Aeronautical Headgear German
Price = n/a
Luftwaffe LKpN 101 Netzkopfhaube Flying Helmet
This pattern is known as the net or mesh flying helmet and is normally associated with German fighter pilots in WWII. Whilst its date of introduction to service remains hazy photographs exist of it in use during the Battle of Britain so it was certainly in service in 1940, if not before. Designed to be lightweight and cool in wear it was manufactured without a chin strap, with the oxygen mask utilised to secure in place. Two main versions of this helmet were produced and it is believed the earlier variant had provision for a two point oxygen mask but with a slightly different and possibly later pattern that had provision for a three point mask; confusingly but both carried the same nomenclature LKpN 101.
Our example is the two point version and finished in dark brown netting and matching leather trim. The mesh is a potentially weak point on this pattern but on this one it is in exceptional condition, with no issues to mention. The communication 'T' carrier is also a potential weak spot but again this one is excellent. The rear goggle straps are in place, fitted with Prym snaps. This is a fully wired helmet with the less usual long communication cord fitted with a 4 point plug marked Ln27868. This is unusual as it has been customised with yellow paint, we assume to aid the wearer to connect to the female side the correct way around. Two Siemens-Halske electro-magnetic throat microphones marked Mi 4b Ln 26779-2 are attached to a leather and chamois lined neck strap, secured with one press-stud fastener.
Inside all is as it should be. The earphone cups contain the original Perspex covers stamped Ln 26602 and unusually are in undamaged original condition. These are surrounded by a fleece lining that shows evidence of very light service wear. The central suede bar carries a fine woven label ; a near identical example is shown in Mick Prodger's excellent 'Luftwaffe V RAF' flight clothing book top right of page 27. Ours is marked 'Netzkopfhaube' followed by Gr. (size) but the ink stamp is now faded but looks like 59. Below this is Baumuster (Model type) LkpN101, Great nr. T124-452. A.2, Werk Nr. -/Ko, And. Z. Ln 26670 and finally Hersteller with the ordnance code of "hdc". This confirms the helmet was made by the firm of Luftfahrtgeraetewerk Hakenfelde GmbH, Berlin-Spandau.
We really can't add much more other than yet again this one ticks all the boxes and one of the most sought after Luftwaffe flying helmets. The specification of this example, finished in dark brown net and leather with a 2 point mask arrangement and long comms cord is the one considered the true "Battle of Britain" model, based on photographic evidence. I suspect we will wait a long time to find another to match this specification and condition.