My issue A-2

Banzai

Active Member
I know, Avirex isn't a "good" brand, but this is the A-2 jacket that was issued to me, so it will always be my favorite. I think it's honestly a very nice jacket. A few notes/thoughts on it:

The best improvement that was made over the vintage jackets, and the 1st gen of the new/reissue A-2s, was the addition of interior pockets, to include specifically the two pen/pencil holders, which I've pictured. On our flight suits we wear the pens in holders on a pouch on our left arm. When I put on my A-2, I take out my pens and put them in those slots. Few things are as comical as watching one of the guys who was issued a jacket without pen pockets digging in their left jacket sleeve to try to get to their pens, or getting snagged up on their pens while donning/doffing the jacket.

Of course, the modern A-2 is NOT flight wear. It is specifically not authorized for flight in fighter cockpits. Mobility guys can wear theirs in flight. Old joke; you can tell a fighter pilot because his leather jacket is in pristine condition. We always wear our Nomex everywhere for convenience. The Nomex/CWU, being actual flight wear, does not have any interior pockets, since those aren't safe with harnesses and ejection seats. Just like the old A-2s, which were utility wear for under harnesses, etc. In a way I suppose the Nomex CWU is the utility heir to the vintage A-2.

An interesting thing about my jacket is that I asked for a 38S, and the supply guy brought out this one tagged 38XS. He said it was the only one with that tag, he had no idea what it meant, but I should try it on. I've never seen an "XS" since...it seems to be the measurements of a modern 38S. The Mil jackets come in L, R, and S, but not "XS". Maybe I have some kind of unique weird typo tag.
A2 name redact.jpg
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mulceber

Well-Known Member
You can't click on them and expand them to full? I can. That's just how they upload to the website for me.

We can, it’s just a real hassle because the board’s attachments don’t load as well as embedded photos do. For example, I had to try 3-4 time before it would load your photos. You’re far from the first person who’s done this though (we’ve literally had whole threads about what to do about it), so don’t worry about it.:)

Photos look great, btw.
 

Banzai

Active Member
We can, it’s just a real hassle because the board’s attachments don’t load as well as embedded photos do. For example, I had to try 3-4 time before it would load your photos. You’re far from the first person who’s done this though (we’ve literally had whole threads about what to do about it), so don’t worry about it.:)

Photos look great, btw.
Should be fixed now.
 

Banzai

Active Member
I wonder why they're still making them with unfaced zippers though? I get why the old ones were; they were honestly cheaply produced, mass produced WW2 government utility wear. Given all the little things they've done like the interior pockets, you'd think they would face the zipper.
 

Banzai

Active Member
On a certain level, any jacket issued to a real pilot, who flies military a/c is going to be a better jacket than any high end repro worn by non-aviators!!!!!
When I was a dumb 25 year old Lt., and newly qualified wingman, I thought this jacket was just about the coolest thing ever, and I couldn't believe they just GAVE it to me.

I mean, I still think it's cool because of what it is, but that has everything to do with emotional attachment. Now I've been cursed with knowledge and wouldn't go out of my way to buy it. But back then, a leather jacket was a leather jacket, and this one already had velcro on it for my wings and everything!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
When I was a dumb 25 year old Lt., and newly qualified wingman, I thought this jacket was just about the coolest thing ever, and I couldn't believe they just GAVE it to me.

I mean, I still think it's cool because of what it is, but that has everything to do with emotional attachment. Now I've been cursed with knowledge and wouldn't go out of my way to buy it. But back then, a leather jacket was a leather jacket, and this one already had velcro on it for my wings and everything!
Interesting conversation …. I’ll explain why . I’ve always maintained that although jackets like yours are less desirable and collectible then original WWII A2 jackets, they were still USAF issued flight jackets, issued to flight crews and pilots just the way the originals were in WWII . Now the interesting part of this is your statement that you wouldn’t go out of your way to buy it back. I can almost guarantee that the airmen and crew of WWII felt pretty much the same as you did about their jackets . Some of them brought them home and used them to paint the house in , work on their autos in , or just generally wore them as a work garment . For the most part they viewed their jackets as pieces of survival gear and nothing more, and probably wouldn’t have bought theirs back either, in those days . However, fast forward 80 years and today they are collectable pieces of history, of a period that encompassed a world at war . 80 years from now , I have a feeling that your jacket will also have a place in history as well . Just my opinion, others may differ.
Cheers
 
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2BM2K

Well-Known Member
We can, it’s just a real hassle because the board’s attachments don’t load as well as embedded photos do. For example, I had to try 3-4 time before it would load your photos.

I was wondering why there was a lot of fuss about the thumbnails as they work fine for me.
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
The only ‘issue’ with Avirex is that they have been known to produce ridiculous Hollywood ’flight jackets’ with tons of patches/artwork/escape map linings, horrible leather and a big blousey 80’s fit, and trumpet about how historically accurate they are. They actually used to produce some half reasonable repros when they first started. Nothing wrong with their actual military contract jackets.
Thumbnails are the bane of many lives on this forum, me included, invariably they won’t load properly, usually on the very shot in a series that you particularly want to look at. We have tried to get rid of them, but it doesn’t appear to be an option.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
The only ‘issue’ with Avirex is that they have been known to produce ridiculous Hollywood ’flight jackets’ with tons of patches/artwork/escape map linings, horrible leather and a big blousey 80’s fit, and trumpet about how historically accurate they are. They actually used to produce some half reasonable repros when they first started. Nothing wrong with their actual military contract jackets.
Thumbnails are the bane of many lives on this forum, me included, invariably they won’t load properly, usually on the very shot in a series that you particularly want to look at. We have tried to get rid of them, but it doesn’t appear to be an option.

There should be an option via the forum software or a way to make full size images the default. But the latter takes a bit more bandwidth and former a minor hassle at upgrade time. Thankfully VLJ does not require images to be uploaded to a third party host then linked to here as that can introduce all kinds of user error issues.

Anyway, all that aside thanks for posting images of your issue A2 Banzai, make sure it becomes a family heirloom!
 

Banzai

Active Member
One last note on the current issue A2: when it returned to service in the 1980s, the pockets were much smaller, there weren’t side-entry hand warmer pockets, and there weren’t interior pockets. A lot of aircrew were taking theirs to one of two shops: one in S Korea, and one in Turkey, and getting them modified with those features.

Eventually, the AF listened to aircrew requests and added them to the contract.

However, Avirex did it the cheap way, and instead of making a real pocket that goes into the lining, they just put another back on the patch pocket, and the hand pocket is between the leather on the jacket, and the second back on the patch pocket. This drove them to make the patch pockets much bigger to accommodate the hand warmer pocket behind. It’s my understanding that the “Korea mod” was a cloth pocket cut into the actual lining, like a real pocket should be.
The upshot of this story is: that’s why the pockets on this jacket are so gigantic. Would have been nice if they had spent the extra dollar in labor to make proper hand pockets. Oh well, that’s bulk military gear for you.
 
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HackerF15E

Active Member
Of course, the modern A-2 is NOT flight wear. It is specifically not authorized for flight in fighter cockpits.
As with anything, "it depends". The ACC and USAFE Sup at one point did authorize it in the mid-00s. I flew with it in USAFE at RAF Lakenheath in 2006-2009.
 

Banzai

Active Member
As with anything, "it depends". The ACC and USAFE Sup at one point did authorize it in the mid-00s. I flew with it in USAFE at RAF Lakenheath in 2006-2009.
I was class 03-03, and didn't get mine until '05. (I think?)
But I can't recall anyone flying in it. Not saying you're wrong...obviously you flew in it. But by the time I actually cared about the reg itself when I became a Life Support Officer, it was verboten by reg.
 

AlexLutov

Well-Known Member
An interesting thread, well, according to my observations, you don't have to wait 80 years to see how avirex turns into an expensive collectible jacket one way or another..pay attention to the ebei, there are fewer of them, and the prices are getting higher..
 
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