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Aviation Collectables & Aviation Clothing - Stock Archive - Page 1

These are some of the SOLD items that have been listed on our website

There are a maximum of 20 items on each page - they are not listed in any particular order. As time goes by we will continue to add to this archive, so, hopefully it will become quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, try using the Search box below - this will search the entire stock database for any keyword(s) you enter.

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Reference Stock Item   Description
5239 RAF Corporal's War Service Dress Blouse and Trousers - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Corporal's War Service Dress Blouse and Trousers - First issued exclusively to aircrew in 1941 it was originally referred to as ‘Suit, Blue Grey, Aircrews ‘ but it was subsequently issued to all and became universally known as “Battledress”. This very fine example of the type is a matched suit made by Sindall Bros & Co Ltd and carries a broad arrow stamp with a label dated 1945, so it just caught the latter stages of WW11. It is in virtually unissued condition although seeing Corporal rank stripes and medal ribbon it has clearly been issued and used although sadly it is not named, so any associated history has now been lost. The Medal ribbon show the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal and War Medal (1939-45) were awarded to the original owner.

The Blouse is in fantastic condition with fine Corporal’s stripes to each arm and oblong shoulder titles above. The fabric of blouse is exceptionally clean and more or less factory fresh and no other damage or marks ; the waist band is WD and Broad arrow stamped as well as the code letter 'Z' indicating 1945 issue. The matching trousers, which carry the same makers label so have not been mismatched like many of the suits we see. They are equally clean but have a few small moth nibbles but on display these hardly notice. The field dressing pocket to the front is of the later simplified button closure type. The suit is marked size 7 with the tunic indicating suitable for height 5’ 7”-5’8”, breast 35”-36” and waist 31”. The matching trousers are marked for the same height and waist with the seat marked as 36”-37” and leg measurement 30 ½”.

Despite the minor moth damage to the trousers this example is well above the average for a 1945 dated BD suit and wartime examples are becoming increasingly hard to source now in any condition. This would make the ideal example for a mannequin display but would also be strong enough to wear for re enactment purposes, if you should just happen to be of modest proportions! As with all our stock more detailed photographs are available on request.

5139 Coveralls, Mens, Cotton Drill, White - Click for the bigger picture SoldCoveralls, Mens, Cotton Drill, White - We are unsure of the origins of this suit although we have been told a small quantity were discovered in South Africa some time ago and this may be from that source. It is in the style of the pre-war RAF 'Prestige suit', popular with well heeled pilots in the early years of WW 11 including the Battle of Britain. The suit is made from white cotton with a fully buttoned front, flapped pleated chest pockets and side entry pockets at the waist. Interestingly the white buttons are removeable via split rings in the same way as original Prestige Suits and RAF Khaki Drill uniforms, to aid washing. It is fitted with a cotton waist belt with a chrome finished buckle. The suit does not carry a makers label but we would estimate it would fit a person with about a 38" chest, a 32" waist and up to 5'10" in height. We are happy to check individual measurements and like all our stock additional detail photographs are available on request.

This style of suit was also worn by racing drivers and pit mechanics and with appropriate accessories would form the basis of an outfit for a 1940’s event, re-enactment the the Goodwood Revival or dressed on a mannequin for display purposes. Original Prestige Suits are now into four figures (if you can find one!) and decent replicas are well over £100. This one is rather more modestly priced! It is in excellent condition but has clearly had light use, with the odd surface marks and minor rust stains. It could of course be washed but we have left it just as it came in as we believe, as it stands, this adds a touch of period authenticity.

Wd also have fresh in a very small selection of super qulity replica WW11 RAF bullion Squadron badge that if attached to the front breast pocket would set the suit off perfectly. Details and prices on request.

5159 Royal Naval Air Service Memorial Plaque Vermelles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Naval Air Service Memorial Plaque Vermelles - Vermelles village lies around three miles south of Cuinchyin in northern France and was a hot-spot in WW1. In “Goodbye to All That” Robert Graves describes the village as having been "taken and retaken eight times by October 1914”. When Graves was billeted there in June 1915 he records that ‘not a single house remained undamaged’, being then only ¾ of a mile from the front line. The proximity of Vermelles to the fighting resulted in casualties being buried in small clusters in the village. The War Graves Cemetery at Vermelles was begun in August 1915 and continued in operation during 1916 but from April 1917 to the Armistice, the cemetery was closed. Following the Armistice some graves were re-grouped and others were brought in from the battlefields to the East; today 2134 WW1 casualties rest at peace at Vermelles under the watchful and caring eyes of the War Graves Commission

Our plaque clearly originates from the mid war period as it features the specific dates when the cemetery at Vermelles was in active use during 1915 & 1916. To the top of the shield is a finely worked RNAS eagle and below a stone cross, possibly made from marble. The shield itself is oak and is clearly hand carved and is safe to assume this was made in theatre as a piece of trench art. Surprisingly it is not named to an individual and we can only assume it was created as a tribute by a serving member of the RNAS to his fallen colleagues buried at Vermelles. Often overlooked, the RNAS fought with distinction and valour on all fronts during WW1, pioneering many aspects of aerial warfare, winning two Victoria Crosses and leading the way in innovation and endeavour. Naval Air Squadrons flew alongside the Royal Flying Corps in combat over the trenches, making an important contribution to the Western Front air war. At its height in WW1, the RNAS had 55,000 personnel, 3000 aircraft and 103 airships operating in theatre.

Royal Naval Air Service memorabilia hardly ever comes to market and despite it's specific origins being lost down the year this emotive memorial plaque was clearly skilfully worked by unknown hands over 100 years ago to honour fallen colleagues of the Naval Air Service. Very much a one off and not to be repeated. It retains an original hanging ring to the rear so ideal for wall display. Measures 10.25" x 8” (26cm x20.5cm)

6021 RAF Aircraft Propeller Tip - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Aircraft Propeller Tip - Small but beautifully formed! Painted in the classic wartime colours of RAF aircraft of matt black with a yellow tip this example has clearly been cut from a damaged propeller and taken as a souvenir. Sadly the provenance associated with it has been lost down the years but seems highly likely to date back to WW11. The prop was constructed from layers of wood, glued together, while being compressed to about half their original thickness, before being shaped. Some had the wood encased in a sheath of fine mesh, and all had their leading edges covered by a thin sheath of brass. The whole lot was then covered in a semi-matt black plastic, by makers Rayoid, Rotaloid, or Schwartz. This example is of modest size measuring 7 ¼” x 6” (19cm x 15cm) and would sit comfortably in an RAF associated collection…and significantly cheaper to buy and post than the non-truncated examples we see from time to time!
6676 RNAS WW1 Flying Filter Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRNAS WW1 Flying Filter Goggles - Probably the scarcest pattern of WW1 flying goggles and so few have survived that most museums do not have a set on display and the only other example we have been able to find is part of the Yale Peabody Museum collection in the US. When Mick Prodger published his classic reference work ‘Vintage Fling Helmets’ he was unable to source a set for inclusion although he has since owned a single pair. It is understood they were experimental when first issued to Royal Naval Air Service pilots in1917. Each set was contained within a custom made wooden case that held 16 coloured lenses (or officially designated “light filters”) that were intended to assist with locating and spotting enemy ships and submarines from the air under different conditions. Some were for looking through haze, whilst others were for spotting oil on the surface of the water, or again for locating shadows under the water or even enemy gun flashed over the trenches. The set was completed when issued with an instruction manual giving directions for use and even an address for pilots to write to with their observations as to how these worked in practice!

This superb example is complete and despite being over 100 years old appears to be in unissued condition. It was discovered in a building close to Kalafrana on the southernmost tip of Malta which was a seaplane base between 1917 and 1946, when it was transferred to the Royal Navy. In WW11 RAF Kalafrana was home to 228 Squadron flying Sunderland’s and remained in use until the 1960’s. Clearly these are the flying goggles that time forgot, until recently re discovered. The booklet shows some insect damage to the cover and the staples are rusted but is still readable and indicates a print date of June 1918. The box is sound and as well as the filters currently fitted to the goggles it comes with a further 6 filters thus making up the full set; each pair of filters is numbered and whilst showing some age fading but are undamaged. The goggles themselves are virtually mint and the tan leather is still soft and pliable; the cloth bound edge is fur lined and remains pristine, as are the face pads. The fabric backstrap is complete but has lost its elasticity over the last 100 years and now needs to be handled carefully. The strap is marked in pencil with a ‘K’ and the metal clip and adjustment clip are rust free.

This set is undoubtedly a museum quality item and if you happened to be a Museum curator or a private collector you will need to move fast to secure them for your collection.

3152 RAF War Service Dress named to Sgt Anholm - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF War Service Dress named to Sgt Anholm - Here we list here a matched RAF Battledress blouse and trousers named to the same Sergeant. Sadly we have no history on him other than he clearly served in WW11 but without clues like his initials or service number tracking him down could prove a bridge too far. Both the blouse and trousers have good clear labels with the blouse made by Montague Burton Leeds in 1945 whilst the trousers are by John Hammond & Co (1922) Ltd and are dated 1944 and over stamped June 1944. The blouse carries standard rectangular RAF Other Ranks shoulder titles. Below is clear evidence where Sgt Anholm’s stripes have been removed as is often the case when uniforms are sold on by the family. It would be nice to have the blouse rebadged but we will leave this to the new owner. The condition of the cloth is way above the average for an original wartime set with just a couple of very small moth nibbles to the back panel but on display these are virtually invisible. All buttons and buckles are present and correct.

The matching trousers are like the tunic, very clean and fresh and despite being made 75 years ago just a couple of moth nibbles that on display do not really detract. The field dressing pocket is of the later button closed type as opposed to the early War flap version. Clearly Sgt Anholm was not a large man with the tunic being as size 2 (Height 5’ 2”-5’ 4”, Breast 34”-35” and Waist 31”). The trousers are a size 1 to fit a Waist 29” and Leg 28½”. So despite its modest size this matched set could form the ideal basis of an RAF Flight Sergeant mannequin or just as a display item in your collection. As with all our stock more detailed photographs are available on request. Genuine matched and named wartime RAF Battledress are becoming increasingly hard to find so grab this opportunity, on offer at a competitive price, whilst you can!

2492 Private Purchase Flying Helmet - Click for the bigger picture SoldPrivate Purchase Flying Helmet - An original period flying or motoring helmet that probably dates from the 1920’s and was purchased by us from a retired Tiger Moth pilot who last used it in the 1980’s. Constructed in soft tan leather it remains in remarkably good condition with no issues to report and just the odd mark or stain that adds to the vintage patination. The helmet has triangular cut outs for the ears with wind deflection scoops mounted in a rear facing position. The brow of the helmet carries a small peak.

Inside is lined in tan cloth and is again in excellent original condition. It carries no makers label so we are unable to ascertain who made this one but it is typical of private purchase flying or motoring helmets of the early post war period and used into the 1930's. The chin strap and buckle remain sound. Whilst no size is marked it is a decent size and we would guess equates to an RAF size 3 or 4 helmet and would fit a head of about 60 cm or 7 ½”. Like the other helmet we have listed today this too would be the perfect accessory for your classic car or aircraft or the finishing touch for all those vintage events you will be attending this summer!

5303 'Conyne' Pattern Aerial Kite and Tube - Click for the bigger picture Sold'Conyne' Pattern Aerial Kite and Tube - Another aerial kit we are listing today but this one is proving a bit of a mystery! When purchased it was described as ‘for use in conjunction with the Airborne Lifeboat ‘. Research online does indicates in 1943 the Air Ministry refined the antenna raising system further; they were apparently happy with the ‘Gibson Girl’ transmitter but the box kite was superseded by a Conyne design which could be rocket launched with the aid of a Very pistol. Whilst our kite looks very similar in shape and design with a lightweight white cotton sail and aluminium struts, they differed from this example as the spars were engineered with a spring system to open the kite in the air after launch. Ours whilst initially similar has to be assembled by hand so we have discounted this possibility. The issue tube is clearly marked ‘Assembly and Operation of Hand Flying Kite and Aerial’ but the detailed instructions don’t really assist with a positive identification as no RAF or other stores reference numbers are shown. Interestingly the illustration (further detailed photographs are available on request) shows a gent in a sailors cap in apparently a wooden craft. We have discussed this conundrum with Mick Prodger and whilst only a guess he wondered if it could have been issued for use by Naval or Merchant Navy lifeboats WW11? To further confuse the situation I remember as a boy in the 1950’s being given a similarly designed kite by my Father who at the time was the C/O of the Air Section of a school cadet Force and my memory tells me it was ex RAF. It could always be an Airborne lifeboat kite as described to us but a standard launch example but let’s just say the jury is still out!

Suffice to say a rather scarcer pattern than the standard RAF box kite design, as per the mint example we have listed. The condition of this one is not perfect but despite the odd repair and minor damage and some staining to the cloth it remains in remarkably good display condition. The collapsible frame is made from aluminium whilst the front pole to which the aerial would have been attached is hardwood. Interestingly this is considerably longer than the storage tube ; it may be this is not original to the kite or it was packed separately or even perhaps the transit tube has been misplaced with another. So currently we have more questions than answers but if any visitors to the site can clarify the origins of this example we would be delighted to hear from them and we can add new information to this listing. The cardboard and metal storage tube measures 30.5” (77 cm) whilst the kite measured along the main spar is 51” (130 cm)

6739 RAF K Dinghy Hand Paddles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF K Dinghy Hand Paddles - Standard issue with the fighter pilot’s K type single seat dinghy in WW11. These were designated with stores reference number 27C/1906 and were constructed from rubber stretched over a simple metal frame.

The user would insert his hands and wrist between the paddle and the elastic retaining bands and use to propel the dinghy through the water. This pair is in issued condition with some staining to one paddle as shown. Both are stamped CQD 1096/3 1 and further stamps reading R.F.D.36;‘RFD’ indicating this set was made by ‘RFD', which represents the company founder Reginald Foster Dagnall, who established the business in 1920. Despite not being in pristine this set gives the impression they have been issued and used so would add a touch of authenticity in an appropriate display and are priced to reflect their current condition.

6277 Private Purchase Goggle Mask Flying - Click for the bigger picture SoldPrivate Purchase Goggle Mask Flying - A very fine example of the private purchase pattern of similar design to the RFC Mk1 and Mk11 Ministry issue mask goggles, a set of which we have also listed today. These invariably do not carry any identifying marks so we are unable in this instance to say when or by whom they were made but interestingly an identical set is illustrated on page 136, bottom right middle photograph, of Mick Prodger’s excellent reference book ‘Vintage Flying Helmets’.

This set are in apparently unissued condition with the leather of the mask soft and supple with all the original brown finish in place. They feature tear drop frames in aluminium with hinged outer sections to facilitate lens changes. Clear lenses are fitted and are well above the average with just minor fogging to the edges. The interior is blanket lined with synthetic fur trip around the lens frames. The original cloth back strap is fitted with just minor rust to the metal adjuster slides. A very crisp example that would be impossible to improve upon and could date from WW1 through until the 1930’s.

Whist not quite a desirable as the Mk1 or 11 issue versions still a very good set and at a significantly keener price!

6794 RAF Trench Art 20 mm Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Trench Art 20 mm Shell Case Trench Art Lighter - An attractive example mounted on a turned wood base with the case then fixed to a plinth that may have been made from scrap Paxolin or similar synthetic plastic material. The Hispano-Suiza 20 MM HS-404 equipped virtually every British fighter aircraft during WW2 including later marks of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Tempest, Mosquito, Whirlwind, Beaufighter, P38 Lightning and many more. After some early teething troubles it proved to be an extremely effective weapon in both air to air and ground strafing roles.

This example is in first class condition and the cannon shell itself retains its copper band. The shell case has been sectioned and the top part is removable which then reveals a lighter mechanism fitted inside; we have bought and sold several similar examples over the years. We have not attempted to get this working and we can no longer guarantee its original purpose although it does look complete and the flint wheel still creates a good spark. Despite being completely inert to avoid any issues with customs we are restricting the sale of this item to UK destinations only. Stands 8 ½” tall including the base (22 cm)

5220 RFC Goggles Mask Flying MK11 - Click for the bigger picture SoldRFC Goggles Mask Flying MK11 - In the early days of aviation flight clothing was often adapted from civilian or motoring apparel and the practice continued into the early years of WW1. In the case of goggles many were private purchase and the mask model gave excellent face protection when used in conjunction with the RFC cowl helmet. By 1916/17 the WD started issuing an official flying goggles which were designated the Mk1, stores reference 22C/10 which were fitted with clear lenses and the Mk11, stores reference 22C/11, which were identical but featured tinted lenses. The same pattern was also sold by Triplex as a private purchase item post war and was used up until the 1930’s. Clearly the issue ones are the most desirable, scarce and as a result the most expensive to purchase today. Here we have a more or less text book example of this pattern.

The leather face mask remains supple and retains most of its original brown finish. To the left side and printed in gold leaf is the googles designation ‘Goggles mask Flying Mark 11’ so these are the tinted lens option; the lenses are without damage and are not suffering from fogging as is normally the case. The manufacturers details are also shown as being ‘The Triplex Mask & Lens Co Ltd’ followed by the all important RFC property mark of a War Department Broad Arrow and an ‘ A ’, designating the Air Branch, so no doubts this is a genuine RFC issue set. Clearly with use the gold leaf stamping invariably wears off or fades so this set is exceptional and the designation remains crisp and clear despite the 100 + years since it came out of the factory. The metal lens frame is blackened; early examples had chrome or nickel frames and the black variant was introduced to prevent glare. The classic ‘teardrop ‘ shape will be recognised in the next development of RAF goggles of the 1930’s, also confusingly referred to as Mk11 goggles, which remained in service until the Battle of Britain despite being technically superseded by the less favoured Mk111 and 111A patterns. A patent number 116597 is stamped into the frame. Inside the mask is lined with leather and fur trimming to around the lenses. The back strap is a simple adjustable elastic strap that shows some age wear and stretching but remains sound.

In summary a very fine and desirable RFC issue example that rarely turn up for sale in any condition so grab them whilst you can.

6738 RAF K Type Dinghy Hand Paddles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF K Type Dinghy Hand Paddles - Standard issue with the fighter pilot’s K type single seat dinghy in WW11. These were issued against stores reference number 27C/1906 and were constructed from rubber stretched over a simple metal frame.

The user would insert his hands and wrist between the paddle and the elastic retaining bands and use to propel the dinghy through the water. This is a good matched pair stamped with both stamped CQD 1096/3 and further stamps reading R.F.D.38 ‘RFD’ indicating this set was made by ‘RFD, which represents the company founder Reginald Foster Dagnall, who established the business in 1920. The reverse side is marked ‘35’. These are a matched pair and in excellent issued condition with just minor wear to the elastic section and age related storage marks.

6659 USAAF A-3 Parachute Harness - Click for the bigger picture SoldUSAAF A-3 Parachute Harness - Or to use its full title ‘Group 2 (Yellow) Parachute Assembly, Quick Attachable Chest, Type A-3 harness’. This pattern was developed in late 1943 and first saw operational service early in 1944. This example is a really first class replica and whilst used previously in the ownership of a re-enactor is remains in very clean original condition.

Stamped on one of the beige webbing straps, that also feature a central black fleck, is ‘Standard Parachute Corp ‘ and is dated May 1942 together with an AN acceptance stamp in a circle. The buckles and fittings are all made from cast alloy and the harness features the distinctive yellow felt coding to ensure aircrew selected the correct parachute pack from the stores. The A-3 carried the attachment hooks on the harness and the loops were on the pack but to confuse matters on the A-4 the reverse applied so the component parts were definitely not compatible! The set is completed by the correct olive drab pack pad that is nicely stamped ‘Back Pad part nos 42D2013 and ‘Date of manufacture May 1942’ and a further AN acceptance stamp. Originals of these are getting very hard to source now and this is reflected in their price. This replica provides a more economical alternative that will look good dressed on a mannequin or of course for the re-enactor looking for authenticity and it will only improve with usage.
6637 E.Vion Compass Type 112 - Click for the bigger picture SoldE.Vion Compass Type 112 - This little French compass came in in a box of assorted instruments and whilst we have never had the type here before believe it would have been fitted to the instrument panel of light aircraft such as the Fournier RF4 and RF5 & Vivat SDM and no doubt others. The data plate on the case confirms it was manufactured in November 1963 and the guarantee ran out one year later!The serial number is 3856 and it was made by E.Vion of Paris. Interestingly the front of the compass appears to be mounted upside down when compared with the compass card but that is how it came to us. The bolts to locate the rear cover are missing as is the damping oil. So we are offering this modest sized compass as a project or for spare parts and as detailed above it went out of guarantee 55 years ago! Instrument front plate measures 2.4” (6 cm)
6636 RAF Air Speed Indicator Mk 1XA - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Air Speed Indicator Mk 1XA - The Mk1XA instrument (the 'A' signifying the dial is non-luminous) entered service in the 1930'sand replaced the V series of instruments and was the first to have a bakerite case and was standard fit in most British aircraft in WW11. Numerous versions were made each with a different speed scale; in this instance the speed is marked in M.P.H. as opposed to Knots and the scale runs from 2-240 MPH. This indicates this is an early instrument as on later ones the scale commenced at 5MPH. The branch connecting tubes emerge from the back of the dial which is nicely stamped with a Kings Crown and A.M. as well as a patent number. This instrument would have been fitted to a variety of aircraft but definitely the RAF Auster 1V & V. Whilst this instrument is offered for sale as a collectors item only it does still have an RAF Returned Equipment ticket attached which indicates when last checked it was pronounced 'Serviceable' by the assessing officer. Dial bezel dimension 3.6"(9.3cm)
6638 RAF Spitfire 2 Way Ignition Magneto Switchbox - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Spitfire 2 Way Ignition Magneto Switchbox - Another item that is now becoming increasingly hard to source. This is the classic short toggle type as fitted to the Spitfire and Hurricane, as well as wide variety of RAF aircraft of the WW11 era including the Tempest and Typhoon. It should not be confused however with the long toggle type that is more associated with the heavies.

This 2-way ignition switch box, is clearly marked on the case 'SWITCHBOX 2 WAY IGNITION' and 'Ref. No. 5C/548', and is located in the pilots instrument panel and forms an integral part of for starting the Merlin Engine. It is also marked with a crisp Kings Crown and A.M. below whilst one end of the case carries and ink stamp 'MK' with a '2' below. The brass front face is clearly annotated MAGNETO no 1 and No2 with 'ON' being in the up position and 'Off' in the down ; below the 'off' is painted in STI/ELEC/8. The switch springs are perhaps not as crisp as they once were but operate perfectly well but this item is for sale as a collectable and it can not be guaranteed for its original purpose. It would of course make a perfect addition to a Spitfire or Hurricane replica instrument panel or cockpit project.

Prices on these switch boxes are going up all the time and we have seen similar currently listed at £187 and an eyewatering £285! Ours is rather more modestly priced so grab it whilst you can as we have no more once this has gone.

OC450 RAF Aircraft Blind Flying Hood - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF 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!

6632 Air Ministry Inclinometer Reference 6A/389 - Click for the bigger picture SoldAir Ministry Inclinometer Reference 6A/389 - Officially called a ' Fore-and-Aft Level, Type B' these were first described in the 1934 edition of AP1275. The type 'B' variant superseded the Type 'A' which was used on RNAS aircraft during the 1914-18 war. This updated version was significantly lighter and was used in a variety of RAF aircraft of the 1930's, including the DH82 Tiger Moth, Bristol Bulldog, Gloucester Gladiator and many more. It remained in service until the more sophisticated blind flying instruments panels were introduced which included an Artificial Horizon.

This example is in really crisp original condition with a white oblong dial graduated clearly from zero in the centre indicating flat and level flight. It then caries a scale going up to 20 degrees in a climb and 20 degrees in a dive so effectively the instrument gave a visual indication of the angle of the aircraft through the air and effectively worked in the same way as a spirit level, but in the vertical plane. The 'A' version of instrument originally contained a red dye but this was found prone to fading so was uprated with a black dye on later models. The dye is still present in this example and whilst we can't warrant its accuracy it seems to work as was intended back in the 1930's. It is made from what looks like Bakelite and is fully stamped with REF. No. 6A/389, a Kings Crown, A.M. and a serial number 145752. On the reverse of the dial is an ink manufacturers or inspectors stamp ; we are unsure who made this example but the main makers were either Short & Maison or Reid & Sigrist Ltd. The dial measures 5.5" (14 cm).These instruments are becoming increasingly difficult to find now so grab the opportunity whilst it is available. It is the first one of the kind we have had in for a considerable time and when it is gone it is gone!

4522 RAF Mk1V Flying Goggles 22C/111 - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Mk1V Flying Goggles 22C/111 - The Mk1V series of flying goggle, stores reference 22C/111, was designed specifically for use with the RAF B type flying helmet, with the large elasticated loop straps designed to encircle the bulbous zipped receiver housings. First introduced by the Air Ministry in June 1940, the concept behind the design was sound but the manufacture of them proved a nightmare! Our set are the incredibly scarce original variant and features a complicated double panel laminated glass hinged lens arrangement, with the outer lenses frame swivelling outwards. The design was further compromised as the sun filter 'flip shield' with an external coiled spring arrangement was found to be incredibly weak and invariably broke off in service.

The Mk1V were also found to be heavy in use, so with all these problems the Air Ministry specified the MK1V A of a similar deign but without the hinged windows but made of a plastic material. These however proved to be hardly any lighter and very few were made and were in turn replaced by the final variant the Mk1VB, which is the pattern that most often surfaces today. These redressed many of the issues described, were more robust, eliminated the opening window frames and had a stronger flip shield arrangements. Weight remained an issue, although the introduction of riveted guide plates to locate the goggles on the B helmet helmet, helped to an extent. The 1VB was issued in some quantity and remains the most common of the variants that turn up today.

Our example is a rare early survivor and is pretty much in text book condition. The black painted frame is excellent with just a little wear around the flip shield mount; the delicate flip shield, stores reference 22C/113 'Screens anti -glare', as previously described, is surprisingly undamaged. The lenses are above the average with just minor fogging. The leather nose cover and chamois backing are excellent, but the black rubber face pads are slightly distorted and hardened, as always seems to be the case, but this does not detract from a display point of view. The elastic loops and sprung cloth covered straps are in top condition, as is the leather back strap with good clear embossing with nice firm Kings Crown, A.M. Mk1V 22C/111 and makers details Levers Optical Co Ltd.

Not much more than we can add other than Mk1V's in any condition hardly ever appear on the market now and to find a pair in top condition as these is an exceptional opportunity that we are unlikely to be able to repeat anytime soon.

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