Rae flying suit, type B, mid 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An all in one pressure suit covers the whole body and enables a pilot to operate the controls and land an aircraft if cabin pressure is lost. When activated this cumbersome outfit inflates like a balloon. Test pilots at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (Rae) at Farnborough, Hampshire, tested the suit but found it hard to move around in. They also found it fitted poorly with British aircraft controls. In 1956, the Rae replaced the partial-pressure suit with a British-designed jerkin that only inflated the area around the pilot's trunk and arms.