13 December 1916 – Goggle Mask Flying and fug boots

Up to this point in the war most flying officers have had to buy their own flying gear. This is not unusual for the time as most commissioned officers are expected to provide their own clothing.

Fug boots

Fug boots

Many of the famous outdoor clothing companies such as Burberry stepped into the breach to produce and develop suitable flying gear.

At the same time, many crew members have improvised solutions in the field particularly to deal with the intense cold as the aircraft get more powerful and can reach higher altitudes. Fur coats and fur lined boots are not uncommon. For example, Lanoe Hawker had designed his own “fug” boots and had them made at Harrods. Official versions of these known as “Boots, Thigh” have now started to appear.

Early in the war pilots typically wore motoring goggles such as the Triplex A3 model. However these do not have laminated glass, and are dangerous if broken.

The Triplex company subsequently produced an aircraft model of the goggles with laminated safety glass and fur lined frames for warmth called the Triplex AB Aero Mask. This has now been adopted as standard issue by the RFC and is known as the Goggle Mask Flying Mark I.

Goggle Mask, MKI: RFC
Goggle Mask, MKI: RFC© IWM (EQU 421)


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