Warbird headsets

Huggyu2

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I'm going to buy a headset for use in warbirds.
I'm strongly considering getting a mesh or cloth helmet too.
And, as I understand it, you have to be careful to make sure helmet is sized correctly to the headset.
I'd like your suggestions. Get the helmet or not? I figure it will be good to have when I go do aerobatics in my friend's Pitts.
Seems most "in the though" here don't recommend ANR. Seems a pair of David Clamps, or similar, is what folks are using.
OK, let's here your suggestions.
 

Hung Start

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Just my opinion on my experience.

I own a T-28B, probably one of the noisier cockpits out there. I installed a Sigtronics, high noise intercom, which allows me to have either a hot mike, or use the original push to talk intercom switch. I thought the Bose X would be the headsets, but found them to be quite lackluster in performance. Not sure if it was an impedance problem or what, but I had a lot of problems communicating between cockpits. Ended using the old standby David Clark noise cancelling, and they work fine. I don't wear a helmet.
Good luck.

Hung
 

svcta

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I tried a Bose X in the T-6 and it was very poor. The ANR couldn't keep up with that kind of noise and they offered ZERO passive protection. Works fine in the L-19, but can't handle the higher noise levels of the radials from what I've seen.

I always used D.C. 13.4s in the T-6 and it was a great match.

I wear a helmet in the -28 (a hard one). Fitted properly they work great.
 

Huggyu2

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svcta,
I'm looking at buying a 13.4 now.
Before I do, let me ask:
DC makes the H10-13X, which is an ENC (or ANR) headset, which I'm considering.
Do you think the main problem with the Bose was the inability to cinch the earcups tight to your head?
I don't think that will be a problem with the 13X's, since I'm planning to use a cloth helmet from Flight Suits, Ltd that is designed for the DC 10-series.
Bottom line: the the problem "the fit", or "the ANR"?
 

svcta

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I thought of it as a combination of both. But I still just don't think that ANR can cope with the noise levels in the T-6. It just sounded like the electronics were breathing hard and constantly trying to figure out what sound to make to cope with the sheer volume and variety of noises coming from the airplane.

What kind of airplane are you purchasing for?

I think you can get ANR sets built in to a helmet, but they have an advantage right off the bat because they are, well in the helmet, which I guess gives them a little shelter from the ambient noise.

The DC's may work fine since they have such good passive attenuation to begin with. Send DC and email, I'll bet they'd answer.
 
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Huggyu2

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The DC 10-13X claims a real good 23db passive, plus another 16-22 db with the noise reduction on. I'm told that the cloth helmets do a good job of keeping the headsets tight to your ears.
The Flight Suits Ltd cloth helmet claims it's designed for the DC 10-series.
I'm getting this for an SNJ, but want to use it elsewhere, like going up and doing aerobatics in friends' aircraft.
It might look odd wearing it in an LSA, but I can only afford one helmet, so I might just have to deal with the jokes/comments.
 

svcta

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All sounds good to me. Let me know how it works.
 

VNugget

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I've got T-6 time with ANR David Clarks in a cloth cap and they worked good. Every once I'd turn the ANR off for giggles, and the difference was night and day. (And at 10 hrs a day in the airplane, was definitely worth it.) The sizing isn't an issue at all, since the cloth obviously flexes. They're made for the standard DC form factor anyway. (However my boss had a Bose in his, and it worked decently fine for him.)

If between 2 sizes, I'd err toward the larger one because a tight cap cutting off the blood flow around your forehead sucks big. (My noggin's so big that I have the biggest size and split it down the middle and sowed in an inch-wide strip.)

Come to think of it, now I probably wouldn't bother with a cloth helmet. The slipstream stays nicely on the outside of the canopy, unless you have both front and rear open. When I was flying it, I had long hair I didn't want getting tangled up.
 

Huggyu2

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VNugget, were you using the Flight Suit Ltd (now called Gibson & Barnes, or something like that?) cloth cap?
I wore one for an hour in a Great Lakes 2 days ago, with non-ANR DClarks. I really liked it.
Unless I find another company that makes a good cloth helmet, I'm thinking that I'm going to get one of these, with some DC 10-13X ANR's. $300 more than the 13.4's, so I need to mull that a bit.
 

jbDC9

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I don't fly a T-6 or T-28 (but wish I did!), but have a noisy little RV-8 instead. My main headset is a 24 yr old Dave Clark H10-40 modified with an aftermarket ANR kit. Works fine, does a nice job of noise canceling, but as a part of the mod the ear cup volume controls are disconnected. Bummer.

A year or so ago I bought a new ANR headset for the back seater... I'd never actually used it until a week or two ago, and holy crap is it better than my old DC. The new unit is a Pilot USA PA 1761T; it's a DC clone with a 9V battery pack, stereo/mono switchable, cell phone/mp3 interface, good noise canceling and good sound from the speakers. The best part? Only 295 bucks! I bought from Aircraft Spruce, but both they and Marv Golden have it for the same price. Works as well as a fancy lad Bose but at 1/3 the price. The bad part is, I think I'll have to buy another one of these to have a matched set and finally retire my trusty old Dave Clarks.

Here's a link to the MG info page.
http://www.marvgolden.com/headsets/pa1761t.htm

It's not that I'm just a cheap bastard, but, as an airline pilot, I gotta uphold the cheap airline pilot image.
 

stearmann4

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Huggy,

When I was starting out in aerobatics and brought up in warbirds, I was always drilled to wear a helmet for any aircraft I had the potential to bail out of. I've expanded that advice to wear a helmet in any aircraft where you've got a good chance of being incapacitated by the panel smacking you in the head (hampering my egress such as a Pitts).

That said, I've alway worn an HGU-55, but a Perrone Leather helmet (http://www.perroneapparel.com/store/main.htm )with a DC headset in the Stearman and PT-19. Perrone's quality far surpasses Flight Suits, LTD/Gibson & Barnes. I tried the ANR but it really doesn't do much in a wind swept cockpit.

However, I found a great solution. I'm sure you're familiar with CEPs (Communication Ear Protection http://www.cep-usa.com/ ) which are standard for most all military (helmet-ed) cockpits now. I contacted Ben Mozo, the owner when I was down at Ft Rucker, and he installs the CEPs in DC type headsets as well. It works great in the Stearman, T-6 and T-28. You just can't beat having the miniature speaker planted directly in your ear. I also had em' installed in my HGU-55 and wouldn't ever fly ithout them again. I've successfully recommended CEPs to a number of warbird pilots who had the onset of tinitus and were always tuning the radio up full volume then putting foam ear plugs in to deaden the sound just so they could hear all the radio calls. If ou get em' in you helmet, it does require a thicker ear cushion to allow some stand off for the insert, or it gets pushed against your ear by the cup. I bought mine through oregon Aero for $36. Gibson & Barnes also sells the CEP mod or your helmet, but it's about a 120% mark up over buying direct from CEP.

Lastly, it's about $130 ( a year or so ago), which beats any ANR set up.

Mike-
 
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VNugget

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VNugget, were you using the Flight Suit Ltd (now called Gibson & Barnes, or something like that?) cloth cap?
I wore one for an hour in a Great Lakes 2 days ago, with non-ANR DClarks. I really liked it.
Unless I find another company that makes a good cloth helmet, I'm thinking that I'm going to get one of these, with some DC 10-13X ANR's. $300 more than the 13.4's, so I need to mull that a bit.
The tag is gone (must have taken it off during the widening procedure) but I'm 99% sure it's a Flight Suits.
 

Huggyu2

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Thank you for the additional info.
I flew on Saturday in the back of our SNJ, and coincidently, borrowed a friend's setup: Perrone cloth with DC ANR headset (he thinks they are 13X's). Our canopy is the type that can be opened from the back, and I flew the whole time with it open. Everything worked ok.
I'll checkout the CEP's: the USAF was supposed to get something like them years ago, and still hasn't.
 

svcta

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I went out on a little trip this earlier this month and tried a new headset/helmet rig out. If any of you are considering a new headset purchase I highly recommend the Clarity Aloft set. I've used them in the T-6 and now for about 12 hours in the P-51 and they work great. Light, comfortable, and they are every bit as quiet as the ANR with no battery to worry about. I really liked the way that I could adjust my volume perfectly to suit my needs and protect my ears.

For use with a helmet in the Mustang I actually used a Chinese TK-1 helmet that I picked up for less than $70 bucks new. This goes nicely over the Clarity set which essentially become a CEP rig under the helmet. So, for less than half the price of a new G&B ANR helmet I have a CEP helmet that works great, and I don't think that there is a noisier cockpit than the Mustang.
 

dustrpilot

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I fly a turbine powered spray plane 700-900 hrs a year. Its extremely noisy and I wouldn't consider anything without ANR. In the last 2 years I have even started using ear plugs as well as I have noticed some ringing in my ears.
When I had a Pitts I used the Perrone cloth helmet with David Clarkes and thought it was adequate, but would have liked to have worn a helmet with it, but it was just too restrictive in my plane.
Gibson and Barnes was the place to buy helmets, but I've heard of another company that sells the same helmet as GB and with an ANR is about 300.00 less than GB. Buddy of mine just bought one and he says its even lighter.
FWIW
 

svcta

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I fly a turbine powered spray plane 700-900 hrs a year. Its extremely noisy and I wouldn't consider anything without ANR. In the last 2 years I have even started using ear plugs as well as I have noticed some ringing in my ears.
When I had a Pitts I used the Perrone cloth helmet with David Clarkes and thought it was adequate, but would have liked to have worn a helmet with it, but it was just too restrictive in my plane.
Gibson and Barnes was the place to buy helmets, but I've heard of another company that sells the same helmet as GB and with an ANR is about 300.00 less than GB. Buddy of mine just bought one and he says its even lighter.
FWIW
The cool thing about the Clarity Aloft is that they are earplugs. The attenuate every bit as well as earplugs (35-45 dB)but they have speakers in them. I find them to work very well and I can wear them all day in a jet or in a warbird. They weigh a couple of ounces and don't even mess up my swell hairdo.....unless there's a helmet involved.
 

dustrpilot

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The cool thing about the Clarity Aloft is that they are earplugs. The attenuate every bit as well as earplugs (35-45 dB)but they have speakers in them. I find them to work very well and I can wear them all day in a jet or in a warbird. They weigh a couple of ounces and don't even mess up my swell hairdo.....unless there's a helmet involved.
Hmm, You can wear a helmet over the Clarity?
 

svcta

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Absolutely. I gave it a shot on the ground and it was comfortable so I gave it a shot on my last road trip and there were no downsides. Your mileage may vary; my helmet is not a custom fit, but is comfortable. It never had coms in it so the earcups are soft foam covered with soft fabric, which really lent itself to my application. The Claritys go inside your ear and the wire to them is small and flexible so it always just got out of the way perfectly.

Two thumbs up!
 
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