Question - The most practical flying jacket?

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Smithy, May 24, 2018.

  1. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Well-Known Member

    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Hands-down, the most comfortable, warm, practical, flight jacket repro for winter I currently have is the B-15A MOD picked up from my personal inexpensive jacket playground, AliExpress. :D

    Hard to beat the authentic construction & stitching details / pattern, 100% cotton shell, 100% wool lining, seamless, authentic-looking wrist knits, repro blackened Conmar zip puller, etc.. A LOT of bang-for-the-buck here. :) The sizing is great for an import, and doesn't run small. I was surprised to find that the Chinese sellers are actually importing these over from Japan, and are made by Waiper Inc. (in the same vein as 'Houston'), since no close-ups of the label are shown in the listings.

    When it comes to practicality and comfort in a leather flight jacket, I would choose an authentically-patterned AN-J-3 (AAF version) any day of the week. However, my GW RW 27752 is exquisitely patterned, and quite comfortable for an A-2 as well... More so than any other specific-contract repro I've owned, and allows for a wide range of movement.
    Skip and Smithy like this.
  2. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Having approx. 4000H in the cockpit ( AC cooled)..,
    No collar, ( leaning back in a 12 H plus plus flight on all recent Boeing, Airbus, Canadair ( 5 hours) seats ... impossible) so as thin as collar pls...
    So short sleeved shirt and if a jacket... L2-A or B... all other pieces of cloth or my business areas ... to much of a hindering... surely no jacket with a collar, surely no leather , no lined or fleece way...
    My little 1 cent 4000H cockpit time experience.
    Phrog Driver and Flightengineer like this.
  3. Marv

    Marv Well-Known Member

    When I've flown I tried to give my different jackets a little flight time so I tried the A2, G1, B10, MA-1, L2 etc. and to be honest with the heated cockpit and all, the most practical was the nylon variants to be honest.
    Flightengineer likes this.
  4. herk115

    herk115 Active Member

    I'm one of those that will judge a jacket based on its practicality when used in an airplane. For the most part, I prefer a properly fitting CWU-36P or -45P, depending on the temperature. They were designed specifically for use in the cockpit and do their job well, far more comfortably than an A-2 or any other jacket I've worn. The added bonus of being fireproof makes them doubly attractive. Also, on the very serious side, if I'd had to E&E I'd much prefer wearing the CWU than the A-2. The CWU is camouflaged (at least somewhat), and doesn't creak noisily like leather (ask Scott O'Grady how he felt about matching garments that blended in with the vegetation...that's why the USAF wears green boots now). So on most flights, I was green from head to toe. That said, if I was just going along for the ride or if it was to be a simple flight, I wasn't above wearing the A-2. After all, as they say, you wear the practical garment in the jet, but wear the A-2 walking to and from the jet.

    Now that my flying days are over, it just depends. If I want to look cool (which is most of the time), it's hands down A-2 or G-1 (60/40 A-2). But the CWUs have their practical side there as well. I spend my retirement days doing photography out in the boondocks, and the CWUs are sure more practical for that...those large pockets are dandy for keeping a spare lens, cable release, filters, lens cleaning kit, water bottle, Quest bar, etc. Being covered in Velcro, the CWUs allow me much more flexibility in showing off my patch collection. So nowadays it just depends on what I feel like wearing when I leave the house.
  5. FlyingYankee

    FlyingYankee Active Member

    for me it's the 37j1 Navy summer flying Jacket; hate to say it but I am tiring of wearing leather and the 37J1 still has the vintage cool factor.
    zoomer and Smithy like this.
  6. Geeboo

    Geeboo Well-Known Member

    Agree. Apart from aesthetic & nobleness [leather is a more expensive fabric than cloth], Leather jackets are not practical at all. Not water resistant, no warm keeping [at the same thickness cf say, wool], extremely heavy & movement constraint.
    I think there is a reason for the military to replace leather with cloth jackets in the late 40's.
    In a tropical climate in HK where there is just 3 months when the temperature is below 20 degree C, I think L-2 kind of thin jacket is more practical, in the sense of more chances of wearing only.
    & in depending on the weather, say in snow, I have tested that my original N-3A is almost the only military garment that has warmth keeping capacity comparable to that of down jackets - hood are important in really cold weather - so no B3.
    Smithy likes this.
  7. FlyingYankee

    FlyingYankee Active Member

    I think leather has a tremendous advantage of protection in a crash or accident; as a second skin so to speak.
    Geeboo likes this.
  8. Geeboo

    Geeboo Well-Known Member

    no arguing. I tend to agree with you - theoretically.
    But in a crash, you will be dead even wearing a steel armour, for minor accident, I think leather still have a very tiny edge over say, nylon.
  9. nkang

    nkang Well-Known Member

    Leaving the outer material out of the scope of discussion, the most practical jacket I owned was my ELC B-15. With 2 warmer pockets plus 2 generous inner pockets, it is more practical than B-10, G1/M422a and A2. The inner alpaca lining is also very warm and I needed no intermediate layer when everything was frozen in Sweden, just a plain shirt and my B-15. Because of the material, it is also slightly lighter than G1 and A2, making it a more pleasant travel companion.

    Obviously B-10, G1, and A2 all have better aesthetic appeals and I prefer non-synthetic fabric. But the endzone twill is a tough beast, too.
    Marv and Dr H like this.
  10. Phrog Driver

    Phrog Driver Member

    Most guys wore CWU series to fly in. G1's aren't that warm. But these days nothing beats a G1 for important stuff like dog walking or beer drinking!
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  11. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    For cooler/ cold weather my ELC B-10 can't be beat... Its so comfortable and warm. External and internal pockets are handy for phones, wallets.... not hands ;)
    For 'not cold' weather... Its a right toss up.
    I do wear my A-2s... Some are more practical/ comfortable to wear than others...
    I have a Schott Suka Souvenir jacket that gets lots of wear (essentially a light MA-1)...
    I do like the pattern of the G-1/ M422as, but that fur collar makes me too warm unless its pretty cold or breezy. I'd say an ANJ-3 (but I don't have one... yet).
    If its properly rainy and stormy, nothing beats a good technical raincoat.
  12. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Well-Known Member

    I do not use flight jackets for flights, only sometimes for fun flights with friends on small planes (then the most comfortable CWU and nylons + simple overalls or jeans). Despite the fact that I have 3 A2, it's not the most comfortable for flying jackets, but damn beautiful just for wearing.
    Phrog Driver likes this.
  13. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    DE3C2685-AF0D-4D40-B935-132905B8DC4E.jpeg A few years ago when I flew as a flight observer on small aircraft, I had what I considered the best flight jacket made. It wasn’t a military jacket but rather a civilian LL Bean sheep lined flight jacket made similar to a G-1. It had hand warmer pockets , an interior pocket , mouton collar and was made of very nice goatskin. The jacket was ideal for everything you needed a cold weather jacket to do. For those who may not be familiar with it here are a few pictures to check out. 97E731B3-2B71-4BE4-B753-36C2FC8FE211.jpeg 1735D661-B97C-4E43-A251-3A1D77659417.jpeg 9D7D312B-9593-4379-935C-37339E4644A8.jpeg
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  14. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

    for me - MA-1
    Flightengineer likes this.
  15. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    all in all, i have to say the repro aviator-mc jackets, made by dave, bk, pegasus, etc. they are long enough to go below the belt line, have heavier then a-2 or g-1 liners [cotton drill, wool, etc], and have side entry pockets.
  16. Rutger

    Rutger Well-Known Member

    Hengelo, Netherlands
    MA-1 and any close predecessors that happen to have two outside pockets, two inside pockets and a (zippable) pencil pocket which can be closed shut and can hold paperwork, passport, bank card, muesli bars and other small but proven usefull stuff.
    It's a pity the CWU36 and 45 don't have those inside pockets.
  17. Phrog Driver

    Phrog Driver Member

    Pilot, heh. Reminds me of when my son called me one day from Navy flight school and told me the "ECU" was out and he had to fly two whole hours without air conditioning. I told him to call me back when he had 4000 flight hours without air conditioning.
  18. Officer Dibley

    Officer Dibley Well-Known Member

    East Anglia, UK
    Anything shearling is too bulky and for me personally, a little "affected" (too poseur) but others carry it off well (JL nails them). Perhaps i lack a little of the self confidence that is needed to wear them. Also rarely cold enough in the UK to wear and modern solutions work better or the AF would still be issuing them right ?

    Nothing original WW2 as too fragile.

    For me, probably the ANJ-3. Never had one but have had a few G-1's along the way. The bi-swing back is great when i need to reach forwards to the motorbike grips but the collar affected my head movement and often made my neck sweat. Anything with a bulky collar is a no-no for me.

    I prefer to put up with the compromises of the A-2 because i just flipping love the minimalist styling & cut !

    I do also ride in a CWU36/P. Great jackets.
  19. Jorgeenriqueaguilera

    Jorgeenriqueaguilera Active Member

    Florida, USA
    For me, that’s the CWU-45...... besides you can go anywhere without worrying about carrying several hundreds on you!
    Greg Gale likes this.
  20. Muppetdaze

    Muppetdaze New Member

    Mat Larsen swedish army coat, only problem it might be too warm m1909 it's sometimes called, got it for £2 from a charity shop, and eveybody i worked with wore it, but too tight in the shoulders for me to actually work in. Possibly the most indestructable jacket i have ever seen, which is why i didn't mind workmates borrowing it.

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