German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Luftwaffe (Air Force):  Fliegerstahlhelm SSK 90

The SSK 90 Protective Flight Helmet (left side)

Flight Protection Helmet SSK 90

Officially adopted by the Luftwaffe on 8 May 1941, the SSK 901 helmet was manufactured exclusively by the Siemens Company.  The helmet was made out of interlocking and hinged steel plates that were designed to protect the head from shrapnel.  The entire assembly was then covered with thick padding and dark brown leather identical to that found on standard air crew helmets.  Each side of the helmet had an "ear cut-out" that was designed to accommodate the earphones found on the cloth and leather flight helmets.  The chinstrap assembly utilized components identical to that found on German paratrooper helmets including the buckle, leather, and snaps.  A large protruding pad (or comb) running from the front visor to the crown was designed to protect the head from direct frontal impact during crash landings or aerial combat. A variation in the SSK 90 configuration also existed in a helmet designated the LKH W.  This helmet was identical in manufacture save for the fact that it had a long sloping neck protector and no chinstrap.  The LKH W was often found with an embroidered Luftwaffe eagle sewn to the front.

Due to the weight of the steel plates inside the SSK 90 helmet it was eventually withdrawn from service on 26 May 1941.  Having been used for only a short period of time, the helmet became essentially obsolete although some continued to see service after 1941.  Collectors should feel comfortable with these helmets as no reproductions exist.  However, the number of SSK 90 helmets available for collecting is few in number.  Even so, enough examples exist that astute collectors can find them if truly interested.


Notes:

1 The SSK 90 helmet has been incorrectly labeled the German "jet fighter pilot's helmet" for many years.  This term was created by helmet collectors many years ago when the helmet had not been fully identified.  It was incorrectly assumed that the SSK 90 was a helmet made specifically for pilots flying the ME 262 jet.

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SSK 90

 

 

The LKH W Protective Flight Helmet

 

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