IJAAF WINTER HELMET
IJAAF winter leather flying helmet
This winter flying helmet is somewhat of a mystery, as it combines features from both army and naval aviator flying helmets. Any help or input by our visitors in collecting more information would be highly appreciated.
We classed it as a late IJAAF helmet mainly for the following reasons:
- stitched size marking, indicating a large size helmet, on the left side above the chin strap
- chin strap with double ring buckles
- lack of bill
- lack of sewn on name tag
On the other hand, the basic construction consists of six triangular segments in a pin-wheel pattern which is typical for naval aviation helmets There is also a complete lack of insignia to indicate the branch of service. The only marking present is a very fainted and unfortunately illegible ink stamp inside the helmet.
The lining consists of two types of rabbit fur, combined with a lozenge-quilted lining on top, fixed to the inner shell by a cloth mesh stitched to a soft insulating material.
The outer shell is made of dark brown leather, including a leather chin strap, double ring buckles, a reinforcement strap of leather encompassing the helmet at the height of the brim, and top hinged earflaps snapped down horizontally by means of three stud fasteners each. The latter would allow Gosport tubes or electrical earphones to be inserted for communication.
Noteworthy is the lack of goggle retaining straps and any type of tightening strap.
Elliptical lense goggles
Deviating from the standard issue “cat’s eye” shaped goggles, this variant appeared only late in the war. It consists of felt lined eye cushions stitched to black painted alloy frames, the latter featuring small aeriation vents at the top and bottom, with simple curved elliptical lenses. The aggravating lack of raw material resulted in the strap being a simple elastic and the fittings being made of plastic instead of leather.
This type of goggles normally appears in publications as IJNAF issue. But as equipment was often also available for private purchase and/or was used by both army and naval air services, we present this specimen here until we'll stand corrected by new evidence.
The complete lack of markings or embossments prevents us from identifying the manufacturer.