Original U.S. Vietnam War Helicopter Pilot Gentex AFH-1 Helmet - Unissued Condition

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a Vietnam War era United States Helicopter Flight Helmet type AFH-1 Helmet which was most likely manufactured by Sierra Engineering Company in size medium. The helmet is in overall excellent condition with the liner, headset, boom mic, and clear visor. Note that the helmet’s cord is still wrapped around a cardboard tube, just as it left the factory in the 1960s! This helmet does show some signs of light wear from general handling and storage over the last 50+ years. It is, however, an exceptional example of a rare helmet!
The US Army introduced their first flying helmet, the APH-5A or APH-5 Quartermaster helmet in 1959. It was an adapted version of the US Navy Aircrew Protective Helmet no. 5 (APH-5). The change was mainly in the communications system as the US Army used the same impedance standard as the US Air Force. With the introduction of the APH-5A the number of head injuries incurred during US Army aircraft accidents was reduced by half compared to the number of head injuries incurred before helmets were used.
The early examples of the APH-5A had the same thick foam rubber edge roll as the US Navy APH-5 and usually came in white color. Later examples had thin black rubber edge beading and usually came in olive drab color.

The AFH-1 Flyers Helmet was developed by Natick Labs in response to the need for a helmet that offered greater ballistic protection than the APH-5. Rather than laminated glass fabric, the AFH-1 had a laminated ballistic nylon fabric shell that provided increased fragmentation protection. The shell was also lined with an expanded polystyrene plastic, which in combination with the ballistic nylon produced significantly improved crash protection. The helmet was equipped with a retractable shatter resistant visor, communications equipment and could accommodate an oxygen mask if required.1
The AFH-1 was adopted for Army use in 1965 and standardized as MIL-H-43388 in February 1966. Initially it was only produced in small and medium sizes, but 7000 large sized helmets were procured by Natick and shipped to Vietnam in August 1968.
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