Beaufort life vests
RFD Beaufort is a British company that manufactures life vests, the RAF being one of their major customers. It began as the 'Beaufort Division - Birkenhead' of Frankenstein & Sons (Manchester) with head offices at Victoria Rubber Works, Newton Heath, Manchester 10, and in April 2004 it merged with RFD, Dunmurry just outside Belfast. Apart from life vests RFD Beaufort also produces or has produced pressure suits, survival suits, anti-g trousers, submarine escape suits etc.
Hi Team, I am trying to find any details on the vest that the Royal New Zealand Air Force used in training aircraft in the 1980's. I learned to fly out of RNZAF Wigram in 1988/89 and cant for the life of me remember the details.The vest was a button in the front deal, life jacket round the neck, mesh construction, pockets for stuff like strobe and survival radio? lanyard for inflating the vest on the left side, just under the rib cage. (Still remember being thrown into the swimming pool in all the gear to prove that you knew how it all worked. I have the helmet, (SPH4 I think....how do I tell?) flight suit, boots gloves etc, but have absolutely no idea where to look for the vest. I don't even know if they were US or UK sourced, but they *were* the standard ones used in UH-1's, Airtrainers, P-3's and even the C-130's I think. Any help would be appreciated, I don't even know what to ask for when I'm searching at the moment! Sean
Attached is a scan of a picture which looks like the vests we had, this one on an Army Pilot from the Falklands War, so I guess they were UK sourced after all. I have found similar looking ones in "RAF Today" showing what the well dressed Harrier driver of the 90's was wearing...... Any info on this would be appreciated! Sean
Hi Sean, Then it would be the Beaufort Mk.27 or Mk. 31, see pics attached. Bye Ron
Hi Darren, Sean and Ron, Maybe this may help you identify the Life Vest. It is taken from a Beaufort catalogue but I don't know why an ML Aviation Pressure helmet is shown in the photo!! Because the photos are not too hot I have also attached a line drawing of the same Life Preserver. Christian. [Picture not included due to bad quality as described by Christian]
Christian, The Mk.15 looks like the one, details are coming back now, and the placement of the pockets is familiar! Sean