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Old 06-01-2019, 03:39 PM
Airzen Airzen is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Kirkland, WA
Posts: 169
Default Flight helmet recommendations

Hi Folks,

I want to start flying with a helmet in my RV-8.

Biggest concern is a bird strike leading to a shattered canopy, so eye protection is needed as well.

In terms of requirements, comfort and low weight is desirable as I tend to fly long cross country. Also I need the ability to use ANR headphones (Bose or Lightspeed).

Any recommendations/suggestions?

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Old 06-01-2019, 04:37 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,465

I just had a brand new HGU-55 built up by, and it turned out great! I wanted a custom-painted helmet to go with my new custom-painted plane (done by John Stahr), and decided to let John go wild on the helmet. I didn’t want to repaint my old HGU (too many memories), so went to Gentex and priced a helmet, then went to Flighthelmets and priced the identical helmet from them. Flighthelmet beat the direct Gentex price by a couple hundred bucks - plus they were able to work with me to ship just the shell to Stahr so he could paint it and ship it back to be built up - great to work with.

I like the new Kevlar shell - very light compared to my old one - and set it up with Oregon Aero liners, standard visor, and GA comm, set up to use either a boom mic or O2 mask. ANR of your choice is, I believe an option.

That’s just some feedback for you on one source....

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:55 PM
Mark33's Avatar
Mark33 Mark33 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 754
Default Sky Cowboy Helmets

I saw these the other day. I don?t know anything about them but they may be worth a look.
Mark H.
RV-7- IO-360, EFII, Whirl Wind C/S, (Built and sold)
RV-4- O-320, Catto three blade, P-Mags (Sold)
RV-8- IO-360, Hartzell C/S (Flying)
RV-7- (Building)
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:06 PM
larosta larosta is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 180

I have heard good things about Bonehead Composites. I would suspect that they are much lighter than a Mil Helmet. I have been a customer of in the past and always have had good experiences with them.

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Old 06-01-2019, 08:27 PM
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Gash Gash is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 910

I fly with a Bonehead Composites helmet in my Extra. I spent a military career with an HGU brain bucket?loved it?but have discovered that the Bonehead is lighter and lower profile, so I don?t hit it as much on the canopy. If you get a Bonehead, be sure to get the Oregon Aero triangular leather ear cups and cloth ear cup covers. This setup is far superior in comfort and noise attenuation. Bonehead knows all the part numbers now since I prototyped the ear cups for them. It?s not on their website so you?ll need to call and ask for the Oregon Aero upgrade. Good luck!
Karl, Goodyear, Arizona (KGYR) ATP, CFII
Yak 50
=VAF= donor 2021
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:23 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,311

The prices are eye widening. I'll go down to the local Cycle Gear store and buy helmets, modify them,call them Flight helmets and sell them for a fraction of the price. This is not to say these custom airplane products are not good, but $2,500 good or $1000 good? Some look like motorcycle helmets.
Raleigh, NC Area
RV-4, RV-7, ATP, CFII, MEI, 737/757/767

2020 Dues Paid
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:54 PM
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Pilot135pd Pilot135pd is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Vaca Moo Airport - TA37 in East TEXAS
Posts: 1,383

I had my old Air Force Gentex helmet airbrushed about 9 years ago and added the noise cancelling system to use in my RV-8. I have a newer modern Gentex but still also use a Telex noise cancelling headset and a normal DC headset depending on the mood.

I had it painted after an EMS nurse narc?d on me one night when I forgot my helmet at home and used a headset. About a month later I knew she was working that night in the ER so I used this helmet and she saw me out in my helo on the helipad. She narc?d again but this time when my boss called us in I was able to show that the nurse was just an idiot looking to cause problems and I had a helmet on that night !

You can see a video of it here
Sadly sold my RV-8 N52VM however I'm still trying to enjoy life by creating an airport with FREE campsites for pilots to come visit WHILE WAITING FOR THE HIGH WING RV15 !

Exempt by 3 out of the 10 ways but I still donated.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:28 PM
seward747 seward747 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 197

Pilot135: clever!
That helmet has all the bases covered.

Seattle area
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:27 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 859

I have two helmets. One with ANR and the other with CEP.
I am finding as time goes on I like the one with CEP better. The T-28 would overpower the ANR until I had the prop back at cruise. I seriously doubt an RV is loud enough to do that but it is an issue in some of the louder aircraft. Another advantage of the CEP system is there are no ANR batteries to go dead the instant the gear hit the uplocks on a 2 hour flight which is universally when it happened.
For my CEP helmet I opted for the custom molded inserts to replace the foam plugs. Very comfortable for long duration flights.

For the helmet itself I would go with the custom molded liner. Again, makes the helmet comfortable to wear on long duration flights without localized pain (hot spots).
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:47 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 393

Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
Check out the thread below on the Icaro 2000 Nerv. A friend uses one in his RV-8 and likes it, although he would opt for a lighter color for Summer flying due to the heat buildup.
Thanks for the link. I often wonder why civilian flight helmet cost so much.
RV8 standard build: Empennage 99% completed
Wing -- Closed
Fuselage -- Canopy Done. Fiberglass 80%
Avionics Installation -- 90%
Firewall Forward -- Prep for cowl install
Electrical -- 90%

Donation paid through 2021
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