Regia Aeronautica Siemens winter leather helmet
In the late 1930’s Siemens Italy produced a wired flying helmet for the Regia Aeronautica. With the introduction of radio-equipped aircraft, a reliable flying helmet featuring integrated equipment for two-way communication was duly needed.
Siemens Italy designed a model which is in many ways almost identical to its German cousin, the Siemens LKH W. Basic construction of five leather segments, oval shaped metal earphone covers, overlapping interacting double chinstraps buckling on both sides and a modular wiring consisting of ear receivers and throat microphones.
This specimen is made of chestnut brown leather and lined with lamb wool, while the metal ear covers are painted gloss black.
A rubber cord would lead from the earphones through a leather sock at the back and end into a FEME release socket (cord and socket are unfortunately missing on this specimen). The oval shaped electromagnetic laryngophones manufactured by Microtecnica in Turin are sewn into a system of detachable leather straps which are internally wired and can be connected to the helmet by means of three connector studs located in a small pocket at the helmet’s rear brim . The leather straps can be adjusted to the wearer’s throat by two further stud fasteners in front between the microphones.
The most distinguishing feature of the Italian Siemens helmet is the single, adjustable goggle strap retainer at the back. It is fixed by a snap fastener at the top, leads down to the back through two leather retaining tabs and finally loops up again to snap yet onto another stud. The same arrangement can be found on early production SAFAR APP 8035 winter helmets.
These goggles are unmarked and are very similar to the ubiquitous Ratti Protector. While frames, lenses and rubber cushions are almost identical, the nose bridge is adjustable by means of a single retaining screw.