Bristol Beaufighter Air Ministry Type C, 22C/452 Flying Helmet & Mk VIII Flying Goggles


Add 1/48 SCALE, DETAILED MODEL UPGRADE for just $35.00

In Stock SKU: 2605

Incredibly rare, Bristol Beaufighter Type C 22C/452 Air Ministry, Flying Helmet with earphone receivers & Mk VIII Flying Googles

By mid 1941, the canvas and webbing ‘bag’ Type D oxygen mask, made synonymous with Battle of Britain RAF fighter pilots, had been replaced with the new, contoured rubber moulded Type E, G and H oxygen masks with their integrated microphones. 

So too had the bulky and uncomfortable Type B flying helmets with their large domed-shaped zippered ear-pads, which had first been developed in the late 1930s.

Also replaced, were the unwieldy and obsolete ‘Bat’ shaped Mk I, II and Mk III, unventilated flying goggles which suffered from continual fogging which severely obscured the pilot’s vision.

For the RAF pilots and crew it had became an issue of comfort and functionality and in a cramped and often cluttered cockpit, wearing flying gear that assisted rather than hindered flight operations was critical.

To compliment the new oxygen masks, Britain’s Air Ministry introduced the more streamlined, Type C leather flying helmets with their rear-elasticised, leather shell lined with padded chamois. 

Sporting a contoured neck and brow which allowed for greater head movement, the Type C also provided superior noice insulation and increased wind protection - all in a comfortable and snug fit.

The 1st pattern (No. 22C/449 - 452) Type C featured a leather chin strap with a ‘Bennet’ buckle and rear, centre-buckled leather goggle restraining strap. On either side, two stud fasteners were initially fitted for attaching the Type E oxygen mask but these were soon upgraded to three studs on the left hand side and a hook on the right to accommodate the upgraded Type G and H oxygen masks with their improved webbing straps.

Earphones were also inserted into sewn-on black rubber cups with kapok filled chamois rings on the helmet's inside for improved sound insulation and comfort.

The Type C helmets were known as ‘unwired’ (as were all RAF flying helmets until 1944) with earphone receivers being pressed into their holders with a double wiring loom being linked into the cockpits radio unit via their removable bayonet plug. The pilot’s transmitting microphone was integrated into the oxygen mask - a design that was to largely continue, well into the jet age until the introduction of the full face integrated high altitude helmets.

To complete the ensemble, fighter and bomber pilots and crew alike were scrambling to secure a pair of the new Mk VIII ventilated, low profile prismed goggles released by the Air Ministry at the end of 1941 with the proviso that they were only to be distributed as a replacement for lost of damaged Mk I’s and IIs. 

Unsurprisingly, squadron supply officers were instantly deluged with lost and damaged new goggle replacement requests across the RAF!

This Air Ministry issued Type C No. 22C/452 RAF leather flying helmet is incredible condition for its age and comes complete with attached, Air Ministry ear phone receivers, radio lead and bayonet plug. 

Like its accompanying Mk VIII flying goggles, both are veterans of the RAF’s incredible battle for air superiority and were worn by Spitfire, Hurricane and Typhoon fighter pilots as well as Bomber Command’s Lancaster, Wellington and Bristol Beaufighter pilots and crew.

This unique and stunning Recover Curios, original RAF collectable come complete with a stylish manikin head mounted on a 100yr old Mango wood stand and engraved plaque. It also features a removable magnetic display arm upon which is perched an incredibly detailed custom built hand-made model of a Bristol Beaufighter plus a quality 2 sided laminated Fact Sheet featuring details of the collectable and the pilots and crew who wore them.

Together they make an incredible gift for any aviation enthusiast and are destined to become a significant family heirloom of the great aerial battles of WWII. 

This Bristol Beaufighter Collectable comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of item in aircraft cockpit.

* Note that this Bristol Beeaufighter Collectable is pictured with a 1/48 scale model rather than the standard detailed, but smaller 1/72 scale. Click on the 'Model Upgrade' option at the top of this page for the larger 1/48 scale.

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Your Bristol Beaufighter Type C 22C/452 Air Ministry, Flying Helmet with earphone receivers & Mk VIII Flying Googles, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft* 
  • Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
  • Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
  • Removable Magnetic Display Arm

*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)

Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' options with a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.

Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.

Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 6 - 8 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Bristol Beaufighter or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.