British RFC standard leather helmet Mk I.
The Mk I was introduced in 1917 and was the first British flying helmet to be given an official designation. Produced by various manufacturers for the Royal Flying Corps, which became the Royal Air Force by 1st April 1918, and the Royal Naval Air Service, these helmets were frequently sold by the same manufacturers through their retail outlets. Although following a certain standard pattern, such privately purchased specimen would often have minor modifications and improvements, resulting in a vast variety, with slight differences.
Production of this helmet eventually ceased in 1924.
This helmet is constructed of chestnut brown chrome leather with a half fur, half chamois lining. The ear flaps are fitted with the typical cylindrical ear pads and can be adjusted to accommodate Gosport tubes for pilot/observer or instructor/student communication. In the closed position the ear flaps, which are perforated with eight small holes on each side for better aeration ad hearing, are fixed by three stud fasteners.