C-TYPE, SECOND PATTERN
Type C, second pattern, leather flying helmet
Stores Ref. No. 22C/877-880
The second pattern Type C helmet arrived in 1944 and was now internally wired, i.e. the earphones and wiring were already installed. Consisting of a bell plug with a braided flex which entered the helmet at the rear, the wiring then divided into two pairs of leads passing between the leather shell and the chamois lining, eventually emerging on each side of the helmet to be connected with the earphones. A third internal lead finished in a sewn-on bakelit electrical socket on the left side to be connected to the oxygen mask's microphone.
The former leather chin strap was replaced by an elastic webbing strap secured by a snap fastener on the right side.
While constantly evolving during its production, the Type C saw several variations and intermediate versions with different combinations of oxygen mask attachment hooks (fixed to the helmet by means of nuts and bolts), goggle straps, earphone wiring and chinstraps.
As production went on well after WWII, it is important to note that postwar Type C helmets had a slightly shallower brow cut and the (now external) earphone cords were anchored by means of extra two short leather straps.
Mk VIII flying goggles
Stores Ref. No. 22C/930
When being introduced to A.M. supply lists in April 1943, the Mk VIII represented the top of goggle design, combining lightweight construction, wearing comfort, easily to be installed replacement parts and longetivity. From 1944, when it became RAF standard issue, it remained in RAF inventory for over 25 years, proving extremely popular not only among RAF aircrew.
The brass frames were painted dull grey to reduce reflection, were fitted with replaceable laminated safety lenses, clear or tinted, and featured efficient soft leather padding. The adjustable goggle strap was made of elasticized fabric and included two leather pull tabs.
Type G oxygen mask
Stores Ref. No. 6D/643-645 (sizes L / M / S)
When the Type G mask was eventually issued in adequate quantities from April 1943, it had been under development for almost exactly two years, and then remained in production until the end of WWII.
Studies about the causes and effects of oxygen starvation, tests of raw materials and developments in rubber technology had accompanied this interim time.
The new mask was welcomed by British aircrew as it was well designed, comfortable, effective and with increased longetivity thanks to improved materials like the blended and cured rubber of the mask body.
The latter was lined with suede and featured a shapable copper wire across the nose to guarantee an adequate and secure facial seal. Oxygen entered the mask via the corrugated Mk IV breathing tube (6D/528 attached by screwing onto a threaded connection, thus allowed easy replacement or removal) and molded tubular cheek channels. The expiratory valve was mounted above the inlet junction while the anti-suffocation valve can be found on the left.
The Type 48 microphone assembly designed for internally wired helmets contained a Type 26 speaker unit and was directly connected by means of a double-prong female socket Type 453.