ID number REL/17907.001
Title Type E Flying Helmet : Royal Air Force
Collection Heraldry
Object type Helmet
Maker Air Ministry
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1944-1954
Physical description
  • Bakelite
  • Chamois
  • Cotton 'Aertex'
  • Elastic
  • Leather
  • Metal
  • Rubber
On display Main building: Korea, Malaya & Indonesia Gallery: Upper Level


Beige cotton 'Aertex' Type 'E' lightweight internally wired flying helmet. The helmet has a grey elastic chin strap and black rubber cups protecting the external radio receivers. The receivers are marked with a white paint stencil '10A/12401'. On the left hand side below the rubber earpiece is a sewn-in plug connector for the oxygen mask microphone. At the rear of the helmet is a single buckle strap and four brown leather snap fastening tabs to secure the flying goggle straps and the wiring loom cables. Internally, the helmet has chamois ear pads to reduce external noise, and is marked with a black stamp reading 'SIZE 3 1/8 TO 7 3/8'. The loom wires emerge from the rear of the helmet and combine to form a 1.8 m insulated cable which ends in a large black bakelite plug.


The Type 'E' lightweight internally wired Flying Helmet was used by RAF and RAAF aircrew circa 1940s-1950s. Cut from the same pattern as the standard Type 'C' leather helmet, the Type 'E' was made of cotton 'Aertex' fabric which made it lighter and more comfortable for extended wear. The first versions were unwired, but this model, with an internal wiring loom for radio receivers and a built-in microphone plug connector on the left hand side, superceded the earlier varieties in 1944. Originally intended for the use of Coastal Command crews, it was also adopted by many fighter pilots, and remained in service until the introduction of protective 'Bone Dome' crash helmets in the early 1950s. RAAF aircrew used these helmets extensively in the SW Pacific area during the Second World War, and in Korea.