BACKGROUND: Inflatable lifeboats were an essential component of survival/emergency gear for all aircraft that were required to fly over large bodies of water. The inflatable lifeboats came in three different sizes depending on the type and size of the aircraft that it was to be utilized with. The larger bombers were equipped with six to ten person capacity lifeboats, while smaller bombers and dual seater aircraft were equipped with two to four person capacity lifeboats and single seater fighter aircraft were outfitted with a single man capacity boat. The single man boat for fighter aircraft was attached to the back flap of the pilot’s parachute. The boats were stored in the appropriate sized canvas carrying/storage case with additional survival and emergency accessories. The boats were equipped with a metal container of pressurized air or carbonic acid to inflate the boat as required and came with an additional bellows for manual inflation. Other accessories included collapsible oars, patch repair kit, bailing pail, emergency rations, a recognition flag, emergency signaling equipment and ropes.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Multi-panel, vulcanized yellow and black rubber construction one man life boat with black taped seams. The oval boat is roughly, 58" long and 41" wide when uninflated. The boat consists of a an inflatable, yellow oval outer tube and a single layer non-inflatable black "floor". Each side of the inflatable outer tube has two, dual-ply reinforced rope handles with an additional dual-ply reinforced rope handle in the floor at the front center. Each of the rope handles has black printed script, "Einsteiggriff", (Mounting handle). Both sides of the inflatable tube have two black printed diagrams featuring the likeness of an airman wearing a flight cap and performing hand signals. Each of the diagrams is accompanied by black printed script instructing the personnel on the proper use of the hand signals and explaining their meaning. The signal explanations include, "Beide Arme in Schulterhöhe waagerecht: Schlauchboot in Ordnung" (Extend both arms outwards level with the shoulders: Rubber dinghy is all right), "Beide Arme hochheben Erbitten Schlauchboot" (Both arms raised up. Request rubber dinghy), "Arm über Kopf kreisen: Erbitten Proviant und Wasser" (Arm over head in a circle: Request provisions and water) and "Beide Arme mehrmals hochsteßen: Verwundete an Bord. Dringende Hilfe notwendig" (Raise and lower both arms repeatedly: Casualty on board. Urgent help necessary). Shows the expected age and use. Scarce.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $1,495.00 (Or Best Offer)

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