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WWII A-11 flight helmet


66cuda
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I recently acquired at auction several items and one of them was this WWII A-11 flight helmet with mask and French goggles. 

The Cap is in decent shape a small tear on one side. 
 

mask is in rough shape, plastic is brittle in areas and almost completely tore on one side. Straps are all brittle and broken. 
 

I know nothing about the goggles other than the tag that came with them.

 

this is my first WWII flight helmet, so I’m looking forward to you all educating me on this. I apologize for the mess in the background, this just arrived and I wanted to get pictures right away. 
 

I’m also interested in ideas on the best way to display this piece. 

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7 minutes ago, P-59A said:

How much did it coast you?

I paid $400 for this set 

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Radio Operator

Looks like a nice 44-45 display! Just wondering why do you think the goggles are French? They look like standard AN-6530 goggles to me and if the "rubber" part is original then they're in amazing shape. You did well for $400, the only real issue is the 02 mask damage but I don't think that part effects its ability to mount on the helmet (though I'm not familiar with A-14 02 mask). 

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pararaftanr2

Those goggles appear to be the AN-6530 type, manufactured by Charles Fischer Spring Cp. for both USAAF and USN use. If you look on the outside of the frame, below the left lens, you will see their name and the location of their factory, Brooklyn, NY. Recent ebay sold prices for sets in similar condition will range from about $150-$250. Many are listed higher, but tend to sit for extended periods of time. The wire loom on the headset appears to be collector-added and is from an over-the-head style HS-33 headset, rather than the proper loom for use with a flight helmet. The actual receivers, ANB-H-1s by Telephonics, are correct though. For display purposes, you may be able to repair the torn rubber facemask of the A-14 with some rubber, or contact, cement. The most common way to display a headgear combination such as yours would be on a Styrofoam head. Plenty of examples can be found here on the Forum. If the goggles are displayed in position on the face, that should hide the tear to the brow-piece of the flight helmet.

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9 hours ago, Radio Operator said:

Looks like a nice 44-45 display! Just wondering why do you think the goggles are French? They look like standard AN-6530 goggles to me and if the "rubber" part is original then they're in amazing shape. You did well for $400, the only real issue is the 02 mask damage but I don't think that part effects its ability to mount on the helmet (though I'm not familiar with A-14 02 mask). 

Thank you. I am not very familiar with flight goggles and so I said they were French only because that is what the tag said and I hadn't looked into it in more detail. is there a way to date the "rubber" gasket on them? 

 

 

7 hours ago, pararaftanr2 said:

Those goggles appear to be the AN-6530 type, manufactured by Charles Fischer Spring Cp. for both USAAF and USN use. If you look on the outside of the frame, below the left lens, you will see their name and the location of their factory, Brooklyn, NY. Recent ebay sold prices for sets in similar condition will range from about $150-$250. Many are listed higher, but tend to sit for extended periods of time. The wire loom on the headset appears to be collector-added and is from an over-the-head style HS-33 headset, rather than the proper loom for use with a flight helmet. The actual receivers, ANB-H-1s by Telephonics, are correct though. For display purposes, you may be able to repair the torn rubber facemask of the A-14 with some rubber, or contact, cement. The most common way to display a headgear combination such as yours would be on a Styrofoam head. Plenty of examples can be found here on the Forum. If the goggles are displayed in position on the face, that should hide the tear to the brow-piece of the flight helmet.

I will check the frames when I get home from work and get some pictures of them. I will also try to get some additional pictures of the wire loom for greater detail. 

Do you happen to have a recommendation for rubber cement that would be safe to use on this? 

 

I've seen several threads on this site with Styrofoam heads, is there a specific one that works well for this or a "go to" supplier that people like to use?

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As the others have stated, everything looks to be good except for the headset. Its a good display set. Repair the O2 mask from the inside and do not play around with it. Get it on a head and leave it alone. You did ok.

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pararaftanr2

I use Weldwood contact cement. Apply a light coating on each of the two surfaces to be joined together, then let them sit for 15 minutes. After the time has expired, join them together for a permanent bond.

 

I like the flesh-tone foam heads, but you can get them in white on ebay. Although they have gone up in price lately (COVID?) this is where I've bought them in the past: https://www.storesupply.com/pc-12979-1133-male-styrofoam-mannequin-heads-suntan-70121.aspx

 

If anyone has a source that is less expensive, please share it with us. Thanks!

 

 

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dmar836

Cuda,

I have gotten styrofoam heads by onesies and twosies at Hobby Lobby. They have a permanent 40% off coupon on their web site so they are more in line with other vendors - if you only need one at a time. Don't go for the old female wig heads. They are common and cheap - often given away. They just don't look right with this stuff IMO unless you are displaying a female grouping.

I have also used the stonefleck kits and applied a finish so they don't look so cheap and plain. Clear coat them and the stuff never sheds. Add it to a wooden base and they look nice for display without taking away from the headgear.

JMO,

Dave

 

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10 hours ago, pararaftanr2 said:

I use Weldwood contact cement. Apply a light coating on each of the two surfaces to be joined together, then let them sit for 15 minutes. After the time has expired, join them together for a permanent bond.

 

I like the flesh-tone foam heads, but you can get them in white on ebay. Although they have gone up in price lately (COVID?) this is where I've bought them in the past: https://www.storesupply.com/pc-12979-1133-male-styrofoam-mannequin-heads-suntan-70121.aspx

 

If anyone has a source that is less expensive, please share it with us. Thanks!

 

 

Thank you, appreciate the info. I’ll look into getting some weldwood and carefully repairing the mask.

 

8 hours ago, dmar836 said:

Cuda,

I have gotten styrofoam heads by onesies and twosies at Hobby Lobby. They have a permanent 40% off coupon on their web site so they are more in line with other vendors - if you only need one at a time. Don't go for the old female wig heads. They are common and cheap - often given away. They just don't look right with this stuff IMO unless you are displaying a female grouping.

I have also used the stonefleck kits and applied a finish so they don't look so cheap and plain. Clear coat them and the stuff never sheds. Add it to a wooden base and they look nice for display without taking away from the headgear.

JMO,

Dave

 

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Thank you for the info. Did you get the stonefleck kit come from hobby lobby as well? 

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I grabbed a few pictures of the goggles and the wire loom. 
 

The goggles do have the Brooklyn, NY markings on them. I also took a picture of the etching in the corner of one of the lenses. 
 

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pararaftanr2

As suspected, the wire loom is from an HS-33 headset, not what was used in flight helmets. See photo below for the correct style.

What color is the stitching on the goggle's foam pad, inside the openings for the lenses (it secures the retaining rings)? If black, the pad is original. If white, probably a post-war copy, made in the 1970s-1980s by Banair, who are no longer in business. The current reproduction pads are made of Silicone rubber and are nothing like the originals. The Banair product was excellent however, except for the color of the stitching being off.

 

 

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dmar836

Cuda, I believe I got the stone spray kit at Hobby Lobby or Home Depot. Should be easy to find.

Dave

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