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H-5  "KNORRLI"

 

This H-5 had the shell painted matt black, with the rear side sporting a painted “Knorrli”, the popular mascot of a well-known food and beverage producer.

 

Instead of the usual soup ladle, Knorrli holds an unguided Oerlikon 8 cm (8 cm Flz Rak Oe) rocket.

 

Those rockets, used on De Havilland DH-112 Venom and Hawker Hunter Mk.58, were available in two versions, fitted with anti-tank hollow charge or fragmentation warhead.  

       

 

For more information on the H-5 please click HERE

A note regarding the color of the helmet that has been part of our collection for some time. In fact, the black livery had appeared "strange" right from the start, being the one least suitable for a flight helmet.  

 

As early as 1959, all helmets in service with the Swiss AF, originally painted gold as the USN standard at the time, were painted white to improve the ability to reflect sunlight and consequently help decrease the temperature to which the pilot was subjected.

It could hardly have been a personal choice, for the above reasons. The explanation is probably to be found in the picture below, the helmet had been painted black to avoid reflections on the canopy during filming. it would appear that the visor slide has also been painted black.

In the photo, taken during the filming of the 1979 movie "Tigris Helveticus", the camera operator is wearing, in addition to a similar black helmet, a jacket (?) of the same color and a "black shell" MBU-5.  The latter configuration is also peculiar, as the comm system of the H-5 should not be compatible with that of the F-5.


We did some checks with an MQ-1A tester connected to an H-5 /MBU-5 combo, both individually functional, in fact the system does not work. Consequently, the helmet comm harness (at least for the specific mission) was also probably modified.

Given the geometry of the H-5/ MBU-5 combination, the mask' harness is at its lenght limit, as is the comm cable that does not reach the helmet comm connector. Lacking documentation on this, for the pictures we included an adapter we had and did not know the purpose of - It would seem appropriate.    

H5 WEISS.JPG
TIGRIS HELVETICUS 1979.JPG

Picture taken from the book “Ready to fight” (Neuenschwander, AERO Publications GmbH, 2023, published by kind permission of the author.

DSC_1164.JPG
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