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inside the SSK 90 helmet it was eventually withdrawn from service on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
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.