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These extremely rare and original Polaroid No.1065 USAAF/USN Aviation Goggles were worn by Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter pilots and were the precursor to the Polaroid B8 Flying Goggle

Introduced in early 1943, the Polaroid No 1065 flying goggles were the precursor to the Type B8 and later, ‘1945' goggles worn by US and Allied pilots across every theatre of war.

During the early years of the war, Polaroid’s own research had indicated that one of the most common issues pilots had with the twin-lens goggles was their lack of air circulation resulting in lens fogging.

Without a contract in place, Polaroid took the initiative and designed a one piece lens featuring perforations along the upper edge of the rubber frame which allowed for increased air circulation to reduce fogging. 

The No.1065 goggles one-piece, shatter-proof lens provided far greater peripheral vision than the previous twin-lens models; whilst its molded black rubber body and chamois leather lining were easily adaptable to fit most faces and variations in oxygen masks.

The new design proved so popular with pilots that the USAAF and the USN awarded long term contracts to Polaroid to supply flying goggles, although a larger lens to increase visibility was requested - these were to become known as the Type B8 flying goggle.

At the time of Polaroid’s release of the No.1065 Flying Goggle, no additional lenses were supplied but by the 3rd production run, the No.1068, additional B8 lenses and instructions were supplied to all pilots already using the No.1065s & 7s. Note that this example of a Polaroid No.1065 Flying Goggles come with a follow on Instruction pamphlet and matching box for the No.1068 even though they are exactly the same. 

During the 1950’s and early 1960’s pilots of the French Navy Fleet AirArm, the Aéronavale, also used the Polaroid No.1065 and B8’s in their F4U-7 carrier launched Corsairs leading up to and during the early years of the conflict in Vietnam.   

The USN eventually requested their Polaroid Flying Goggles be marked with the USN designation on the rubberised surround although they were in every other respect, identical to the USAAF B8 Flying Goggles.

In the last years of the war, other Flying Goggle Manufacturers produced their own variation of Polaroid’s popular B8s such as the ‘1945 Flying Goggle’ manufactured by the American Optical Company who also produced a USN specific ‘1945 Flying Goggle’ which whilst featuring the same large lens, did not have the ’nose covering’ as the Type B8s. 

The Polaroid No.1065 flying goggles came well packaged with a small instruction pamphlet and a variety of interchangeable tinted lenses for use in different weather and lighting conditions. 

So popular were the new flying goggles that RAAF personnel in the South West Pacific would often beg, borrow or barter for a prized pair from their US counterparts. 

Polaroid continued refining their B-8 model and by the early 1950s they were in general use by Australian pilots flying P51’s and Gloster Meteors during the Korean War. 

In the late 1950’s H.L. Bouton of Massachusetts produced their own version of the Polaroid B8’s after receiving a contract from the new Swedish Airforce. Some of these also made their way into the USAF during the Korean War.

Eventually, the advent of the jet fighter saw pilots transitioning to the full face integrated oxygen mask and the B8 concept was successfully introduced to the burgeoning sports market to become the ski goggles we know of today. 

Your original pair of Polaroid No.1065 Aviation Goggles come complete with :

• Original printed box
• Battle hardened No.1065 Flying goggles
• Original Instruction pamphlet 
• Complete set of original, individually packaged tinted lenses
• Beautiful hand-crafted 100yr mango wood display stand and engraved plaque
• Detailed, professionally printed and laminated Fact Sheet
• Highly detailed 1/72 scale* diecast or hand built & airbrushed Vought F4U Corsair model on magnetic stand

* Why not go for super detail and impact by upscaling to an exquisitely detailed and finished, hand-crafted 1/48 scale Grumman F6F Hellcat - the perfect gift for any aviation enthusiast.

* Note that this Grumman F6F Hellcat Collectable is pictured with the smaller 1/72 die cast scale model. Click on the ‘Model Upgrade’ option at the top of this page for the larger, custom built 1/48 scale as displayed here.

This Grumman F6F Hellcat Collectable comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of collectable with pilot and aircraft.

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Your Grumman F6F Hellcat original Polaroid No.1065 USAAF/USN Aviation Goggles Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic or die cast 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. The die cast version comes with either wheels up or down but markings are preset.

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 4 - 6 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Grumman F6F Hellcat, or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.