|Hardman retention system
Message 61, 26 November 2003
Today I received a number of ALSE related pictures from one of our air force photo labs.
When I ordered them I only looked at negatives and those of you who have tried it know
that you might overlook some of the details in the pictures.
One of the pictures was chosen because it showed a pilot strapped into a Martin-Baker
Mk.2H ejection seat. He was wearing a P-3 helmet but my main reason for picking the
picture was the seat. Now that I have received the picture it turns out that his helmet is
a P-4 with a P-3 visor, and to my big surprise it also had the Hardman retention system.
This is the first time that I have ever seen the Hardman receivers and christmas tree
bayonets in Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) service.
I do not know whether this a blessing or a curse. It is very interesting to find new
information like that but now I have to locate a complete Hardman retention system, not
the kind of item you come across every day. Mount the horses and let the hounds loose!
Instructional picture of pilot strapped into
Mk.2H ejection seat. 8 March, 1961. © RDAF
I should add that the Hardman system was developed for the original Toptex "Lombard
helmet". It was used without a chinstrap only on that helmet. When retrofitted to
USAF and Navy helmets, the chinstrap was used. Rich Mays
TRUE or FALSE?: the Hardman retention system does not eliminate the chinstrap.
FALSE- hence the name "retention system"
Was the Hardman oxygen mask retention system ever used with the MBU-5/P mask? I woud have
said no, but I recently saw just such a setup. Certainly abnormal, though. Rich Mays