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A-9 Flight Helmet question


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This may be a dumb question, but I have a dillemma and I thought it might help to ask around here.

I've been trying to find an A-9 or A-8 flight helmet with the ear cups. I found one, but the total for it would be about 93 bucks, and that's excluding the ear cups that need replacing

 

My question is, has anyone tried rigger-modifying an A-9 helmet by taking a bare one and sewing the leather ear cups on it?

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This may be a dumb question, but I have a dillemma and I thought it might help to ask around here.

I've been trying to find an A-9 or A-8 flight helmet with the ear cups. I found one, but the total for it would be about 93 bucks, and that's excluding the ear cups that need replacing

 

My question is, has anyone tried rigger-modifying an A-9 helmet by taking a bare one and sewing the leather ear cups on it?

 

Not meaning to nitpic, but the A-8 flight helmet does not have ear cups, nor intended to have. This is not to say that they could be modified after the fact. I have an A-8 in my collection that has been modified with the metal ear ports that allowed for communications from back seat to front. As for your question on the A-9, this was not fitted with with the ear cups either. Are you sure you have an A-9 with ear cups? In my opinion, if the ear cups need replacing, the piece is not worth the price as you would never be satisfied. If you want one with ear phones, you might try the A-11, AN-H-15, AN-H-16 or B-6 with earphones. Jack Angolia

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Bells Aviation have several listed between $350 - $450! I have a similar one in my collection. There was a time when unissued pressed leather cups which held the earphones were cheap and plentiful at gun-shows...not sure about today though. The helmets were issued without earphones which were added at unit level, as required. Mine is fitted with R-14 receivers. If you can locate the cups, it shouldn't be too difficult to machine stitch them in place on your basic helmet.

 

http://www.bellsaviation.com/mm5/merchant....tegory_Code=CFH

 

 

Sabrejet

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Here's an A-8. I have several A-9s in similar configurations including with the gosport tubes that JumpinJack mentioned.

IMG_6071-1.jpg

 

A-9s are like water so unless they have period-added cups, they are really not the best investment IMO. I would save the money for such a project and buy one that was period modified.

What is your intent for it once modified?

 

Dave

KC

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This may be a dumb question, but I have a dillemma and I thought it might help to ask around here.

I've been trying to find an A-9 or A-8 flight helmet with the ear cups. I found one, but the total for it would be about 93 bucks, and that's excluding the ear cups that need replacing

 

My question is, has anyone tried rigger-modifying an A-9 helmet by taking a bare one and sewing the leather ear cups on it?

Adding the ear cups is pretty straightforward if you've got a sewing machine. Use cotton or silk thread. If you don't have period thread I'd suggest a brand called Gutermann. They offer a nicer range of colors in both silk & cotton. Its not quite as heavy as what was used originally, but it is closer the the common Coats & Clark threads.

$93 clams is a lot to pay for an A-9. If its period modified for a headset and/or O2 mask and includes the electrics maybe. I bought an A-9 for $10 at an OGCA gun show about three years ago. They're out there, keep looking. HTH

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A-9's can still be had quite reasonably. Just keep looking. Garcia Aviation carries the leather ear cups. They may be repops, however. Originals are also available if you keep looking.

 

Earlier helmets from the biplane/monoplane transition era (like the A-8 and A-9) regularly came without electrics, which were added on an as-needed basis at the local level.

 

$93 for an A-9 with bad ear cups? Can you say "ripoff"?

 

Tom

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  • 4 weeks later...
This may be a dumb question, but I have a dillemma and I thought it might help to ask around here.

I've been trying to find an A-9 or A-8 flight helmet with the ear cups. I found one, but the total for it would be about 93 bucks, and that's excluding the ear cups that need replacing

 

My question is, has anyone tried rigger-modifying an A-9 helmet by taking a bare one and sewing the leather ear cups on it?

Hi Stillwell

I look up the A-9 in the Combat Flying Clothing by C.G. Sweeting book and the A-9 doesn't have ear cups but I do believe the A-8 does . I wouldn't try adding ear cups to the A-9 because it would destroy the integrity of the helmet by history standards . Keep it original by all means !

 

 

tony m

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