View Full Version : Flying Helmets?

10-10-2010, 04:37 AM
OK a bit of a silly question but I'm curious about this.

What's the main purpose of the (WWII) flying helmet?

Are they really for protection? They don't look like they offer much protection, in fact the name 'helmet' appears to be almost a misnomer.

Are they for warmth? Well if that is the case then what about the summer mesh versions like the German LKpN 101 (see link below) etc. Although at high altitude I'm sure it doesn't matter if it's summer or not it'll be bloody freezing up there.



To me it purely seems to be a system to attach the oxygen mask, microphone and the headphones to. Its purpose in terms of protection or warmth looks rather minor to me.

10-10-2010, 04:44 AM
As far as I'm aware, you're right. It's simply a way of combining headphones mike and mask.

10-10-2010, 04:49 AM
There were countless helmet designs often based upon what was being done and aircraft types. Though many were simply leather or cloth shells used as attachment points, and others lined for warmth...There were still others which were also designed for protection (though more so from a pilot/gunner's head bumping to the top or sides), none I know of past U.S. bomber crews uesd for protection (and those mainly from impact to the aircraft or flak).....and finally those actually pressurized like this Japanese example.



10-10-2010, 10:49 AM
just happened to stumble into this site a few days ago

http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/pic/pudding_levier_01.jpg http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/pic/early02.jpg http://www.best-of-flightgear.dk/pic/football_71fs_01.jpg


10-10-2010, 11:08 AM
I think it would provide some protection against hitting your head against something in the cockpit. It would also provide protection from flying debris if shrapnel flies around the cockpit.

10-10-2010, 12:57 PM
Come on guys, wake up to the other thing you're looking to protect your head from along with debris and lumpy things .. .. .. .. yup, that's it! FIRE!

When the fire starts getting into the cockpit and you're desperately struggling to get the canopy open it's probably going to be a tad easier if you're not having to contend with blazing hair and burning ears asa well as everything else.


10-10-2010, 04:46 PM
A lot of people flew with open cockpit back then. In fact many aircraft were only open cockpit.

Good website on flying helmets goggles and masks here:




10-11-2010, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Tooz_69GIAP:
As far as I'm aware, you're right. It's simply a way of combining headphones mike and mask.


And they also protect the pilots head in open cockpit aircraft against the weather conditions and in case of a bailout. In the last case it should be noted that the goggles were safetly fixed on the helmet and during a high altitude jump the pilots used a bailout bottle which means that as both were fixed on the helmet it was still necessary to use it.