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

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".