RAF B Type Flying Helmet
The standard flying helmet of the RAF in the early part of WW11 including the Battle of Britain the pattern was first issued in 1935 and remained current until replaced by the C type in late 1941. This example is in virtually un issued condition and other than a small amount of paint run on the oxygen mask snaps is mint. Often overlooked by collectors this helmet is without the characteristic domed receiver cups but is actually how it would have been issued with the receiver cups (stores reference 22C/66) being fitted by the station tailor to suit the wearers head requirements. That being said B helmets were also used in this configuration for training purposes when communications were not required. The leather shell is still soft and all the seams are tight. The chin and back adjuster straps are finished in an unusual burgundy leather; the chin strap chrome tip is still in place. The Bennett buckles are perfect with no damage to the leather coverings. Inside the condition is mint. The helmet has a makers label in the crown indicating the helmet is a size 1 (6 1/2-6 3/4) and as well as a kings Crown and A.M. It also carries stores reference nos 22C/65 and was made by Frank Bryan Ltd of London and Worcester. The helmet is dated 1939; later production examples omitted the manufacturers details and location as this would provide unwelcome attention from the Luftwaffe! The lining is also ink stamped B2 as well as a further AM and Kings Crown The velvet brow and strap linings are again mint. Whilst the variant with the classic bulbous receiver cups gets all the glory serious collections should also feature this variant and this one certainly satisfies the maxim ‘buy the best example you can afford’!