Quite a few years ago I looked at the Mk 4 flight deck helmet from the 1960s here. Today we are looking at a much later version of this helmet, this time the Mk 7 version:
The basic principles have remained the same, however the design has been updated to allow it to work with newer accessories such as more modern patterns of ear defenders, goggles and armour, as seen in this group shot of aircraft handlers which helpfully shows both sides of the helmet when it is actually being used:
One of the biggest changes to the helmet is actually not visible, it is now treated to make it fire resistant, an essential feature when there is highly flammable avcat around. The helmet has a pair of large openings on either side to house the cups of the ear defenders, with straps to secure around them to hold them securely to the helmet:
The helmet has a strap across the back of the neck that adjusts to allow a better fit depending on the wearer’s head size:
A channel is fitted across the top of the helmet to take the top strap of the ear defenders and a series of loops and press studs is provided to allow the armoured plates to be attached:
A stores label inside identifies the model number of the helmet and gives details of its NSN number etc.:
I believe this is the latest pattern of helmet in service, however it is entirely possible that it has been updated again with the reintroduction of the carriers and the re-equipping that has come about in the wake of it. Either way, it is interesting to contrast this with the earlier pattern from several decades earlier.