DaveLeave it with me Burt - i’ll snaffle you a pair. It’s cold in Flawda right now
They’re only around $20-25
My wife detests leather jackets with knits hence why I don't wear A-2s when I'm out and about with her ;-)Knits are a proven weakness.....
Hi TimMy wife detests leather jackets with knits hence why I don't wear A-2s when I'm out and about with her ;-)
Saying that and although I can already hear the dull thuds of jaws hitting the floor, I'm actually getting a bit tired of A-2s myself. I've been wearing a Wested Raiders jacket the last 3 weeks and I can't help thinking it's a more practical jacket with a more flattering fit (no pear shaped blouson look), and additionally the wife is very keen on it.
Great score Dave, you'll get a lot of use out of that.
Mine is the standard pattern Raiders (non Hero) model in soft seal brown cowhide and in custom sizing. Sadly i don't think that leather is available anymore but they've got some other lovely leathers by the looks. They apparently will send out leather samples too Burt.Hi Tim
What model Wested Raiders jacket did you get?
They have so many choices of styles and hides to choose from it gets a little confusing.
Amen - but we do risk their wrath for jackets, eh ?Happy wife, happy life Burt
BLOUSON PN VOL PILOTE DE CHASSE ARMÉE DE L'AIR FRANCAISEI’m not familiar with this type of jacket so I’d like to know how to be able to tell an original issued French Air Force jacket from a repro one ?
Thanks for any replies
Bravo!BLOUSON PN VOL PILOTE DE CHASSE ARMÉE DE L'AIR FRANCAISE
The French fighter pilot leather flight jacket, officially called “Le Blouson PN" (Personnel Navigant or “aircrew”) is a lambskin military flight jacket that was issued by the French Armeé de l’Air from 1970 to 1995.
The official government contract production jackets were only issued to pilots of the Armée de l’Air (the French Air Force) and later to the Police de l’Air et des Frontières...(aviation police and border guards). They were also known as “French Jaguar jackets” because the Armée de l’Air flew Jaguars as did the RAF in the Seventies. The Blouson PN was in use for nearly a quarter of a century until it was discontinued and replaced by a flight jacket made from a synthetic fabric called Kermel.
In the late 1990s many were sold off by the French government and marketed through surplus stores in used condition, many with names in them. Some were destroyed.
Distinguishing characteristics of a genuine “Blouson PN” jacket ("Blouson de la Dotation" or Jacket from the Air Force Endowment)
1. Your jacket should have seven pockets (two exterior pocket, two inner 'orders' pockets, as well as one pocket in the lining with the orange “emergency vest” that serves as safety vest but also in case of crash, in order to be able to be spotted quickly. It goes over the leather jacket. There is another pocket on the chest for the rank tab (“Fourreau de Grade”) and one pocket with pen holder on the left sleeve. The sleeve on the pocket is now rectangular, but earlier models have oval pockets (the shape of the latter was deliberately designed because it allowed the wearer to store a compass).
2. Elastic knit cuffs in the lower sleeves.
3. Waist adjustable with buttons or snaps, three positions
4. A label with the name of the French manufacturer, ((MJ As du Cuir - MIC - Cassi Sàrl - Alto Cuir (Levroux) - Jacquin) also showing the military size and contract number (Ordre de Marche). These manufacturers who made the authentic jackets, also marketed very similar cut and quality copies, but with other components/materials (leather thicker than authentic, other brands of zippers, etc.
5. Main zipper (fermeture à glissière) is a heavy two way brass zipper marked ECLAIR (“lightning”). The ECLAIR-Prestil company manufactured a specific model of zipper for the Army that was not available to the general public. The "AILEE" (Wing) brand of zippers) was also used in the manufacture of the first generation jackets in the 1970s. Definitely not YKK. An important note about the zippers: For the authentic jackets, the French Army supplied the manufacturer with all the components (zippers, etc) they needed. No discussion of the zippers would be complete without providing the answer to an often asked question: ”Why the double zipper?”
Here is the answer: When the pilot was seated in the cockpit he sat on a survival package containing the parachute. Then, if he were forced to eject, he needed to manually attach himself to this survival equipment by a harness. His jacket was normally zipped closed so he would have to to open the jacket’s zipper from the bottom in order to do this.
6. A one-piece back panel. There is no horizontal seam in the back.
7. A red orange (NOT YELLOW) emergency vest stored in a small pocket in the lining
8. A removable brown (and NOT BLACK) synthetic mouton fur collar, fixed at first by button later by zipper.
9. A black (and NOT BLUE) removable lining fixed by zipper and velcro (but not on first generation jackets; those with the circular pocket on the left sleeve). Recent models (and/or imitation jackets) have a removable lining attached by a black zipper made by YKK.
10.”Zig Zag” stitching on collar.
11. Four ventilation holes in both armpits.
Please keep in mind that the copies/reproductions most often fail on criteria 4,5, 6 and 7. Also the above guide is no positive guarantee that a jacket is official government issue. The best assurance is knowing and trusting your source.