Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3a: Neutrality Enabler.

Splendid portrait of a Swiss “Emil” pilot. Our hero wears a mix of local and German flight gear. German are his  LKp W 100 flight helmet with that nicely strapped 10-69 oxygen mask helmet and what seems to be “Auer” type goggles, or something similar. Of note the lack of canopy rearward armour and, barely seen, one peculiarity of the Swiss “Emils”: they’re equipped with a KG 11 spade grip instead of the usual pistol grip of that model.

All in all a very neatly dressed guy.

Höhenflug, the cheap way.

Germany was a world leader in the development of oxygen gears throughout the 1930’s until the early WWII. They were also very pragmatical people. The definitely crude, rubber mouthpiece and nose “pince” was still in use in some extent at the outbreak of the war. Transport pilots seem to have “enjoyed” for quite a long time this totally unglamorous contraction.
Magnificent portrait of a pilot taken during a supposed high-altitude flight. The subject wears the Luftwaffe second type mouthpiece (with its expiration valve) and the awful nose “pince”. Well-protected against the cold, he also uses the standard early-WW2 LKpW 100 flying helmet and what looks to me like a model 295 windshutzbrille goggles or something similar.

Boeing 377-10-26 Stratocruiser: Times of Abundance.

Stunning photo of Pan American’s Stratocruiser. It wears the original overall natural metal finish with simple cheat-lines first employed by the company 377’s. The Stratocruiser was designed to be flown by a crew of five (pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator and radio operator) plus an observer, if necessary. A very crowed flight deck, they even had their own toilet facilities (!).

Then & Now.

Boeing B-47B/E Stratojet: SAC Time.

Superb portrait of the busiest member in a B-47 crew: the bombardier/navigator.
Placed right in the nose, his working station was a real ergonomic nightmare. At the foreground the characteristic A-1 bombing tracking computer control handle and at the right the T-2 optic horizontal periscopic bomb sight.
Our hero wears the usual no-nonsense SAC headgear: a P-4 type helmet and a MS22001 oxygen mask.

A hopeless B-47’s lover here.

Photo: Ralph Morse/Time Life Pictures (Getty Images).