RAF Aircraft Blind Flying Hood
This one is a first for the team at Oldnautibits HQ! This item came in with a number of other aviation related pieces we are currently listing, recovered from the garage of a retired Tiger Moth pilot. Whilst initially thinking this was the hood from an ancient MG, a little bit of online research confirmed it is in fact an RAF blind flying training hood, probably dating to the 1930's. We have found photographs of similar being fitted to the rear cockpits of trainers such as the DH82 Tiger Moth and the RAF Miles Magister. When the hood is opened up it enabled the instructor to simulate conditions of zero visibility for the fledgling pilot the back seat, whilst the instructor, in the front cockpit keeps his eyes peeled to check the accuracy of the flying and to keep a look-out for other aircraft! The metal frame of this hood retains much of its original green paint and despite some rust appears to be in sound condition. The canvas and leather of the hood cover itself is in very poor condition but sufficient remains we believe to provide a decent pattern for a replacement hood to be constructed. Alternatively it may be possible to carry out sympathetic repairs or it could be left in 'as found ' condition, to display how basic flight training was carried out in the 1930's, when it was very much 'seat of the pants' stuff! Interestingly this hood has two blackened triangular windows that we have not seen on any period photographs. We speculate these may have been to allow minimal light into the blackout conditions within the cockpit, to aid reading of the basic set of panel instruments whilst preventing the trainee having a crafty visual to see how he was making out! The rear of the hood has 'lift the dot' fasteners to attach securely to the rear of the cockpit frame while the front would have been secured by straps An interesting training aid from a bygone age!