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RAF Mk.7 immersion suit blouse c.1966


Code: S24597

'Immersion Suit, Mk.7, Blouse.'  A Special Production of P. Frankenstein (Manchester) Ltd. Victoria Rubber Works, Manchester.  Stores reference 22c/1672 (blouse)  Size 2 (5'7" - 5'9"), dated 10/66.  This is the upper half of the ultra rare early two-piece aircrew immersion flying suit comprised of a hooded blouse and high-waisted trousers with integral boots.  It was intended to give a measure of protection for up to six hours under wet/cold conditions in the event of ditching.  Manufactured in a twin layer of blue-grey ventile fabric woven from Egyptian cotton.  The blouse is tailored as an anorak type over-the-head smock with an integral parka hood.  It has two buttoned flapped pockets on the chest, a three-compartment pencil pocket on the left sleeve and is fitted with a silk/rayon lined neoprene rubber neck seal, rubber cuffs and 'skirt'.  The hood, including the throat tab and cowl, is designed to fold back and fasten at the back of the blouse with three press studs so that it does not interfere during normal flying.  In an emergency the hood could be adjusted to protect the head and face by the draw cord.  The cowl is fitted with a flexible wire around the front edge and could be moulded to the desired shape to further potect the face.  When worn as a suit, the lower part of the blouse buttoned over the top of the trousers.  The blouse shows use and wear.  There is light soiling and some of the rubber interlining has hardened, most obviously in the arms. Both pocket buttons, which appear to have originally been glued in place, are absent. The neck and cuff seals are torn/partially perished but the rubber skirt is complete and in very good supple condition with manufacturer's marks.  Good clear labels and with original paper batch label found in one of the pockets.  The MK.7 was the only immersion suit made using ventile cloth and all subsequent suits were also of one-piece construction. These very rarely turn up and the ones that do invariably have gone rock hard, are dirty, damaged, have hoods missing/removed etc.  This is a good example.    Stock code S23656.