Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by Carl, May 5, 2018.
Some of you might find this an interesting piece .
Never seen one like this before ...
THX for sharing
Very tough item to find!
Thanks for the comments !
Unfortunately as can be seen in the photo , the reinforcing leather "disc" (for want of a better word" has dried out so much that it has pulled the webbing straps with it , which makes it virtually impossible to display the helmet .
Would it be in the helmets best interest to ,
A. Leave it as it is ?
B. Remove the leather disc and get a new piece sewn in ?
Thomas , There are photos of tbis type of helmet being worn ny some of the first Jet pilots , as up to then, nothing had been designed for their head protection, being theown around at high speed in their cockpits .
I have seen and owned several of these G-1 helmets over the years...all in identical condition to yours. I think all but one had the leather center shriveled up. I think it has to do with the leather they used, the tanning process, and the march of time.
I'd leave it alone...this is too valuable a helmet to risk. A better idea would be to trim down the top of a styrofoam head so a flight helmet and this helmet would both fit.
Not saying that these were not used by early jet pilots, but I think if you look closely at the pictures you will notice the vent holes are different. What was more commonly used were modified tanker helmets...which have more vent holes. The tanker helmet also has more head friendly shape to it, plus they would have been more readily available. One reason these G-1 helmets are rare, is they really did not work or fit that well.
Glad to hear it isnt just mine then that suffers/ed this problem .
I might just give that idea a go unclegrumpy !
Glad you can appreciate its rarity
Another thing with these helmets is the webbing...it is fairly taught even without some shrinking to the leather center disc. These were meant to sit somewhat high on top of the head. One thing I have looked for, but never found over the years, is a flight helmet modified with the lift the dot snap nipples to accommodate one of these.
One would think they would have kept using the helmets, but likely many were just toss out instead. Some people have written that they believe the snaps were for attaching an oxygen mask, but I think it is far more likely it was directly snapped to a flight helmet, because the gunner would still need headphones. Plus, adding the snaps to a flight helmet would have been easy, because the parachute riggers would have them in their kit.
I also suspect these helmets originally came with the extra pieces and instructions...something else fun to look for!
I had thought about getting a "salty"A11 and finding some LTD's to match the helmet to see what it would have looked like together !!
Also , who manufactured these ? I thought it might be Rawlings (tankers helmet maker) ?
Amy ideas Uncle ??
If someone started remanufacturing these lovelies and marketed them as bicycle helmets, they would make a fortune. Target the more mature crowd who like to ride the old Schwinn
Cruisers. I'm serious.
Would love a Schwinn !!!
I don't know who made these, but would not be at all surprised to learn it was Rawlings, because they do have some similarities to the tanker helmets they made later.
As far as an A-11, I think you would want an earlier model flight helmet. These gunners helmets were designed for use in the tail gun position of earliest B-17 models, and maybe a couple of the other prewar bombers with equally odd seating arrangements that were rather quickly phased out.
A9 or possibly a B6 then Uncle , A9's are easy enough to find and cheap enough to "alter " to get a set up ! just to find those small LTD's in nickel ???
Yeah, I was thinking about the same thing. Will have to do some looking...
Let me know if you come up with anything please ?