Original Soviet Union WWII Era Mid 1930s Soviet Air Forces Leather Flight Helmet
Original Item: Only One Available. 1930s Soviet aviation also had a particular impact on the USSR's military failures in the beginning of World War II. By 1938, the Soviet Union had the largest air force in the world, but Soviet aeronautical design distinctly lagged behind Western technological advances. Instead of focusing on developing tactical aircraft, the Soviets engineers developed heavy bomber planes only good for long distance—in other words, planes that would be used for record-breaking flights like those of Chkalov's. The Soviet government's focus on showy stunts and phenomenal record-breaking missions drained resources needed for Soviet defense. When NSDAP Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, it quickly became apparent that the Soviet Air Force was not prepared for war. Poor planning and lack of organization left planes sitting at airbases, allowing the Luftwaffe to destroy 4,000 Soviet planes within the first week. The disorganized Soviet defenses and technologically deficient aircraft were no match for the Luftwaffe.
This is a very nice Pre WWII Soviet Air Force Flight helmet, which looks to be a relatively early pattern, held over from the pre-war years. It has a brown fur liner, with what looks to be a shearling wool. It has a strap on either side to help give a tight fit around the head, with a chin strap to further secure it.
There are ear flaps on either side, to protect the ears in the cold, but these also could be unsnapped to allow the wearer to equip headphones. These also may be to hold the earphones in place. Size seems to be about a 57-58cm (7 1/8-7 1/4in), though the leather may have shrunk slightly over the years.
Condition is very good, with the expected wear from age and use. The leather is mostly supple, with some wear around the fittings and buckles. The snaps for the ear flaps are still solid though we made no attempts to unsnap them. The chin strap is still intact, with a functional buckle.
A lovely example ready for further research and display.
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