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Anyone have any insight into what era this HGU-26/P might be from?


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I would say early 1980’s, it is much like the one I was originally issued in 1979. Is it a custom molded liner or just sizing pads? You can’t tell from your photos. The visor housing has metal reinforcements along the mounting screws. The visor housing on my helmet was replaced with the same type around 1982. By 1983 the lightweight 55/P helmets were being issued to tactical flying units, the rest of the Air Force followed by the mid-80’s, and the 26/P’s were phased out.

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I would say early 1980’s, it is much like the one I was originally issued in 1979. Is it a custom molded liner or just sizing pads? You can’t tell from your photos. The visor housing has metal reinforcements along the mounting screws. The visor housing on my helmet was replaced with the same type around 1982. By 1983 the lightweight 55/P helmets were being issued to tactical flying units, the rest of the Air Force followed by the mid-80’s, and the 26/P’s were phased out.

 

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

 

Regarding the liner, I see blue pads, is that what you're referring to?

 

rix789k.jpg

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Another question I have, is who may have used this? The stickers indicate US Army (1st Battallion, 101st Aviation Regiment, C Company "Paladins"), but I was under the impression that these would've only been used by USAF, Navy, and USMC.

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HGU-26's were used by the Army a little bit on the OV-1 Mohawk in the late 70s to early 90s by some of the units. I have even seen 1 with the camo tape used in the OV-1. No way it would have been used by an Apache unit (1-101). Could have been a former OV-1 pilot that went on to helos, helmet does have the boom mic mount and looks like a poured liner like the Army ones were setup. No way to know for sure, still could be USAF airlift setup helmet and someone just added zaps years later.

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Yes, that looks like a custom fit liner. They are custom poured foam to fit your head and to prevent “hotspots” that used to develop with sizing padded liners. Sizing pads are leather/foam rubber with Velcro backing that attach to a foam polystyrene liner. Most custom liners normally have custom fit leather over the edge roll, yours doesn’t, that what I asked about the liner. Definitely late 1970’s, early eighties.

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HGU-26's were used by the Army a little bit on the OV-1 Mohawk in the late 70s to early 90s by some of the units. I have even seen 1 with the camo tape used in the OV-1. No way it would have been used by an Apache unit (1-101). Could have been a former OV-1 pilot that went on to helos, helmet does have the boom mic mount and looks like a poured liner like the Army ones were setup. No way to know for sure, still could be USAF airlift setup helmet and someone just added zaps years later.

 

Were there any Navy/Marine airmen that might've used this setup, or was this strictly a USAF setup?

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Yes, that looks like a custom fit liner. They are custom poured foam to fit your head and to prevent “hotspots” that used to develop with sizing padded liners. Sizing pads are leather/foam rubber with Velcro backing that attach to a foam polystyrene liner. Most custom liners normally have custom fit leather over the edge roll, yours doesn’t, that what I asked about the liner. Definitely late 1970’s, early eighties.

 

Thanks again.

 

I guess another question I have is which dark outer visor would I need to pick up to complete the helmet? The 12/P mask or the 5/P mask?

 

https://www.flighthelmet.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=FHL&Category_Code=V26P

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Show us the clear and we can tell which mask. MBU-5 is pointier,MBU-12 is rounder on the nose cut out.

 

This is the best shot I have at the moment, I could probably take a little clearer photo when I get home this evening.

 

YC5l9pZ.jpg

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Definitely go with the 5P mask, the 12P mask was coming online the same time as the 55P helmet (83-84) and as the 26P helmet was being phased out. Our life support shop tried to switch me over to a 12P mask in 1984 and couldn’t get one to fit right, so I kept my 5P mask on a 55P helmet even after the 12P mask became the standard. Your 26P helmet which has a boom mike mount is typical of the setup for flying the OV-10 where you could use the boom mike at lower altitudes and switchover to your oxygen mask when going above 10000 feet. It is the same kind of setup I had on my 55P helmet when I flew the OV-10.

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USAF wise the 5P mask was still issued up to around 2008 as an alternate mask for those that didn't fit right with the 12P even though the 12P was being phased out by the 20/P Combat Edge and 20A/P masks. Back in the 80s, the Army was using a mix of the 5/P and 12/P masks with the the HGU-26 helmets. The 55/P was starting to be issued for OV-1 crews in the late 80s but some kept the 26P and 5/P right up until they retired the OV-1 in 96.

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