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The Gučneau 458 and 459 series helmet 
by: Ron Kraan
As a replacement for the well-known Type 316 and 317 helmets, the Type 458/459 was developed. The manufacturers full name is L'Optique Scientifique Gučneau but the firm has dropped the Gučneau name on the latest series of helmets (Type 500/600) after becoming a part of the ELNO group.

Type 458 series
This is a monobloc dual visor helmet made of stratified material and can be equipped with:

Outer visor
 -Clear visor
-Yellow high contrast visor
-Type 601-laser protective visor.

Inner visor
 -Tinted visor
-Type "N" glare protective/anti flash visor.

Further the helmet has a rack suspension for the oxygen mask (Ulmer Type 82 series) two ear cups to hold the earphones and an inner liner composed of dual semi-shells. A notable feature of this type of fighter helmet is the lack of chin pad/strap as the oxygen mask is used as this. This is however only save with ejection's not exceeding 450 knots. Above this speed a chinstrap is needed.

Series identification
458-00- -Helmet assembly without electric-acoustic accessories
458-01- -Helmet assembly with high impedance electric-acoustics
458-02- -Helmet assembly with low impedance electric-acoustics
458-20- -Type 458-20 the same helmet in use with the "Aeronavale". 
458-30- -Type 458-30 this is the high altitude version.
A three-digit number that indicates the sizes follows this number.

Type 459 series
This is the light aircraft and helicopter version of the Type 458. This helmet features the same shell as the Type 458. The dual visor setup has the same visors as the Type 458 but instead of the Type "N" anti-flash visor a blue visor for blind flying can be used. Further difference is the use of a chin-pad.

Series identification 
459-1- -Type 459-1 helmet for the use in Airforce helicopters using the ELNO 109 SP 108 electric-acoustics.
459-2- -Type 459-2 helmet for use in the TB-30 Epsilon and CAP series trainer and aerobatics aircraft. Helmet fitted with SILEC-S4443 acoustics.
459-3- -Type 459-3 designed for Army helicopter pilots with SILEC-SP4103 and SP1060 electric-acoustic equipment.

Both helmets can or will replaced with the L'Optique Scientifique Type 500 for the fighter and Type 600 for the helicopter pilot. A new high altitude helmet is also designed and named CP90.


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