General Aquadyne Incorporated


the scrapbook of diving history

Established in the early nineteen sixties as ‘Agonic’ in Santa Barbara California. Soon the name was changed to ‘General Aquadyne’. When Aquadyne went out of business parts of it were sold to DIVEX in England where currently the AH5 helmet is manufactured.

1969. General Aquadyne Incorporated AH-2 (Air Helmet 2)

There probably was an AH-1 from Aquadyne too but I have not been able to find any pictures or info about it. The first Aquadyne Air Helmet manufactured in important quantities is the AH2. All seem to be black, some are shown with a breastplate even though the breastplates in bronze would be reproductions sold by a dealer from England. The AH-2 is a ‘ventilated’ or ‘free flow’ helmet, it has no demand valve built to it. At the divers wish it can be used with either a neck seal, clamped with the neck ring directly to a drysuit or used on an old style 12 bolt suit with help of a 12 bolt breast plate.

Above: a standard GS-2 Aquadyne with a neck ring and neck seal.                                                                       Special thanks to mr. Yamada Kaito from Japan for sharing his photographs.

1974. General Aquadyne Incorporated AH-2 TV Helmet

Here above: an interesting version of an AH-2TV helmet, this helmet has a TV camera and light integrated in the top of the helmet. Aquadyne introduced this helmet in 1974 after having successfully incorporated their ‘Observer II’ television system into their AH-2 helmet.                                        Special thanks to mr. Yamada Kaito from Japan for sharing his photographs.

1977. General Aquadyne Incorporated DMC-7 Diving Helmet

Here above: the DMC-7 Helmet from Aquadyne. This helmet was created by permanently fixing a hard shell to a DM-6 full face mask rather then being born as a helmet. At some stage the helmet was very popular among divers, also because it had a new feature built to it: an adjustable neck-cushion which could be operated by turning a knob on the left side of the helmet, ( see lower 2 photos here above ) providing a perfect fit to any head size. Its only down side was its weight, which was important enough to make Kirby Morgan advertise their KM17 helmet as ‘Super-Light’ helmets.                                                                                                                                              Special thanks to mr. Yamada Kaito from Japan for sharing his photographs.

1970. General Aquadyne Incorporated GS-2 Diving Helmet

The Aquadyne GS-2 helmet, it looks a lot like the AH-2 helmet as here above but the difference is that it is equipped with some extra connectors at the back of the helmet. These are to connect a rebreather backpack to it, to be used for mix gas diving. This rebreather backpack was not much different from the rebreather backpacks designed by Draegerwerk since the early 1900‘s: 2 gas tanks with inbetween of them a unit with the scrubber and some parts which create a so called ‘venturi’ ( circulation of breathing gas ) Two hoses connect the backpack to the Aquadyne, one to exhaust gas and one to supply gas to the helmet. The only difference with the Draeger backpack is that this modern variation gets the gas supplied from the surface and uses the gas in its own tanks only in case of an emergency.  This mix gas version was introduced by Aquadyne in 1970 but seems not to have been made in any important numbers.

1971. General Aquadyne Incorporated DM-5 (Diving Mask-5)

Here above: the Aquadyne DM-5 full face mask as manufactured from 1971 to 1975.

1971. General Aquadyne Incorporated DM-4 (Diving Mask-4)

Here above: the Aquadyne DM-4 full face mask.                                                                                                                             Thanks to Tony Gregory for sharing some photo’s of his mask.

1975. General Aquadyne Incorporated DM-5 TV

The TV system on this DM-5 FFM is identical to the ‘Observer II’ TV system in the AH-2TV shown further above. Do you have a real photograph of this Aquadyne DM-5 TV? Then please share it, I only have these drawings available now.

1975. General Aquadyne Incorporated DM-6

Here above the Aquadyne DM-6. Originally this mask came with a hood and a spider but these are missing from the mask at the photo. Photo David L.Dekker

1979/1981. General Aquadyne Incorporated AH-3 Diving Helmet

Here above: the Aquadyne AH-3 helmet. Does anyone know when these were introduced? There is not a lot to be found on those on the internet. The main difference between the AH-2 and the AH-3 seems to be the side block which now has more connections to it. And the color of course ... The helmet at the pictures I bought from a man who got it from the british army. The AH-3 helmets in the british military were replaced by Kirby Morgan helmets several years ago.

19??. AH-4 Diving Helmet

Also an AH-4 helmets seems to have been made but I cannot find any info on it. Do you have a picture of one? Do you know when it was introduced ( which year ) and who made it ( Aquadyne USA or Divex in England ) Then please share this with us. Thanks.

19??. AH-5 Diving Helmet

The AH-5 is made in England by Divex, a company which once was American but was bought in 1981 by an English business-group called ‘Pressure Products’. I have no images nor info on the AH-5 but in case of interest please check the DIVEX chapter for info on that company by clicking HERE.

1977/1979. General Aquadyne DMC-7 PP1 (by Innerspace Systems)

Here above: the DMC-7 Helmet from Aquadyne adapted for use with a ‘Popoise Pack - One’ (PP-1) rebreather system by Innerspace Systems.  I have no further info about this rare variation. The set at the photographs was sold on ebay in 2013.

Above: a standard AH2 Aquadyne with a neck ring and neck seal. This helmet was introduced in 1969, rumors go that whoever designed this helmet was largely inspired by the Advanced Series 2000 helmet of George Swindell (see the Swindell Chapter on this website)                                                                                            Photograph early 70‘s Aquadyne sales leaflet.