Stanley Aviation “escape capsule”: The good old days of above & beyond.

How the incredible Hustler‘s escape capsule works. As we see in this “time capsule” GIF, in case of an emergency a protective clamshell would enclose the whole seat, the control stick included in case of the pilot. “Turted up” in such way the pilot could still continue to fly the Hustler or in case of a more dire situation undertake an immediate egress. The capsule would float and even be used as a life raft.

The “pilot” wears an Aviators Equipment Corporation MB-3 helmet with a MS22001 oxygen mask. That peculiar “soft” helmet with its detachable bill was used by the Strategic Air Command in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s for crew positions not requiring the use of a rigid helmet. The Hustler, with its escape capsule, was ideal. Hardware porn, my friends.

Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV): How the mighty have fallen.

Miss Kentucky (year?) about to step out of one of the 1-gravity trainer LRV used in happier times to give the Apollo astronauts instruction in the operation and driving practice of the real rover. The helper is wearing a definitely tired Command Module pilot (CMP) A7L space suit topped with a very rare early red Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assembly (LEVA).

Photo taken at the Space and Rocket Center Museum, Huntsville, Al (thanks, Alan). A Saturn rocket lying on the dirt and this. All very sad.

Ryan X-13: Those busy times.

Wonderful nonchalant portrait of Ryan test pilot W.L. “Lou” Everett. “Lou” was, with Ryan Chief Test Pilot Peter Girard, one of the two pilots that flew the radical X-13. He was later involved in testing a few more of the company vertical take-off experimental aircraft. Regrettably, he lost his life during a XV-5 Vertifan flight in 1964.

I love “Lou” Everett’s flight gear patina. That hard working TOPTEX helmet with its “Hardman” receivers for the MBU-3/P oxygen mask and, specially, his really weathered  A-2 jacket.

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.