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True early Jet Age transitional helmet


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I thought I would share this. Before a true jet helmet was made the USAAF and USAF experimented with a variety of designs. Some of the earliest jet helmets were made from modified tank helmets. This example is a Rawlings tank helmet with added O2 snaps and rubber flying helmet earcups. It also has a goggle loop and added retaining clips on the side to keep the helmet in place.

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Please visit my website at http://ww2awartobewon.com/ for information about WWII history, stories, news and militaria :D

Looking for WWII personalized or unit marked helmets, combat clothing, Navy and Army flying gear and souvenir items or just interesting stuff.

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Nice, rare puppy.

"The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him" G.K. Chesterton

"A people that values it's privileges above its principles will soon lose both" D.D. Eisenhower


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That is an incredible piece, I never knew WWII tanker helmets were used as an experimental flight helmet during the early jet age, this is the first one I've seen but now I definitely have to search for more. I have come across several experimental helmets that were considered to be custom, but they resembled football or racing helmets from the mid to late 40s. It is interesting to see the different examples that lead up to the design of the H-4 flight helmet, thanks for sharing this amazing piece of aviation history!

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Is this an A11 attached to the tanker helmet...pics of the interior???

 

Nice piece to have in your collection...

I think you hit it.I would love to see an interior shot. Kinda like a proto H-3.

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Great helmet Jonathan, congratulations!

The test pilots at the Brewster factory during wartime appear to have been in the habit of wearing tanker helmets fitted with Navy TH-37 headsets with TC-66 ear cups for their work testing Brewster made F3A Corsairs.

Do you know what year the photos were taken? Perhaps 1944-45? I find it interesting that one of the pilots is also wearing the M-1938 Resistal tanker goggles. All he needs to do is swap that blazer for a tanker jacket and he'll have a full tanker set!

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Brewster only built 753 Corsairs from July 1943 through July 1944 with 430 of those going to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. Because of their poor performance in meeting the Navy's delivery dates, the order for another 700 was cancelled, which ultimately led to the demise of the company. The photos must have been taken sometime during those 12 months, but I can't be more specific than that.

 

 

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Brewster only built 753 Corsairs from July 1943 through July 1944 with 430 of those going to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. Because of their poor performance in meeting the Navy's delivery dates, the order for another 700 was cancelled, which ultimately led to the demise of the company. The photos must have been taken sometime during those 12 months, but I can't be more specific than that.

 

 

Thanks for the information, this has been a very interesting thread! I appreciate you sharing the photos, never knew test pilots used tanker helmets before reading all this.

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Thanks for all the comments. The helmet is a full tanker helmet with added donut cups, it is not fitted over another flight helmet. Here are some pics of the inside.

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Please visit my website at http://ww2awartobewon.com/ for information about WWII history, stories, news and militaria :D

Looking for WWII personalized or unit marked helmets, combat clothing, Navy and Army flying gear and souvenir items or just interesting stuff.

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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.

 

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Please visit my website at http://ww2awartobewon.com/ for information about WWII history, stories, news and militaria :D

Looking for WWII personalized or unit marked helmets, combat clothing, Navy and Army flying gear and souvenir items or just interesting stuff.

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Here is a picture from the same website showing a man with a modified tanker helmet although the website states it is over an A-11 helmet.

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Please visit my website at http://ww2awartobewon.com/ for information about WWII history, stories, news and militaria :D

Looking for WWII personalized or unit marked helmets, combat clothing, Navy and Army flying gear and souvenir items or just interesting stuff.

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Share on other sites

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.

 

Any info on when and where this picture is taken, or what type of aircraft he is standing with? He has an interesting mix of US and British gear including the Mark VIII goggles

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