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Gibson & Barnes


crashed_05
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I found a company called Gibson and Barnes to have my old military flight helmet refurbished and converted to work in civil helicopters. I'm going to keep as much as I can on the helmet to save as much money as I can. It sounds like it'll end up costing between 200 - 500 bucks (depending on what I decide to replace after their inspection)which is a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing a new helmet.

 

Has anyone here gotten helmet work done with these guys before? Good or bad? They sounded good to go over the phone.

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I found a company called Gibson and Barnes to have my old military flight helmet refurbished and converted to work in civil helicopters. I'm going to keep as much as I can on the helmet to save as much money as I can. It sounds like it'll end up costing between 200 - 500 bucks (depending on what I decide to replace after their inspection)which is a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing a new helmet.

 

Has anyone here gotten helmet work done with these guys before? Good or bad? They sounded good to go over the phone.

 

 

Yep, we have bought at least three helmets thru them, and had mine worked on twice. Good folks with good service.

 

jmho,

 

dp

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I just bought some stuff from www.helicopterhelmet.com They do refurbs too and I have heard a lot of great things about them. I have heard some bad things about the service and timeframe with G&B but have not used them personally.

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Eh, I can't speak to their work with helmets, but I tried to buy a flight suit from them a back in the spring. It ended up being a bit of a disaster (1 month to get it, wrong sizes sent, difficulty arranging the return, took months to get a refund, and in the end they stuck me with all the shipping charges). Spent hours on email or phone trying to get it all sorted out. Just my experience.

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I needed to get some new stuff for my helmet (new dual visors, ANVIS mount, liner, cups, etc) and they were backordered through Gentex on the ANVIS mount. I would just make sure they have whatever parts in stock before commiting just because what is out of their hands can take some time. I have bought a few flightsuits and through them and never had an issue. May have helped that I was local and went in there. My program just bought 4-5 helmets and a BUNCH of flightsuits and I know that it only took a few days to get all the helmets. I don't know when the flight suits were ordered so I'm not sure about that.

Good luck.

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I had good experiences with helicopterhelmet.com. The only thing I've bought from G&B were skullcaps, which were ok, but overpriced IMO, but I couldn't find them elsewhere. G&B certainly isn't the cheapest seller of anything, but I've had no bad experiences. Helicopterhelmet.com is reasonable, and when I needed to return a visor, purely my own fault, they refunded my money without quibbling, including the shipping, which I didn't expect.

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Thanks for the replies. I just gave Oregon Aero a call. They are a lot closer to me, rather than sending my helmet all the way to SoCal. They said there is no charge for converting the helmet for use in civil helicopters...I just pay for the parts. I'm waiting for a call back from them to see exactly what all they can do.

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The only thing that really needs changing is the microphone. Everything else will work ok. I changed the speakers on mine, and the volume nearly deafened me. I replaced the military speakers, and I'm happy with that. It's not rocket science to replace the microphone, and you should be able to just order one and replace it yourself. Nothing else needs to be done, unless you want to paint it. You can do that yourself with a can of spray paint, but if you want a professional job, you'll have to pay through the nose, that will be the most expensive part of the conversion by far.

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The only thing that really needs changing is the microphone. Everything else will work ok. I changed the speakers on mine, and the volume nearly deafened me. I replaced the military speakers, and I'm happy with that. It's not rocket science to replace the microphone, and you should be able to just order one and replace it yourself. Nothing else needs to be done, unless you want to paint it. You can do that yourself with a can of spray paint, but if you want a professional job, you'll have to pay through the nose, that will be the most expensive part of the conversion by far.

I need to change the pigtail also (the part you plug into the heli). It has a wierd plug on it that I've only seen in the military. There doesn't seem to be an adapter that exists for it. I started taking my helmet apart today and found that everything is extremely simple to replace. I'm just going to have them send the parts to me.

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I need to change the pigtail also (the part you plug into the heli). It has a wierd plug on it that I've only seen in the military. There doesn't seem to be an adapter that exists for it. I started taking my helmet apart today and found that everything is extremely simple to replace. I'm just going to have them send the parts to me.

 

What type of plug? I admit that I've been gone from the military for a long time, but back then we used the same NATO plug that civilian models use, and the helmet I bought had the same one. If you have basic soldering skills, it's not hard to change the plug, though. There should be adapters available for almost every type plug, but in the long run it's usually better to change the plug.

 

If it's a Gentex helmet, you can get a complete manual for it from the Interweb tubes, with illustrated maintenance and assembly/disassembly instructions, for free.

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Most likely talking about a u-75/u plug. They do sell an adapter for it.

Chris

Ah...I found it. That looks like it. But it says it doesn't change the impedance of the speakers or mic, so I'd still have to replace those, right?

 

any particular mic y'all would reccommend?

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Ah...I found it. That looks like it. But it says it doesn't change the impedance of the speakers or mic, so I'd still have to replace those, right?

 

any particular mic y'all would reccommend?

Yes, you would still need to change the mic, that's essential. Any 300-ohm model will work. Electrostatic models give better sound than dynamics, and are much smaller and lighter, and not that more expensive, if at all. Most pilot supply stores sell them, and Marv Golden is probably as cheap as any. Like I said above, the speakers don't really need to be changed. With the civilian 300-ohm models, I can't turn the volume down low enough to get the radios and intercom matched, and the volume is simply too high. I use the military 8-ohm models and prefer them. I've built headsets using standard small stereo headphone speakers, and needed to install an impedance matching transformer, but with the helmet I have, I don't like the volume.

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