I know the subject of American flyers is a little off the subject of the RAF Forum but bearing in mind the amount of RAF flying equipment used by the Americans I would like to draw your attention to the new Red Tails movie portraying the Tuskegee African American pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group. For those interested in my reproduction helmets and who have not yet seen one, this film showcases them very nicely! When I was originally approached by the costume designer, Alison Mitchell, to produce flying helmets for the film I was amazed to see the numbner of original photographs she had ammassed showing a complete mix of flying equipment. These men were wearing every type of flying helmet both RAF and American available up to that time. Even an RAF B type helmet was clearly visible in the photographs. Anyway, shameless advert over. As expected, quite a bit of CGI but, nevertheless a very watchable film.
Congratulations on another brilliant 'sortie'. Those were my thoughts exactly. I saw Red Tails again and said, my what mixed up kit! Personal preference again prevails, or was it possibly only only what a pilot could find at that point in late '44? In any event, a pilot that claims an Me-262 is doing something right, especially if he is sporting a B Type!
The kit for the film certainly looks very good. The A-2's were made my Goodwear, I think, and look amazing. Good job on the costume-department for taking the time to do some research! It's always nice seeing your work on film, Stephen, or knowing that film-companies have taken the time to buy the best.
Adam Valvo (Login Redwater7) Forum Member 126.96.36.199
June 11 2012, 9:23 AM
I had also noticed the helmets when I watched the movie and couldnt help but wonder how a US pilot would actually aquire a British helmet. Would such a item be purchased from a RAF base exchange or did the Army Air Core stock such items?
The Eagle Sdn pilots used all RAF flight gear of course, Upon being transferred to the AAF in 42 they took their flight kit with them, They thought the gear fit better and headphone sound superior to the US made kit. As new units arrived, this idea was passed on to them, The use of RAF kit was so widespread the USAAF supply system stocked impedence matching conversion plugs for headsets and snap hardware to mount US O-2 masks to RAF helmets. (The O-2 mask used was dictated by the version of O-2 equipment plumbed in the A/C) The AAF officer was paid twice as much as his RAF counterpart and had access to cartons of US ciggys, Hershey bars, nylon stockings and booze. I'll bet a carton of Luckys would get you a B-2 helmet in trade!
If you ever speak to a ww2 fighter pilot who was shot down and posted as missing even only for a couple of days they will tell you on returning to base all their kit had been pilfered. once other pilots knew they were back most of it was returned annon. Except tooth paste, tooth paste was very scarce. Airman had to pay to replace lost or stolen kit therefore anyone no matter what nationality took what they could get their hands on when it was available.
Finaly managed to see the film last night. It was alright, I thought.
The storyline is a bit thin, but costumes are super.
In the beginning the CGI makes for too perfect formations; hardly any bumping between planes...
I didn't see a B-type helmet, but I think I did see one of those C-type FAA jobs. Am I correct Stephen?
Also I noticed the C-type helmets do not have the V shaped brow. The C-types I have seen all seem to have a V-shaped brow; they have a pointy bit pointing down toward the nose.
Were the types you are reproing without that feature, or is it the "tell" to prevent them being passed on as real? Which would not be hard to do with that quality!