mask receivers. The earphones were most likely the black, spring loaded type. They look very much like the early APH-5 Helicopter phones. They also had a period where the earphones were backed only with rings of foam. There was a fear that the springs might be a danger in a crash. The "donuts" were very very early, and were most likely switched out during an upgrade. I personally love these old P helmets. I would skip on the earphones, and find a nice oxygen mask and hook-ups...Tom.

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The maker of the P1 series helmets inner assembly, General Textiles, is today known as Gentex which makes a multitude of helmet types for the U.S. military as well as other nations. They were one of the first makers of hard-shell flight helmets and CVC helmets. During WWII General Textiles had a contract to produce cargo parachutes for the Army however a problem developed in that the shipping containers were allowing moisture in and this was deteriorating the fabric of the parachutes. General Textiles had there R&D department develop a shipping container out of what was then a very new material but today is known as GRP (glass reinforced plastic). When the Air Force started developing jet aircraft a need was identified for a hard protective helmet for the pilots and General Textiles, which was already producing fabric flight helmets, jumped on the bandwagon and started development of a hard-shell helmet from the GRP material which became the H-4 series USN flight helmet. Another footnote to history.

 

Larry

Member of the Company of Military Historians

http://www.military-historians.org

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Some outstanding information and advice, many thanks for this. Looks like this will be a restoration project to get underway. Regards, Clive.

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Here are some pics of my P-1 helmet for comparison/reference.

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1325768513.jpgpost-8022-1325768520.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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Thank you for the comments and time-frame, also the link for spare parts, I will try to obtain the earphone set to complete it. The stitching of the label partially obscures the last letter, but I am sure you are right about it being a P-1B. Regards, Clive.

 

For your reference, here's some photos of a P-1B I sold a few years back: it was straight out of the pilot's estate, exactly as he wore it. The helmet shell and suspension each carry the original P-1B labels and the helmet has the original HS-38A headset receivers, dated August 1954, which is also the date on the shell label.

 

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post-214-1252806619.jpg

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Very nice! The chamois covered "donuts" I referred to can be clearly seen in the interior shot.

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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Excellent images of some very fine examples, many thanks for sharing. I now know what I have to aim for in the restoration-completion of my example, all I need now is to find them. Regards, Clive.

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Scroll down this page to see some details on the HS-38A headset http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/commsusaf.htm

 

If you can't find the HS-38A headset, some P-1 series helmets were updated to more modern earpieces such as the H-143/AIC earpieces in the mid-50's.

 

 

Bookmarked it. Thanks Bob! :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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