Helmet, Flying, Full Pressure, Type MA-2, United States Air Force, Francis Gary


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The MA-2 Pressure Helmet was a standard type of high-altitude helmet worn above 50,000 feet and was used for many years with a variety of partial pressure suits. It was basically a soft helmet with a bladder to provide pressure, a detachable outer shell of rigid molded plastic to provide protection and retain the prssure within the defined area, and a transparent faceplate. This example was the spare helmet that belonged to Francis Gary Powers at the time of ill-fated reconnaissance flight in a Lockheed U-2B over the Soviet Union in 1960. The U.S. Air Force insignia normally worn on the front of the helmet was painted over and replaced with Powers' identification number "29".

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Physical Description

United States Air Force Type MA-2 Pressure Breathing Flying Helmet; white fiberglass protective shell with black stencil "29" on front; sage green rubberized nylon lining with chamois face ring; clear plastic face plate with aluminum frame, cork seal on face plate; internal mounted microphone with black nylon lined patch cord; sage green nylon covered oxygen hose with sage green rubber cover microphone patch cords.

Credit Line

Transferred from the United States Air Force, Office of the Surgeon General

Country of Origin

United States of America


  • Shell: Fiberglass
  • Lining: Ruberized Nylon
  • Face Mask: Lens Plastic and Aluminum Frame


3-D: 25.4 x 25.4 x 38.1cm (10 x 10 x 15 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum



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