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NETZFUNKHAUBE PA-542

 

Swiss net summer helmet, wired

The exact origins of the Swiss Netzfunkhaube unfortunately are still somewhat obscure. If they were initially patterned after specimen officially imported from Germany (with the arrival of the Messerschmitt Bf 109G in 1944 ?), or based on "donated" helmets from interned Luftwaffe pilots, remains a mystery.

In any case, the Swiss started to manufacture their own version of the German Netzkopfhaube (net or mesh helmet) under the designation Netzfunkhaube PA-542 (mesh radio helmet). It came in the sizes 55 to 60, indicated by the suffix of the PA number, e.g. PA-542-58. It was officially designed to be used as a summer helmet in Morane fighters. While being very similar in construction and appearance, the main difference between the German and Swiss versions lie in their earpiece padding, respectively insulation, and the 6-pole plug replacing the 4-pole German Brechkupplung. Pictures show Swiss pilots with this type of flying helmet mostly in Morane D-3801/02/03 and K+W C-3604 aircraft. 

Photographic evidence indicates the existence of several variations of the helmet. While the adjustable top hook for 3-strap oxygen masks resembles the German original, simple square wire loops below the ear covers provide lateral attachment points for the Huggenberger mask.

The specimen on the official photograph to the left (shown in combination with a T-30 throat microphone) features the classic hook used for American and British oxygen masks. One might safely assume that snap fasteners are present on the opposite side.

                                                                                                                                                                bcn2024-04-09

 

  

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