Flight Helmet Type P4-A. Gold painted fiberglass flight helmet with a molded foam liner and brown leather head band attached to it, and a central blue plastic knob for pulling the visor down into position. Two positions are permitted, full up and full down. A black Bakelite PJ-292 twin pronged male connector is affixed to the distal end of the oxygen mask communications cord exits near the base at the back of the helmet, referred to as, pigtail type. Inside the helmet the MX2088/U black rubber covered foam ear cushions are attached via spring loaded mounts which were standard on all USAF P-4A and HGU2/P helmets. A black metal CW-292/U boom microphone is attached to a black metal MT-522A/U Con.N383-67787ACRBD bracket on the lower left side of the helmet. A white nylon chin strap with metal pull the dot snap fasteners are attached by aluminum screws.




Type P-4A Flight Helmet belonging to Pete Holtendorp. A new type visor yoke assembly was retrofitted to all earlier P-4 helmets. This consisted of the new visor mechanism that, while again quite similar to the original rigid external visor assembly in superficial appearance, did away with the side latching design in favor of a tracked visor securing system actuated by grasping a central rubber knob and pulling the visor down into position. Two positions were permitted, full up and full down just as in the original design, but the new knob actuation was grossly simpler and somewhat easier for a pilot to accomplish quickly and positively. This new assembly was fitted to all external visor equipped P-helmets in place of the side-latch design, and there were two yoke sizes (small/PN 51C3632-1, and large/PN 51C3632-2) and three visor sizes (small, medium, and large). The P-4A specification was applied to all P-4 helmets thus retrofitted, but newly assembled P-4A helmets made use of the new fiberglass shell material that replaced the earlier phenolic resin and molded cotton duck material. T.O. 14P3-4-1 dated 30 Apr 57 states that “…with the exception of the new center-track actuated rigid external visor, type MB-4 and type P-4A helmets are identical” (although the MB-4 sometimes had the visor added by bomber crews that used them, as before). Further improvements to newly manufactured P-4A helmets included the incorporation of insolate type sponge lining the internal surface of the new fiberglass shell at front, rear, and crown (replacing the original, older open-celled sponge rubber used in early P-series helmets). As before, the headset used remained either the H-75A/AIC or H-75B/AIC specification, but the communications 'pigtail' ended in the U-93A connector (similar to the U-93). A further additional change that was instituted with introduction of the new P-4A TO specification was inclusion of an additional shell size: Extra-Large. The USAF PNs for the P-4A shells were as follows: Helmet, Flying, Type P-4A, Small, PN 56D3508-1; Helmet, Flying, Type P-4A, Large, PN 56D3508-2; Helmet, Flying, Type P-4A, Extra-Large, PN 56D3508-3. MB-4 helmets were, of course, originally P-1A/P-1Bs, and their PNs were: Helmet, Flying, Type MB-4, Small, PN 54D3733-1, and Helmet, Flying, Type MB-4, Large, PN 54D3733-2. Visors for the three P-4A shell sizes were: Visor, Small, PN 51D3643-3; Visor, Medium, PN 51D3643-2; and Visor, Large, PN 51D3643-1. In simple summary, P-4 helmets to which the new center-track visor system was added became P-4A specification.


c. 1957



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