Original U.S. Cold War Era Strategic Air Command HGU-55/P Flight Helmet - Modified for Rotary Wing Aircraft

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a unique HBU-55/P flight helmet. Unique in the sense that it was modified to be used on rotary aircraft instead of the fixed wing jet aircraft we see these types of helmets associated with.

The helmet is worn just like a regular flight helmet when the goggles (not included) are not in use. The housing on the top has both dark and clear visors. The oxygen mask would complete the set. Although being a standard MBU-12/P, the mask also has the electric/ground plug for the nuclear goggles. The EEU-2/P nuclear flash goggles (not included), when electrified from the aircraft system, the lenses are clear, allowing the pilot to see unrestricted. In less than a nanosecond, the goggle lenses change to the darkness of a welder's mask. Shielding the wearer from the dangerous nuclear flash.

The nuclear age ushered in the need for pilots to have eye protection strong enough to shield the eyes from a nuclear flash, while at the same time giving him clear vision up until the point of impact.

The SAC uses a standard HGU-55/P flight helmet. They then attach a HGU-26/P visor assembly (PRU-36/P) and on it goes a little piece called the "W" bracket, shown in the pictures. The "W" bracket is what charges the EEU-2/P goggles with electricity. A wire runs from the "W" bracket under the visor cover, into the helmet and out the communications hole.

Unfortunately this is just the helmet, no oxygen mask or nuclear goggles are available. This is perfect if you have the other items to complete the set! This helmet was modified after its initial use with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and consists of just a chin strap and boom mic. The original holes and outlines are still visible for the quick release and attachment method for the oxygen mask.

The helmet is in lovely condition and appears to be complete with its modified components!

Comes ready for research and display!

Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense (DoD) Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command (MAJCOM), responsible for Cold War command and control of two of the three components of the U.S. military's strategic nuclear strike forces, the so-called "nuclear triad", with SAC having control of land-based strategic bomber aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs (the third leg of the triad being submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) of the U.S. Navy).

SAC also operated all strategic reconnaissance aircraft, all strategic airborne command post aircraft, and all USAF aerial refueling aircraft, to include those in the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and Air National Guard (ANG).

However, SAC did not operate the KB-50, WB-50 and WB-47 weather reconnaissance aircraft operated through the mid and late 1960's by the Air Weather Service, nor did SAC operate the HC-130 or MC-130 operations aircraft capable of aerial refueling helicopters that were assigned to Tactical Air Command (TAC), then Military Airlift Command (MAC), and from 1990 onward, those MC-130 aircraft operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), or any AFRES (now Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC)) or ANG tactical aerial refueling aircraft (e.g., HC-130, MC-130) operationally gained by TAC, MAC or AFSOC.

SAC primarily consisted of the Second Air Force (2AF), Eighth Air Force (8AF) and the Fifteenth Air Force (15AF), while SAC headquarters (HQ SAC) included Directorates for Operations & Plans, Intelligence, Command & Control, Maintenance, Training, Communications, and Personnel. At a lower echelon, SAC headquarters divisions included Aircraft Engineering, Missile Concept, and Strategic Communications.

In 1992, as part of an overall post-Cold War reorganization of the U.S. Air Force, SAC was disestablished as both a Specified Command and as a MAJCOM, and its personnel and equipment redistributed among the Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), and Air Education and Training Command (AETC), while SAC's central headquarters complex at Offutt AFB, Nebraska was concurrently transferred to the newly created United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), which was established as a joint Unified Combatant Command to replace SAC's Specified Command role.

In 2009, SAC's previous USAF MAJCOM role was reactivated and redesignated as the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), with AFGSC eventually acquiring claimancy and control of all USAF bomber aircraft and the USAF strategic ICBM force.

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