MA-2

  

Introduced in 1956, the MA-2 high altitude partial pressure helmet was a K-1 derivative, with the following modifications implemented:

High pressure, small diameter, reinforced oxygen hose;

Longer neck skirt with additional suit connection snaps;

Improved microphone;

Improved defogging system;

Outer single piece fiberglass shell painted white in order to increase heat reflection.

The face piece was fitted with a “feed port” which allowed the pilot to eat or drink in flight, utilizing special tube food.

The MA-2 was in use, between others, on F-104's, B-58's and U-2's.

 

THE MA-2 AND THE SWISS AIR FORCE

Starting in 1956, different combat aircraft were tested in search of a replacement for the DH Vampire. With the Russian invasion of Hungary, the Cold War was at its peak. The commander of the Swiss  air and anti-aircraft   forces, Div. (Divisionär) Etienne Primault, had personnally witnessed the completely inadequate combat aircraft equipment of the Swiss Fliegertruppe at the outbreak of the war in 1939. In the actual threatening situation, he wanted the best material for his Air Force. After the Swiss fighter bomber P-16 project cancellation, despite strengthened in 1958 with one hundred British Hawker Hunter fighters, the AF nevertheless needed a real high-performance aircraft. In 1959, the aircraft procurement working group presented its report about the trials carried out during 1958/59. The Swedish Saab J-35 Draken, the American Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and Grumman F-11-1F Super Tiger, the French Dassault Mirage III and the Italian Fiat G-91 were tested by the general staff officers Col i Gst Willy Frei and Maj i Gst Arthur Moll.

For an F-104 test flight, which took place in Palmdale CA, Maj Moll was provided with a MC-4 partial pressure suit with MA-2 helmet.