The History Behind Air Force’s “Sharktooth” Helmets

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In a little less than three weeks, Air Force will take on Abilene Christian in their first football game of the 2016 season. On Monday, AF Falcon’s official Twitter account dropped a video reveal of their new badass “Sharktooth” helmets they’ll be wearing against Georgia State for the world to see.

The Sharktooth design is a homage to the first American volunteer group of pilots who defended the Chinese against Japanese forces. The group, dubbed as the “Flying Tigers,” painted the noses of their planes with the snarl of a shark baring its teeth, resulting in Japanese fighter pilots most likely shitting themselves at the sight of the flying sharks on the horizon.

Even now, the Air Force continues to pay tribute to the “Flying Tigers” by branding planes such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II with the menacing DGAF paint job of their predecessors. With the evolution of technology, the Sharktooth design now affords the pilot flying the plane with the ability to rain bullets out of the shark’s open mouth.

These helmets are just so badass on so many levels. Forget the detail of the “plane panel” design meticulously painted onto each helmet. The fact that these kids are not only willing to defend their home field, but also willing to defend our country, and pay homage to those who came before, rank these helmets on an all-time greatest list.

Air Force’s biggest games this year will be against Colorado State and against Boise State at the end of the season. Coming off of an 8-6 record, expectations are high for the Falcons, with many assuming a win against Boise State at home will clinch their division and position them well for the bowl season. Either way, Air Force seems to have won the preseason uni drop with those nasty helmets alone.

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