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MSPO 2018: Gentex HGU-55/WARPAC

This year, Kielce-based Parasnake presented the Gentex HGU-55/GTX helmets at the MSPO exhibition. These helmets were specially developed for Polish pilots of MiG-29, Su-22 and Iskra airplanes. The Gentex HGU-55/GTX, when compared to the last years HISL Alpha 900 SAR, is a head protection designed for pilots working on much higher altitudes and with a terminate ejection speed of 600 knots. The previously premiered helmet was destined for sea rescue pilots (Planes for Border Guard, 2018-07-06).

The helmet presented on the Parasnake stand and manufactured by an American producer was specially adapted for use in Russian/Soviet airplanes, including the popular MiG-29 and Su-22.

The helmet`s body is made of aramid polymers reinforced with carbon fiber. This makes for a quite light (1300 - 1400 g depending on configuration) construction. There are no large vents, characteristic to currently used ZSz-7 pilot helmet. This distinguishing feature was eliminated in the HGU-55/GTX helmet and replaced with a special harness and sweatband.

The range of changes required for adaption of American helmet to Polish needs included lengthening of the oxygen tube (by 71 cm), replacement of the oxygen tube terminations with suitable for onboard oxygen system and an introduction of 6,35-mm Jack-type adapter for powering the helmet systems.

HGU-55/GTX is one of the few helmets in the world prepared for emergency ejection at 600 knots maximum speed. Safety and head/face protection is achieved by the double-shielding system. Special socket for NV equipment was developed in such a way that ejection is safe. The socket is compatible with equipment from various manufacturers.

NV socket was designed in a way that guarantees safe ejection in case of catastrophic airplane malfunction.

The changes made to a typical western helmet made it compatible with the needs of users working on Russian/Soviet equipment. Because of this, the helmet was unofficially codenamed HGU-55/WARPAC (Warsaw Pact).

HGU-55/WARPAC is compatible with HA/LP oxygen mask which was adapted for MiG, Sy and TS-11 onboard system.

Interior equipment is constructed on an X-Liner design and together with elements made of high-quality natural leather provides comfort and stabilization even at great speeds.

Body and attachment design guarantees full safety against parachute lines getting tangled up in the helmet. /Photos: Darek Borkowski

The low mass of the oxygen mask and special bayonet-type fastenings make this light protection infinitely more comfortable than the old ZSz-7 pilot`s helmet. Comfort and safety are increased with a double sight protection system for day/night operations and the EDU-7/P standard against laser light.

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