The SAAF Forum

SAAF helmets
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Author:  Dean [ 25 Oct 2018, 06:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Mars wrote:
But it follows nicely on to a question I had, what helmet is currently used on the PC-7MkII's and Hawks. It looks like a newer version of the 316?

It is the Elno FPH500.

Author:  mamba [ 25 Oct 2018, 09:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Dean wrote:
Sorry, I thought H1017412 meant on what types the 316 is still being used.

Pilots of the following types used the 316: Harvard, Buccaneer, Impala Mk I, Impala Mk II, PC-7 Mk II, Mirage III, Mirage F1, Cheetah C, Cheetah D, Cheetah E and Hawk.

What helmets did the Cheetah C guys use? I think I have noticed at least three types. The 316 is one. Then one that looks a bit more close fitting with bulges around the ears and a protector for the visors then a USAF ACM type one with a clear and yellow visor fastened with elastic straps and no protector. I think someone said the USAF one offered little protection in the case of ejection, but the pilots could adjust their seat up high so they kept it.

Author:  Dean [ 25 Oct 2018, 09:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

The Cheetah pilots used a number of helmet types, which I'm still researching.

Apart from the 316 (Cheetah C, D and E), the Cheetah C pilots also used a number of other local and international helmets. As mentioned, there was a USAF ACM type (still researching this one), an Israeli helmet (donated by exchange pilots) and two different versions of the South African produced Lafe helmet.

Author:  Dean [ 19 Nov 2018, 12:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Let's go back in time ...

Just collected from the Post Office my leather American A-11 helmet and B-8 goggles I purchased on UK eBay in May! As used by the early SAAF Mustang pilots in Korea (with A-14 mask).


Author:  Dean [ 07 Jan 2019, 11:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Happy New Year ... Happy with new helmet. :D

A very small Mk3A helmet in immaculate condition, as used with helicopters and light aircraft from the 1970's to the 1980's.


Author:  Dean [ 24 Jan 2019, 15:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

This is a P-1A helmet, the first type of hard helmet mass produced for standard issue to the United States Air Force. It is of the same type used by SAAF pilots (Mustang and Sabre) in Korea.

I picked this worn example at a collectable shop in Cape Town yesterday, it may have been used by a Spitfire or Sabre pilot in South Africa. :D


Author:  Dean [ 04 Mar 2019, 15:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Been wanting this combination for quite some time: Type C helmet, Mk VIII goggles and Type H mask, as used from late WWII to the 1950's.


Author:  boertjie [ 08 Mar 2019, 08:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Waoh! This WWII helmet is a great find. Are these still easy to find or are they not quire scares? :smt023

Author:  Dean [ 08 Mar 2019, 08:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Not scarce, but not common either. The bigger problem is the price some of the dealers are asking ... :shock:

Author:  Dean [ 09 May 2019, 18:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Woo hoo!

Just received today: EFA Type 21 helmet with T.21 green nylon skirt and EFA Type 30 stratospheric suit, as used for high altitude flight on the Mirage III in the 1960's and 1970's. :D \:D/



Helmet even came with the original sturdy bag and cover.

Author:  Mars [ 14 May 2019, 09:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Hi Dean

Very impressive, excellent condition.

Couple questions...

Was the white leather flying suit worn over the T.30 suit?

Is the T.30 really made out of Nylon, hope it was fire resistant?

You mention that the gear was used up until the 70's, was it ever replaced?

How did the pilots get to high altitude or were these flights stopped?

Author:  Dean [ 14 May 2019, 10:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Hi Mars

For high altitude interception missions, the following was worn:

- EFA Type 25 undergarment (for cooling)
- EFA Type 30 stratospheric suit (for pressure protection)
- EFA Type 21 helmet (with T.21 green nylon skirt and neck ring connector, with cables)
- White leather overall (protect against ultra violet radiation at high altitude)
- Leather gloves (unpressurised)
- Black shoes (unpressurised)

Only occasionally was a g-suit worn.

They were provided for the high altitude intercepts of the era, given the perceived threat from the USSR, high altitude bombers, etc. The operational tactic was for a head-on interception of a high level intruder with the Matra 530 EM missile. This entailed a Mach 2 acceleration at 36 000 ft and then a ballistic climb to see what altitude could be attained.

At an early stage of the Mirage deployment, the 2 Sqn OC decided that the white suit would be used for every sortie, in which event the g suit was worn under the leather overall. This decision was retracted because of the heat problem the leather suit caused and after a year the pilots reverted to using the green flight suit with half g-suit, with some pilots preferring the full green flight suit with integral g-suit. This was, obviously, not for high alt flights, which reached up to 71 000ft.

I have a lot of info on the use of the high alt suits, which Mirage III versions it could be used on and mission profiles, which I hope to publish in a book if there is enough interest on SAAF flight gear since 1946.

Author:  Mars [ 14 May 2019, 20:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Sounds like a very useful book to have.

Author:  Fearless [ 21 May 2019, 14:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Hi Dean,
Nice collection!

I also have a EFA Type 21 helmet with T.21 green nylon skirt.
I also have the white leather overall. It even came with the last users hanky in the pocket!
All in prestine condition.
I was lucky enough to acquire them at a Much Plus Club Reunion Fundraising auction at which I was a guest.
I was told when I acquired them that there were only two of these helmets and two leather suits left.
Any idea if this is correct?


Author:  Dean [ 22 May 2019, 08:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF helmets

Hi Mike

Welcome to the Forum!

I'd love to get hold of the white leather overall. Guess I'll just have to keep my eyes and ears open. [-o<

You're very lucky to have got a complete ensemble, please post pics of your collection.

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