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RAF experimental electrically heated Windak flying suit

RAF experimental electrically heated Windak flying suit

Code: S22181


Manufactured by Baxter, Woodhouse & Taylor (BWT) under the 'Windak' company name.  Towards the end of the war there was a push at the Physiological Laboratory, Farnborough, to produce a new one-piece flying suit, possibly for use in the development of early pressurized cabins.  This example is believed to be a design for a general-purpose suit based on the Sidcot and 'Taylor' Buoyancy suit, it also has similarities to both the Lightweight Flying Overalls/Beadon flying suit and the Type H electrically heated liner in the knitted cuffs and collar.  Such experimental suits were submitted in low numbers for pre-production service trials and evaluation.  As pressurized cockpits and heating systems improved suits like these were rendered obsolete and it is likely that it was never actually put into production.  This makes it an extremely rare item with very few being produced and even fewer still in existence.
This one-piece electrically heated flying suit is produced in a close sateen weave cotton, smooth and soft to the touch. It has a zip fastener from crotch to neck with a pop studded wind flap.  Long zipped openings at the ankles (approximately twice the length of 'normal' flying suits).  Knitted cuffs and collar, the latter within a cotton facing.  Small windflap at the neck/collar.  Fitted with internal suspenders to alleviate the weight of the suit, these are very similar to those found in the BTW 'Taylor' buoyancy suit.  Twin press stud connectors at the wrists and ankles, all with rubber washers around them.  These take standard D/H-type gloves/bootees/slippers.  Open pockets on the lower legs and 'side entry' patch pockets at the waist.  All pockets are fitted with brass 'drain' eyelets.  The suit also has epaulettes but has no provision to attach a fur collar, has no zips at the cuffs and is not fitted with a belt.  The suit has an electrical 'umbilical' with an Air Ministry marked alloy plug, E.H. 3 Pole, stores reference 5c/527.  These plugs were used to connect all electrically wired/heated clothing (except RAE) to the aircraft system, sometimes coded 5c/2202.  With Windak and separate Air Ministry King's crown label.  The name on the label was the previous owner who had it for driving in his Mini 'Moke'.  Feeling stupid, he didn't wear it, hence the excellent clean and undamaged condition.  A fabulous flying suit.   Stock code S22181.