French Airaile Flying Helmet c.1940s
By E. Gueneau & Cie of Paris. French 'Casque Type 15' Airaile pattern flying helmet from the immediate post WW2 period. The helmet is almost identical to the pre-war/WW2 Type 11. It is made from a hard cork shell covered in chromed leather and has soft padded leather flaps extending below this to house Gosport tubes or radio receivers. This extremely rare example is fitted with RAF type chamois 'donut' earpieces to increase comfort and press studs at the face opening to facilitate the use of an oxygen mask. Lacing within the crown of the helmet and to the rear provides minor size/comfort adjustment. Press studded goggle straps are also provided at the rear of the helmet - one male press stud section is missing (see photo). The main shell is in good condition but does have some 'bruising' and surface wear and a small section of seam has split (see photos). The leather flaps are very good and supple, again with some wear on exposed parts. Wear and abrasion on the leather chinstrap. Labelled within the crown. These were used externally wired with receivers along with RAF and USAAF/USAF oxygen masks, MK.VIII goggles etc. Although somewhat outdated these helmets were used during the late 1940s and early 1950s in aircraft such as the Vampire. A lovely and scarce helmet. Stock code H21001.