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  261121344377: NASA HGU-55 Helmet

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Author Topic:   261121344377: NASA HGU-55 Helmet
Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 424
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 11-05-2012 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to point out that while the paint scheme on this helmet is very similar to NASA's helmets, this most likely was not used by NASA as it is manufactured differently than the HGU-55's typically used, and also the design is off (most noticeable in the starfield, top of the S, and both branches of the vector).

Most pilots wear an HGU-55 with a PRU-36 dual visor assembly as seen here. Note that they aren't always royal blue--I've also seen Red, Yellow, Light Blue, White, and Olive among others.

However I've also seen standard grey HGU-55's (note the standard, unbranded oxygen mask receiver) and HGU-55's in a NASA scheme with or without the leather 'elephant ears' and enclosed oxygen mask receivers (again, color isn't always royal blue). The helmet listed on eBay is most like this variant, although the shape of the 'elephant ears' is totally off, and also most NASA helmets have a black leather chin/name strap rather than grey.

Another point: I've never seen oxygen mask receivers branded "Fly Jet" on NASA helmets. Brands I have seen: Scott, Flight Suits Ltd., Gentex, and Protection Inc. While I haven't seen any yet, I wouldn't be surprised if future helmets are branded Gibson & Barnes (as both Flight Suits Ltd. and Protection Inc. are previous names of the company).

Even though the oxygen mask wasn't included in the auction, it's worth noting that pilots use MBU-20/p's, MBU-12/p's, and MBU-5/p's onboard NASA's T-38s.

In short: The eBay helmet looks like a knock-off.

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 424
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 11-05-2012 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a bit cautious of 190750399018 as well. The artwork looks identical to that on 261121344377 (except in image 4, which looks photoshopped for some reason), so it still differs from the artwork on NASA's helmets.

The helmet itself looks in good condition so it's probably worth the price even without the artwork, although I would ask the seller why Image 4 looks edited.

Gonzo
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Posts: 510
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-05-2012 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, somebody just paid $1100+ for it...

albatron
Member

Posts: 2234
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-05-2012 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the link to the first helmet you refer to?

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 424
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 11-05-2012 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Item 261121344377 on eBay.

There are companies that do make replica flight helmets out of actual hardware. For example, I've seen Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, and Top Gun replicas floating around on eBay. I would guess that both of these helmets were painted by the same individual as the artwork is the same. But it wasn't painted by Gibson & Barnes because the artwork is different from what's on the official helmets.

They're most likely made from used components (brand new flight helmets from Gibson & Barnes are around $1500 to $3000, the higher price being if it's customized with artwork--for comparison, lately used helmets have been selling on eBay for $200-$600) so I wouldn't use any helmet off eBay as actual safety equipment without first getting it inspected.

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 424
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 11-19-2012 04:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like the seller from the first post listed another helmet.

Item 261128884596

Once again, it's just a replica (and not a very accurate one at that). However it does still look like it's made from real helmet parts. I wouldn't pay more than about $400-$500 for it (that's about the cost of getting a used HGU-55 helmet, plus some for if you were to paint it yourself).

All times are CT (US)

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