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  • 4 months later...

I bought an old US Army SPH-4 from ebay (70 bucks) and rebuilt it from the ground up. I bought a new TPL kit from FlightSuits(110 bucks), found a brand new dual visor kit on eBay(50 bucks), bought an ANR kit (180 bucks), and found various tidbits at a surplus store for next to nothing. A buddy of mine did a kick-*** paintjob (7 coats, including a sprinkling of metalflake in multiple layers of clearcoat).




If I were to start over, I'd go lighter on the paint. I hadn't realised how heavy polyurethane paint can be ! My helmet weighs in at just under 5 lbs...


I just got back from HAI today. While there, I tried on the Gallet helicopter models as well as those by Alpha.


The Gallet is amazingly light, but I find the visors are inadequately protected. Everytime you lean your head against the doorframe or door, you'll scratch the crap out of them, even with the leather protective covering. The Alpha I found very similar in fit and quality to Gentex, but the visor housing is somewhat bulky and klunky to operate.


I wear helmets for just about everything I do: White-water kayaking, skiing, hockey and mountain-biking. The secret to finding the "right" helmet for you is trying them on before buying. I know this isn't easy for aviation helmets 'cause they're pretty much made to order. Ask others who have different models to try them on (you'd better wash yer hair before askin' me though !:D ). Price should be secondary. This is a piece of kit you'll wear day in and day out. It has to be very comfy...


I've never seen a good comparative piece on helmets in the aviation press. Maybe somebody should press Mike Reno at Vertical or Ned at Heli-Ops to do a piece on the subject...


Anyways, here are links to the "big three" helicopter helmet manufacturers. I don't know of any other large-scale manufacturers, but you'll find loads of people who refurbish Old Gentex helmets


MSA Gallet


Gentex (FlightSuits)




Inexpensive ANR Kits

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  • 2 months later...

Quick question on helmets... What is the advantage/purpose of having the clear lens and the dark one. I've never worn one before and so and not sure of the times you'd need to have a clear lens. And since it's about $200 difference in cost for a new SPH-5 at flightsuits.com would it really be worth it to get the dark and clear?

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The visors also actually dampen some sound!


So doing daylight I'll always have the dark visor down, if it gets too dark, the clear one comes down before the dark one goes up.


Then at night the clear one stays down during the entire flight.


Also, if you should be helping out with hooking up or marshalling loads, the clear or the dark visors gives you eyeprotection against flying objects, and yes objects REALLY fly under the machine, even light machines. :D

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That guy sure don't look happy! :up:


When I was in the NORWEGIAN Coast Guard, we had helmets for our pax (Military organization, I know), they were of the "cheaper" ALPHA Variety, without the fancy stuff, and they worked out well.


All you need to clean them is a quick swab of alcohol (NO I don't mean a shot of whiskey/rum/vodka) on the earmuffs and in the liner, and the next guy is "safe"


(Will leave a lot of BAD HAIR DAYS for some though...) :D

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