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HGU-56 Helicopter Helmet - 1990's
Mike Morgan, from Irvine, California, sent in these pictures of his helicopter and helmet from when he flew in the Army from 1987 to 1998.

Seen at the right is the OH-58D(I) Optimized Warrior. Mike took part in the testing and development for the Army's Force XXI Digital Warfighter Exercise. That utilizes fully digital aircraft avionics: embedded GPS, moving map displays, and SINCGARS SIP radios. The helmet Mike flew with was the new HGU-56/P. The 56/P was used to replace the SPH-4 series helmets, providing the Army with a single helmet for all applications. The visor housing allows the attachment of ANVIS 6 Night Vision Goggles (NVG) without affecting the protective visors.

OH-58D(I) Helicopter
This 56/P uses several add-ons that are worth noting. The ANVIS 6 NVG goggles with power pack can be seen in this photo. Also shown is the blast shield. Mike says while flying with the doors off and the .50 cal. shooting, the blast shield makes the muzzle blast less apparent and there is not much microphone degradation. This HGU-56/P also is equipped with a Air/Conditioning unit. On the right side there is a plug where an A/C unit plugs into. This circulates cool air, keeping the wearer comfortable.


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