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HGU-22/P Helmet Restoration


cggill85
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cggill85

Hello everyone!

 

This is my first post, and my current project. I purchased this HGU-22/P helmet shell a couple of weeks ago (there are a few others still available on eBay). My plan is to create as complete of a restoration as possible and maintain the authenticity to the era. As you can see, there is a sticker on the back that points to 1977 (since been removed); it also came with a "Unserviceable Tag" that is dated 1988. 

 

The visor is from an HGU-26 that I purchased separately. I found some original, NOS "Camouflage Film" that matches the helmet and am excited to apply to the visor today. 

 

The edgeroll came with the helmet and is in pretty good condition. I think it is some kind of synthetic leather with foam underneath. 

 

I have a nape/chinstrap assembly that I'll be putting on soon. 

 

Any feedback on the project or insights into this type of helmet or era would be greatly appreciated! I'm a little uncertain of the interior setup of the shell, especially the earcups/headphone assembly. 

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cggill85

Here are some updated pictures with the camouflage film applied. These come in 12"x12" squares, so I cut them in 1" strips to match how it was originally done on the helmet. Using a heat gun, I was able to smooth out some of the wrinkles. The shade of light green is slightly more yellow on the original; his may be due to sun exposure. 

 

Overall, a really fun project so far. I enjoy piecing helmets together more than buying as a complete whole. While it seems to end up being more expensive to do this, the process of re-construction allows me to become more intimate with the design and experience of the helmet. I imagine that pilots and aircrew were responsible for taping up helmets themselves, so this allows me to take part in that journey. 

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mohawkALSE

Nice start you have there, that edge roll being mint is a solid to work with.  Having that thick edgeroll it probably had a 2 piece pour fit custom liner.   The headset would be the standard USAF H-154 setup with the grey ear cups and H-143 speakers.  You have the nape strap for the rear so you would need the chin strap for the front.   Not really much missing there if you can source those parts which shouldn't be too hard.  Was good to find the film tape to get that DVH matching the shell.  Nice late 70s-early 80s setup helmet there.   That DRMO label on the rear has the Form Date of 1977,  so that has nothing to do with the helmet itself, just that that form was created in 77.   The unservicable tag obviously shows the year it was Red Xd and pulled from service probably being replaced by a HGU-55.  Keep us updated on the progress.

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cggill85

Thank you, mohawk! I appreciate the details on the headset and speakers--gives me direction to start searching. Yes, the date of 1977 on the tag probably only relates to when the label was created. As I get more parts I'll post updates :) 

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Vark_07

This is indeed a very nice start, and even if it's still missing some parts, it's in a pretty good condition - you'll just have to find and add, which is a fun endeavour.

Saw these shells' listings too, but honestly didn't give them a shot, even if I'm looking for one of these camouflaged 22-26/P.

As you stated correctly, a refurbishment project of this kind can be expensive (been there / done that with a SPH-3B a couple of months ago 😁) - especially if you intend to pair it with a complete MBU-5/P (with "J" offset bayonets and crossed harness assembly).

 

The NOS camo tape sheet is a cool find and you did a good job applying it to the PRU-36 housing, although you'd have had the alternative to find a visor housing already taped (some are available on the used market, and sometimes with embossed Dymo name labels sticked). Knowing this, if you have an old Dymo label maker in a drawer, you should add your name to your helmet !

 

As Mohawk stated, I concur the poured liner would be a 2-part one maintained in place by the edgeroll your helmet sports, and characteristic of these late-70's shells (the older 22-26/P with the thin tan edgeroll featured a styrene liner + fitting pads). It would be of the same kind of this one, but finding a specific 26/P example will be perhaps tricky. I wonder if a 33/P liner of the same size could fit ?

 

Anyway, keep the good work up, I'll be looking forward to your updates 😉.

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hink441

Nice work. 
 

If you heat up the tape with a hair dryer before application you will typically get good results. 
 

Chris

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Wayward Son

This YT video has a pretty good tutorial on how to tape a flight helmet with excellent results. An added bonus is that the example is a HGU-26/P using the same camo tape.

 

 

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Wayward Son

To further assist in the rebuild, here are a couple detail pics from my HGU-26/P just as it was when it came out of service. I'll get around to replacing the ear cup foam one of these days.....

 

 

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cggill85

Thanks everyone so much for the references! Based on the prices and availability of the helmet components, this will probably be a long-term build. I will post updates as they come; what a great forum!

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  • 3 weeks later...
cggill85

Here’s an update on the helmet. The MBU-5/P mask is a converted quick-don. Bit the bullet and bought the J connectors at full price, but made the harness myself. The form fit liners are quite expensive, so I made the center piece out of foam and fabric. Overall happy with where it is at right now. I’ll update more original parts as I come upon them.

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a3cbc99f72a7fb75c7883cc110192057.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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cggill85

Here’s an update on the helmet. The MBU-5/P mask is a converted quick-don. Bit the bullet and bought the J connectors at full price, but made the harness myself. The form fit liners are quite expensive, so I made the center piece out of foam and fabric. Overall happy with where it is at right now. I’ll update more original parts as I come upon them.

63487427e09529f3006e6314d4b63cf4.jpg

9d52a256abda31e60e82dbe224f7f723.jpg

14e2e2879e24f94d3ea4c18a2148cbeb.jpg


a3cbc99f72a7fb75c7883cc110192057.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Vark_07

It came out pretty well the way you did with your latest mods, it will sure make the job aesthetically speaking while waiting to find the original parts !

Now you'd be mostly looking for a genuine form fit liner, and the mask's coiled comm cord.

I'd just tighten up the chin and upper mask straps if I were you, for they look a bit loose.

Good job 👍.

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cggill85

Thanks Vark and Wayward!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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