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Thread: New Helmet (HGU 84 vs "new" Bonehead Composite Aviation helmet)

  1. #1

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    New Helmet (HGU 84 vs "new" Bonehead Composite Aviation helmet)

    Following the good advice to wear a helmet, I tried out one of the low cost options by getting a PT A-Bravo helmet. While the PT helmet is light, it is not very comfortable and doesn't really inspire a huge amount of confidence in its protection capability. It also doesn't work so well with a headset. Now I am looking for a "real" helmet. I have heard good things about CEP for noise attenuation and I would like a bungee visor. I have looked at the HGU 84 and liked it because of good peripheral vision and relatively small size. However, now Bonehead Composites has come out with an aviation helmet. Does any one have the Pilot-X from Bonehead Composites that can speak to its strengths and weaknesses? I like the rear connection for the mic cable, but I like how the HGU 84 has the sheepskin on the sides so the visor doesn't scratch the helmet. They both look like they use the same visor.

    Bonehead Composites Pilot-X
    http://www.boneheadcomposites.com/m8...ith-comms.html

    HGU 84
    http://www.gibson-barnes.com/hlmt-29...gee-Visor.html

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I take flak for my support of the HGU 84 but I still think it's the one that everyone else is compared to. It's been the standard for the Marine Corps/Navy for years and has worked well. Can't speak directly to the Bonehead but it would have to be impressive to make me change my mind about the HGU. If you go to Gibson and Barnes website, you can see the flexibility of options. Visors, high/low impedance mics/speakers, cord lengths and styles, etc.

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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Have a look at this report on the HGU 84.

    http://www.usaarl.army.mil/techreports/96-4.pdf

    I am not sure either helmet is a good choice for Cub type flying.

    The Bonehead product seems to be a gear holding device. I could find no mention of impact attenuation in the literature.

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    Will have to check them out at OSH.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 02-07-2016 at 06:14 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    The tech report from the Army makes the HGU 84 look like less than its peers. I wonder how the Gallet and MSA helmets would have tested or how the Bonehead Pilot-X would have done. It did not look like the HGU 84 was tested with CEP. I wonder how much a difference that would make. Also, I have heard there was a major revision of the HGU 84 that lightened it up, I wonder if that is true?

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    CamTom12's Avatar
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    The year I wore an HGU 84 I was not happy. Never felt comfortable. Might've just been the one I had, but I was happy to go back to my 56/P.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    The year I wore an HGU 84 I was not happy. Never felt comfortable. Might've just been the one I had, but I was happy to go back to my 56/P.
    These helmets need to be fitted to the individual. The ear cups are moved to fit and the blocks inside the helmet need to be shaped to the persons head. This takes several tries before it's done.

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    I'm surprised anyone would advocate a Gentex 56 when it's 50% heavier than the Gentex 84. The 84 and Gallet LH series are identical in weight and weight is the first thing most Gentex wearers notice when they pick up my Gallet so I assume most Gentex 56 wearers would prefer the 84. I don't know how to evaluate the certifications listed on this chart and can't say whether one is better than the other for Cub flying but I do know that all else being equal weight is everything.

    http://store.tigerperformance.com/he...x#.VriK8vBOKrU
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-08-2016 at 07:52 AM.
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    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    These helmets need to be fitted to the individual. The ear cups are moved to fit and the blocks inside the helmet need to be shaped to the persons head. This takes several tries before it's done.

    Web
    I was fitted by the paraloft shop. Still didn't like that helmet. Might've just been me though.

    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    It just has to make you happy (and safe). If you don't like it, you won't be as likely to wear it and protect your melon. But I still stand by my observation that they need to be fitted and it almost never happens with even 3 or 4 tries. And the vast majority of complaints with helmets, or even headsets, are because of discomfort/poor fit.

    Web

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    It just has to make you happy (and safe). If you don't like it, you won't be as likely to wear it and protect your melon. But I still stand by my observation that they need to be fitted and it almost never happens with even 3 or 4 tries. And the vast majority of complaints with helmets, or even headsets, are because of discomfort/poor fit.

    Web
    So how do you fit a HGU 84? Are the earpads movable? Do you trim the blocks in the headliner?

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowjunk View Post
    So how do you fit a HGU 84? Are the earpads movable? Do you trim the blocks in the headliner?
    The ear cups are positioned with velcro. Just pull them loose and move them where you need them. The space between the liner and the shell is filled with styrofoam. Were the helmet for an hour or so and see if you get 'hot spots'. They feel like pressure or a sore spot on your head. Just put a piece of tape on the outside of the helmet where the spot is. Then pull the liner away from the styrofoam and sand away a LITTLE of the styrofoam. Were the helmet again and repeat if necessary.

    All this supposes the helmet has the correct general fit, i.e. I need a large for my head so I have to start out with a large size. I can't sand out a medium.

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    I've never heard of an approved method of altering a helmet's foam structure. Again, probably not a big deal for an 85mph Cub. The helmet should be large enough to allow fitting with the liner. The more difficult part is getting the shell properly aligned fore and aft on your head and that's mostly done at the nape. I got a good amount of practice with mine when I started wearing glasses and had to reposition the shell forward and then adjust the ear cups accordingly. Once fitted a good helmet is comfortable to wear, at least in Alaska temps. Hot weather would be miserable in a flight helmet. I think the DC suspension and ventilation will be hard to beat in the heat.

    FYI- http://www.gentexcorp.com/assets/gen...procedures.pdf

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Nobody's heads are exactly the same. Genetics and injuries lead to bumps here and there which need to be delt with. Sanding an area to fit a bump on one's head is not exactly altering the foam structure when one starts with the correct size helmet, unless you're the elephant man. As for 'approval', there are surprisingly few regs or guidelines on helmets and FARs are for aircraft. The military has more experience with crash helmets in real life situations than most other organizations combined and this is how the flight equipment guys fit helmets to each pilot/crewman's head.

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    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Nobody's heads are exactly the same. Genetics and injuries lead to bumps here and there which need to be delt with. Sanding an area to fit a bump on one's head is not exactly altering the foam structure when one starts with the correct size helmet, unless you're the elephant man. As for 'approval', there are surprisingly few regs or guidelines on helmets and FARs are for aircraft. The military has more experience with crash helmets in real life situations than most other organizations combined and this is how the flight equipment guys fit helmets to each pilot/crewman's head.

    Web
    This is not how the Naval Paraloft fit my 84. Nor how the Army ALSE Techs fit my 56/P.

    I've only used 1 Paraloft, so other organizations might shave foam.

    I've used many different ALSE shops and none of them shaved foam.

    Just my experiences.

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    Hi,

    Bonehead Composites here. There are several reviews of the Pilot-X on a few other forums. Vans and Biplaneforum. And lots of pilots out there wearing them; Rob Holland, Airbus Perlan pilots, department of forestry, etc.

    We also have demos available.

    Thanks!

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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cfrisella View Post
    Hi,

    Bonehead Composites here. There are several reviews of the Pilot-X on a few other forums. Vans and Biplaneforum. And lots of pilots out there wearing them; Rob Holland, Airbus Perlan pilots, department of forestry, etc.

    We also have demos available.


    Thanks!
    Tell us about the impact attenuation properties of the Pilot-x helmet.

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    pzinck's Avatar
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    Bill as the only helmet designer I have ever met, what is the proper procedure for fitting head attire? Were your designs made of different materials than presently available aviation gear?

  19. #19
    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzinck View Post
    Bill as the only helmet designer I have ever met, what is the proper procedure for fitting head attire? Were your designs made of different materials than presently available aviation gear?
    When I use a helmet I like it to be comfortable and firmly on my head. Think of a good handshake. Also remember no helmet can protect what is not covered by the helmet. Often people roll the helmet back on their head exposing the forehead and/or leave the straps loose or unbuckled. Looks cool but defeats the purpose of a helmet.

    As to shaving the impact material to get a good fit; you are now a helmet designer flying blind. Helmets that are built to meet a performance standard may no longer pass the standard after alteration. Most (all) standards are pass/fail so how much is your modified helmet now failing by? relevant or not? is the standard any good in the first place? I cannot tell you.

    My questions to the members of this list are:

    Has anyone found hard data on the mechanism of head injury in cub type accidents? What did the head hit and how hard? How often do these types of injuries occur? Other contributing factors?
    With and with out shoulder harness?

    Also what are Cub drivers looking in a helmet?
    Reduce the risk of serious injury or death, prevent a turbulence induced bump from smarting, reduce the chance of a bump nocking the pilot out in a crash, protect the pilot from a bird strike or for better noise attenuation? All of the above?



    The notion that any helmet is better than no helmet has it's flaws.

  20. #20
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill.Brine View Post
    When I use a helmet I like it to be comfortable and firmly on my head. Think of a good handshake. Also remember no helmet can protect what is not covered by the helmet. Often people roll the helmet back on their head exposing the forehead and/or leave the straps loose or unbuckled. Looks cool but defeats the purpose of a helmet.

    As to shaving the impact material to get a good fit; you are now a helmet designer flying blind. Helmets that are built to meet a performance standard may no longer pass the standard after alteration. Most (all) standards are pass/fail so how much is your modified helmet now failing by? relevant or not? is the standard any good in the first place? I cannot tell you.

    My questions to the members of this list are:

    Has anyone found hard data on the mechanism of head injury in cub type accidents? What did the head hit and how hard? How often do these types of injuries occur? Other contributing factors?
    With and with out shoulder harness?

    Also what are Cub drivers looking in a helmet?
    Reduce the risk of serious injury or death, prevent a turbulence induced bump from smarting, reduce the chance of a bump nocking the pilot out in a crash, protect the pilot from a bird strike or for better noise attenuation? All of the above?



    The notion that any helmet is better than no helmet has it's flaws.
    Very well said. It's important to understand that aviation helmets are, as Bill suggests here, purpose designed for their particular application, whether it be protecting a pilot's melon during an ejection sequence from a fighter or protecting a pilot's noggin as a helicopter sheds parts in an impact sequence. We then adapt those helmets to our own purposes. But, do they really provide the protection we seek in the environment we're operating?

    MTV

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    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill.Brine View Post
    The notion that any helmet is better than no helmet has it's flaws.
    For the ignorant layman, can you elaborate on this comment?

    I would think that most guys who wear helmets in a Cub are also wearing a shoulder harness. And I'd think that most Cub pilots are wearing a helmet to offer protection should they find their head too close to the panel or fuselage tubing or lose objects getting flung forward from the cargo area. This would most likely be from a landing incident or just getting roughed up in turbulence. These are the reasons I wear one. I hadn't considered the bird strike scenario but that is a possibility too.

    So it would seem to me that anything beyond a ball cap would be of some benefit. But your comment makes that idea seem questionable.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinner2 View Post
    For the ignorant layman, can you elaborate on this comment?

    I would think that most guys who wear helmets in a Cub are also wearing a shoulder harness. And I'd think that most Cub pilots are wearing a helmet to offer protection should they find their head too close to the panel or fuselage tubing or lose objects getting flung forward from the cargo area. This would most likely be from a landing incident or just getting roughed up in turbulence. These are the reasons I wear one. I hadn't considered the bird strike scenario but that is a possibility too.

    So it would seem to me that anything beyond a ball cap would be of some benefit. But your comment makes that idea seem questionable.

    I do not want to hold myself out as an expert on aviation safety gear.


    Helmets work. But in activities with a low likelihood of head injury the added weight and bulk of a helmet may cause more problems than they fix. Think about how fatigue from heat and/or weight of the helmet effects reaction time. Think about how a helmet makes egress difficult. Also think about how wearing a helmet my embolden you (there is some controversy over the "gladiator effect" with helmet usage but I believe it has merit).

    There are lots of other factors to consider.












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    Here's one reference that supports helmet use. The helmet in the photo is a ProTec. No crash rating. Not much better than a bike helmet.... but it sure looks like it helped the guy wearing it.

    https://m.facebook.com/FAA/posts/851149951593295
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-14-2016 at 10:42 AM.

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    A related article that includes some interesting information about flight helmets in general.

    https://aams.org/toolbox/Considerati...ng_Helmets.pdf

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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    The helmet shown on the FAA Facebook page looks like an inmold ski helmet. My guess is this helmet is half to third of the weight of military style aviation helmets. It als looks to be made with 3/4" or so of EPS for impact. This helmet would not meet the mil spec but it worked in one real world cub test....

    Impact to the crown of the helmet. No headset.
    Last edited by Bill.Brine; 02-14-2016 at 02:37 PM.

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    It looks just like the ProTec that I bought to try. Very similar in any event. I know of pilot guys who cut the liner foam to allow a headset headband to fit inside the helmet. FWIW my ProTec and a pair of headsets weighs almost exactly the same as my Gallet LH-050. It is the same on my digital scale but I'm not dialed in for grams or fractions of grams. The DC helmet with headsets attached weighs a couple of ounces more.
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    I was slightly off in my weight reports so here's a visual correction. Keep in mind that the Gallet has ANR and the other examples are shown with old DC H13.4 non-ANR headsets. The ProTec is the most flexible/least protective and doesn't fit headsets easily, the DC has a nice suspended bonnet and slightly more rigid shell and fits DC headsets perfectly, and the Gallet is clearly the most protective, has built in comm and includes a movable sun visor.
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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I was slightly off in my weight reports so here's a visual correction. Keep in mind that the Gallet has ANR and the other examples are shown with old DC H13.4 non-ANR headsets. The ProTec is the most flexible/least protective and doesn't fit headsets easily, the DC has a nice suspended bonnet and slightly more rigid shell and fits DC headsets perfectly, and the Gallet is clearly the most protective, has built in comm and includes a movable sun visor.
    Good data.

    Without knowing what you want from a helmet it is tough to say one is better than the other.

    Help me understand some more about each of these helmets.

    How thick is the shell of each helmet?
    What material is the shell made with?
    What is the impact material, type, density and thickness?
    Is the headband in the DC and Protec helmet?

    The one exemplar spent crash helmet from a cub crash (FAA Facebook) the crown appears to have received the blow from the collapsed birdcage. Don't think I would want the DC or Pro-tec helmets you show if I was in the FAA Facebook crash because the headset top band would take place of the impact material.

    Also:

    In some helmet applications being more flexible may not be a bad thing.
    Last edited by Bill.Brine; 02-16-2016 at 12:00 PM.

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    I'm no expert. I'm just a guy with three popular helmets sitting in front of him.

    I don't have a pair of calipers or other measurement tools available at the moment but the ProTec appears to be abut .100" and is plastic with a simple nylon chin strap attached and two layers of soft foam glued in. It's about as sophisticated as a simple bicycle helmet but probably less protective given the soft foam.

    The DC helmet uses a plastic shell with a nylon mesh bonnet that DC headsets fit into and that assembly snaps into the shell with very effective directional snaps. The chin strap latches with velcro and is part of the bonnet, not the shell. There is some dense foam glued to the inside of the shell. It isn't rigid but isn't pillow soft, either.

    The Gallet has rigid foam bonded to an aramid composite shell (according to the web literature). There are two shells in the Gallet. It looks like the outer shell is probably plastic and the inner shell is definitely laid-up composite. There's a fabric liner that conceals the foam and has velcro tabs to hold fitting pads and an Oregon Aero "Zeta" liner. The liner can be removed and cleaned. The Gallet outer shell is definitely the thinnest at approx .050-.060 thick but the edges are concealed with a trim. The inner composite shell has foam fitted and bonded so that shell's edge isn't visible to judge thickness.
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  30. #30
    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I'm no expert. I'm just a guy with three popular helmets sitting in front of him.

    I don't have a pair of calipers or other measurement tools available at the moment but the ProTec appears to be abut .100" and is plastic with a simple nylon chin strap attached and two layers of soft foam glued in. It's about as sophisticated as a simple bicycle helmet but probably less protective given the soft foam.

    The DC helmet uses a plastic shell with a nylon mesh bonnet that DC headsets fit into and that assembly snaps into the shell with very effective directional snaps. The chin strap latches with velcro and is part of the bonnet, not the shell. There is some dense foam glued to the inside of the shell. It isn't rigid but isn't pillow soft, either.

    The Gallet has rigid foam bonded to an aramid composite shell (according to the web literature). There are two shells in the Gallet. It looks like the outer shell is probably plastic and the inner shell is definitely laid-up composite. There's a fabric liner that conceals the foam and has velcro tabs to hold fitting pads and an Oregon Aero "Zeta" liner. The liner can be removed and cleaned. The Gallet outer shell is definitely the thinnest at approx .050-.060 thick but the edges are concealed with a trim. The inner composite shell has foam fitted and bonded so that shell's edge isn't visible to judge thickness.
    The DC helmet looks to have some VN (Vinyl Nitrile) foam for it's impact material. VN in a variety of densities was a goto liner material for football and ice hockey helmets until the 1980's. VN works well as a bump guard but has some issues at higher temps. 3/4" of an inch or more of ridged VN (rock hard) under the shell is needed for a helmet to be expected to perform as anything more than a bump helmet.

    The Protec you have looks to be of the "non certified" variety. Protec has a long history in skate helmets. Prior to any skate helmet standards the Protec made helmets with very soft liner and a hard HDPE shell. Today they still make a non certified line because these helmets are in demand by many skaters. The non certified Protecs don't perform well in the lab but kids keep buying them so they must perform in the park. The non cert line of Protec helmets have nothing close to the impact performance of a CPSC certified Protec bike helmets. The cert helmets look exactly the same as the non cert helmets except they have EPS liner (Styrofoam). Go figure.

    The Gallet appears to have a EPS liner. EPS in a variety of formulations, wall thickness and densities is the goto impact material for bicycle, ski and motorcycle helmets. EPS is great stuff pound for pound and inch for inch but it is rock hard and not so friendly as a bump helmet.

    EPS is the liner material I suspect is in the "FAA Facebook helmet".

    Any more examples of helmets that have survived a cub crash and the pilot lived to tell?

    Not sure I have added to the discussion. Maybe to the confusion.
    Last edited by Bill.Brine; 02-16-2016 at 04:06 PM.

  31. #31
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill.Brine View Post
    The Gallet appears to have a EPS liner. EPS in a variety of formulations, wall thickness and densities is the goto impact material for bicycle, ski and motorcycle helmets. EPS is great stuff pound for pound and inch for inch but it is rock hard and not so friendly as a bump helmet.
    Probably true, but that's where the Zeta Liner is beautiful. Nice and soft, though it can be a little warm in the summer. Not too hot in most conditions in my experience, but you'll want to wash it more often when it's warm out. I've worn one in 130 deg F ambient temps.

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    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    Probably true, but that's where the Zeta Liner is beautiful. Nice and soft, though it can be a little warm in the summer. Not too hot in most conditions in my experience, but you'll want to wash it more often when it's warm out. I've worn one in 130 deg F ambient temps.
    I love Oregon Aero. Have their seats and their hush kit.
    The Oregon Aero Zeta helmet liner is a huge improvement over the government issue stuff when it comes to comfort but I am skeptical of the impact improvements they claim. I believe the zeta liner is made from Urethane foam (EAR - Confor). Confor is temperature sensitive and heavy but comfortable as all get out when warmed up.

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    Huh? There's no foam in my Zeta Liner, is there? I guess there may be some foam material but it isn't stiff. It just takes up space and makes the liner feel cushy. I guess I never thought about it.
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-16-2016 at 11:12 PM.

  34. #34
    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Huh? There's no foam in my Zeta Liner, is there? I guess there may be some foam material but it isn't stiff. It just takes up space and makes the liner feel cushy. I guess I never thought about it.

    You should have between 1/4 and 5/8" of urathane foam sandwich between two layers of brushed fabric. Amazing how much a 1/4" of urathane foam can improve comfort.

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    Bill,

    Mine is a fabric envelope with approx 1/8" of soft material in the middle. Looking at the washing label it says to fold a towel and press water out, don't wring, so it must be some sort of foam but it's thin and soft. It's a comfort liner, not a structural one. I put my helmet on in the cold and the foam ear cups are the only thing that's stiff and uncomfortable and that passes in about 30 seconds. It's less annoying than using DC gel seals in the cold. THAT its uncomfortable. Getting rid of the cold gel seals was the best reason to buy the OA hush kit!

    I always wear a balaclava under winter motorsports helmets. I never wear one in the Gallet. I need to try that. If nothing else it'd buffer my ears from the cold. It may compromise the noise control, though. No risk in trying.
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-17-2016 at 09:33 AM.

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    I have been trying out the PilotX for a couple of weeks and I like it. It took a bit of padding adjustment to get it comfortable but now I hardly notice it. It is very light weight and low profile. I tried out the ANR option, but after wearing Lightspeeds for 2 years, this ANR just doesn't cut it. I will likely go with the ear bud option instead. My only complaint with the helmet is the ear cups. They just don't match up to the overall very high quality of the helmet. Customer service at Bonehead is very good and they may have some other options for the ear cups but I have not checked out what else they have to offer.
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  37. #37

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    Are there any helmets that allow you to use a Bose headset

  38. #38
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    This thread lead me to search the archives for some pretty important threads that talk about helmets. Here is one that contains a wealth of facts and some pretty substantive opinions.

    http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...cations+safety

    Randy

  39. #39
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Check out the thread from 2007 that was just revived...

    http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...=Helmet+safety

    Randy

  40. #40
    WWeldon's Avatar
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    Ive broken my neck twice now and I sure would like to try out a couple brands before I bought in. I do want to fly with one. At one time I had heard of some people that had retrofitted a david clark helmet with a set of Bose A20. I would like to hear more about that as I have the Bose. They are the only set I have tried that didn't hurt my neck. Haven't tried LS though probably same

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