is not often that a new series of helmets turn out to be an instant success. After years
of using the Gueneau range of helmets, the French Armed Forces are on the edge of a
radical change in manufacturers.
The CGF Gallet factory is a well known name for fire fighting and police helmets. For some
time now CGF is developing and testing a range of flight helmets. Two types are currently
in production and delivered to customers world wide. The LA100 and LH150/250 helmets are a
concept that is well received.
More countries are currently testing the Gallet helmets. Some NATO countries and the US
Airforce and US Coast Guard are among them.
For pilots flying fixed wing aircraft, the LA100 has been developed. This is a dual visor
helmet made of fire resistant, shock absorbing material. Components chosen are Aramid an
Carbon fiber. The whole concept is to give maximum protection, comfort and ergonomics. The
lightweight design has an integrated communication system and an adjustable comfort
interior trim. The shock-absorbing interior has two cavities that hold the earphones.
The dual visor system can be fitted with
both a dark and clear visor, or with any customer preferred combination. Available is also
the yellow high contrast visor. The inner dark visor can be anti laser treated on request.
The visor locking mechanism gives the helmet a 625 knots windblast resistance. On
ejection, the automatic visor lowering and locking device gives the pilot more security.
Tests show that the helmet still can be used after an ejection.
The clear outer visor goes over the outside of the helmet. It is guided by a center track
and hinges on the side of the helmet. The inner visor, in the up position, stowed on the
inside of the helmet (like the Gueneau series). The chinstrap features a quick locking
system. Oxygen receivers can be altered to customer specifications (MBU series, Ulmer
series). The total weight of the helmet is 940g. Available in 6 sizes, ranging from XS to
XXL, the helmet fits the majority of pilots. Colors are green, grey and sand (flat
As the new Rafale fighter is coming in to service, the test pilots flying the aircraft are
using the LA100. The Aeronavale (French Navy Airwing) has also chosen the LA100 for its
pilots flying the Rafale and E-2C. As the Rafale can also be equipped with a Helmet
Mounted Display (HMD) the Gallet helmet is also chosen for this. All though being the same
helmet shell, the HMD can not be fitted on standard LA100s as the HMD versions are
slightly modified. The HMD helmet and system are being developed and produced by Thales
(former Thompson). Test pilots from other units, like the 330 Test (and Tiger) Squadron,
are also fitted out with the LA100.
The rotary wing helmet types are the LH150 and LH250. The differences being the number of
visors. One for the LH150 and two for the LH250. Basically the same helmet as the LA100,
the helmet lacks the oxygen receivers but has a boom microphone assembly.
The single polycarbonate visor version,
only has the outer visor system. As option a visor housing is available. An NVG interface
can also be chosen. The dual visor version features the same system as the LA100, only
without the automatic lowering and locking system. The total weight for the LH150 is 840g
as the LH250 is 919g. Available in the same sizes as the LA100. Colors are green, gray and
sand (flat colors). Gloss colors are white, blue and yellow.
The LH250 has been chosen as the standard
helmet for the 1th CHR (Combat Helicopter Regiment) of the French Army Aviation at
Phalsbourg. This unit flies the Eurocopter Cougar Horizon. The Japanese Self
Defense Force/Air Force, is also using the LH250 on some of its helicopters. Latest
customer is the Italian Vigili del Fueco (Civil Security). The Italian
Interior Department has ordered the LH250 for the Civil Security helicopter pilots.
Flightgear On-Line likes to thank CGF Gallet www.gallet.fr
for their kind help. Special thanks goes to the gentleman with the Rafale sales team, who
kindly answered all my questions.