Thursday, May 1, 2008

Peoples Republic of China 1982 Paratroopers Composite Helmet

Did he just say "Red" Chinese?

Yes I guess I'm just an old Cold Warrior at heart, I spent most of my life with the commies in the role of the bad guys, now I can buy their product at Walmart. Who'd a thunk it?
This the sort of image I grew up with back in the "duck and cover" days...

and this...

and this...

and this from more recent memory.

Here is a really nice specimen that I received just today from an ebay auction. A very well designed, lightweight, attractive, and very durable (though non-ballistic) jump helmet for PLAAF airborne troops, no doubt jumping into Tibet to dish out a little more repression.

A closer look:

Side view

Interior showing efficient suspension and padding.

A pleasant surprise greeted me when I unscrewed the insignia, this red star is stenciled on the front.

Red star in detail, also showing mounting hole for insignia.

Three snaps on the headband attach a protective flap that is evident in the Marzetti book.

Size adjustment is quite rudimentary, simply adjust the lacing through the holes. I'm assuming that the leather is cowhide, although in a regime where the organs of executed political prisoners are routinely sold for transplantation, one can only hope.

Also of note is the rough peening on all of the interior rivets, the work of a malcontent slave laborer no doubt.

The screw-back for the insignia.

The liner and helmet have a paucity of markings, this beneath the cushion,

and this in the dome of the skull.

The frontal insignia is really quite a knockout.

This splendid helmet is now the favorite in my collection, as is always the case for the most recent of my acquisitions.

And now for the sexier side of the Asia-swallowing Red hordes - 

paratroopers unlike any you've ever seen:  (hello ladeez)

This view shows off the "Y" yoke and liner mounting rivets to good effect. Much like the Israeli paratrooper helmet, this one has no quick release of any sort on the chinstrap, which I've always found curious.

A fine view of that very cool PLA airborne insignia which here appears on the ballistic helmet.

I also suspect that this may be the earlier generation steel helmet of the 1990s, note the chin cup.

From these official PLA photos it appears that the Chinese military is trying to make tactical use of glamor...take a lesson Brazil!

Peoples Republic of China
1982 PLAAF paratroopers helmet.
Acquired 2008 (ebay purchase)
Purchase price :$29.99
Original in all respects.
Condition: excellent

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