Titan II missile (1960’s)

Original helmet for special rocket fuel handler’s clothing outfit RFHCO.


One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the Air Force. 
The primary distinguishing feature of Titan II rocket was the fuel. Unlike previous missiles such as the Atlas and Titan I, the propellant could be stored for long periods of time, and were hypergolic. This means that upon contact, the fuel and oxidizer would ignite spontaneously without the need for igniters. Atlas and Titan I required 15-20 minutes to fuel. Titan II could be launched in approximately 90 seconds. Despite this, the fuel for Titan II was highly toxic. To fuel the missile, crew members had to wear a special Rocket Fuel Handler’s Clothing Outfit (RFHCO, pronounced “Ruf-co”) to protect themselves. These suits were highly uncomfortable and hot: crewmembers could only wear the RFHCO for fifteen minutes at a time in the Arizona summer.

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