Vought F7U-3 Cutlass: One full of Guts with the Gutless (III).

The people of Vought Aircraft were right: the man with that expensive hat needed all that painstaking and unforgettable training to survive their vicious “Gutless”.

The hat itself wasn’t so expensive really. In fact, our brave aviator wears what it seems to be the elegant USN H-3 golden-painted helmet with an A-14 oxygen mask. The rubber goggles are the classic Polaroid B-8 fitted with modified straps to be attached to snaps on the external helmet adjustment straps, the standard way to carry that goggles with the USN H-series helmets. Maybe not $70,000, but this headgear in good condition sure costs quite a bit nowadays.


Lockheed F-104G Starfighter: Einfach Wunderbar !!!

Utterly innovative and original display of the German Luftwaffe F-104G (20+90) Martin-Baker Mk. GQ-7(A) ejection seat “in action” at the Deutches Museum.  I kinda love his French Gueneau type 316 flying helmet.
Germans and their love/hate relation with the Starfighter. They used some of these seats indeed.

Marine too, at ease. 

“MiG-31” Firefox: “Думайте на русском языке”.

I usually like to take time in the summers to watch old movies. The latest to suffer this treatment has been Clint Eastwood’s (1982) Firefox. The first time I saw it was in a double session cinema when I was a kid….. Boy!!, I still remember how thrilled I went home. Later, in my very pedantic twenties, the movie lost a huge number of points in my esteem. Older now -but not a lot wiser-, Firefox appears to me like a flawed yet quite enjoyable movie. All in all, Clint must feel happy enough.

Very different from the original, its “MiG-31” design was certainly astonishing in the early 1980’s and has aged decently. The choice of flight gear style is a plus in this movie. Worn very tight and with that. interesting selection of colours : black for our hero / white and orange international for its foe. The helmet as usual is the icing on the cake. In this case a very literal interpretation of the USAF HGU-15/P –USN HGU-20/P — NASA LEH  “Clam Shell”.

“Think in Russian”, my friends.

BAC One-Eleven: High-altitude Sauciness.

The always “unique” Braniff airline hired between 1965-74 the Italian designer Emilio Pucci to fashion the uniforms for their flight crew and ground crews. One of his most bizarre -and also very sixties- collections was a sort of inter-changeable wardrobe, the “AirStrip”. This utterly politically incorrect collection involved the flight attendants taking off parts of the uniform as the flight progressed……

The “space” helmet was mandatory in the 1960’s.

North American SNJ: Spit & Polish.

A natty US Navy ensign -love that collar pin- in the back seat of a shiny early specimen of the North American’s most famous trainer. He wears the usual US Navy headgear of the early 1940’s: a M-450 summer helmet with grey-green pressed leather ear cups and a gorgeous pair of Wilson Mk II pilot goggles.

With his attention to details, this “Brown Shoes” must have gone far in the service.

Dassault Mirage IIIDBR: As intense as ever.

The fastest tasting another kind of speed. Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna in the rear seat of a two-seat F-103D (Brazilian denomination) in April 29, 1989. Utterly proud of his country, Senna said after this flight: “Se todos tivessem a oportunidade de sentir a mesma emoção, teriam mais amor a pátria” / “If all Brazilians would have the opportunity to feel this same emotion, they would love more our country”. No nonsense man.

Senna is wearing the standard Brazilian AF headgear of the era: a single visor HGU-26/P helmet with a MBU-5/P oxygen mask……, but in magnificent “samba” colors.

Such a gorgeous inflight portrait. Two of my addictions nicely joined here.