RFC 'Cowl' flying helmet
Introduced in 1916, the cowl or hood type flying helmet was almost like a shoulder length leather balaclaca with a single face aperture, adjustable with small buckled straps. Although popular they were frequently modified in the field to make them easier to wear and use. This example has typical modifications with the length being reduced and the front of the helmet 'split' to enable the wearer to don the helmet more easily. It retains the adjustable buckled forehead straps and both press-studded earflaps and cylindrical padded leather wind deflectors. The helmet is lined with soft chamois leather in the crown and fur elsewhere. Condition is reasonably good. The chromed leather remains good and supple but does have some rubbing and wear to the surface that has resulted in minor 'lifting' in places. There is also abrasion on the edge seams and both the main buckled strap and leather covered buckle are quite worn. It would probably respond well to a light leather dressing but we have elected to leave this decision to the buyer. Surprisingly the chamois lining is remarkably clean and undamaged and the fur is generally very good bar a couple of small 'bald' patches. No markings. A nice example of a Royal Flying Corps helmet. It is interesting to note that the later RFC/RAF MK.1 helmet seems to have copied the most popular modified cowl helmets like this one. Further photographs are available on request. Stock code H21956.