early flight gear

Museum Monday: early flight gear at SFO Museum

Aviator goggles 1920s–1930s metal, glass, fur, fabric, elastic. Courtesy of San Diego Air & Space Museum


Early airplanes had open cockpits and aviators needed special equipment and protective gear in order to do their jobs.

Examples of some of those items are now on exhibit at the San Francisco International Airport. Flight Gear: Pilot Equipment from the Open-Cockpit Era features more than forty examples of flight suits, jackets, helmets, goggles and other accessories dating from the 1910s to the 1940s. Also on exhibit are period photographs, advertising, and catalog illustrations featuring the artifacts displayed.

A. G. Spalding & Bros. "Aviators' Equipment" catalogue one-piece flying suits illustration 1930 ink on paper SFO Museum

Flight Gear: Pilot Equipment from the Open-Cockpit Era is on view through August 1, 2012 in the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum in the International Terminal Departures Level adjacent to the Boarding Area ‘A’ entrance.  Admission is free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday.