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Soviet air force vintage leather jacket from 1975

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Recently received this nice jacket made in 1975 from one of my distant relative. This is an early version of the 4th (by informal classification) pattern of Soviet leather air force flight jackets, owned by the commander of the Il-76 military transport aircraft.



The jacket was in excellent condition and amazing quality, I just gave it a little Pecard treatment only.
From the pleasant - it fits me as if it was made for me personally.
If members are interested, I can later when there is more free time, try to do a detailed review.
 

Falcon_52

Active Member
Very interesting. I know nothing about Soviet era flight gear. I would be interested to see more of this jacket and some of its details. Thanks for posting.

Noel
 

geoff.adams.96

Active Member
Very interesting. I know nothing about Soviet era flight gear. I would be interested to see more of this jacket and some of its details. Thanks for posting.

Noel
+1 yes please, more info. I'm keeping my eye on these, I think there are a few originals around you can buy. I'm keeping my powder dry. Yours is a beauty, many congratulations, and wear it in good health!

Sent from my SM-G531H using Tapatalk
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
For those who are interested, bit more details about this jacket as was promised earlier.





Leather flight jackets in the USSR (and in modern Russia) are equipment of military aviators, however during the USSR era such jackets were used partly by civilian pilots too. Mainly by crews of helicopters and small planes, polar aviators and also by test pilots. But main part of users was certainly military.

Initially were designed for military pilots and therefore in my country the design of this jackets is strongly associated with the image of a military pilot first of all.

Here are some photos of these jackets in service from mid 70s (partly from the archive of the Barnaul’s military flight school).











The jacket has longer style than the more familiar to all short western flight jackets.

This particular jacket was made according to the specifications (pattern) of 1974 year. The previous pattern jackets were bit shorter and did not have two buttons at the bottom (for the rest, they are very similar).





The jacket has 4 outer pockets - two chest zipped pockets ,two hand warm pockets and one inner button closured pocket .

The left breast pocket was designed to carry a pistol and has a halyard with carbine clasp.





The inside shape of this pocket has the shape of soviet PM gun (on my pics used pneumatick PM's replica for clarity). The lining of this pocket is made of a very durable fabric that can support the weight of the gun. The second breast pocket is usual quadratic, but it has an additional small pocket for a spare magazine for the gun.





Hand warm pockets are very warm and have fleece lining. Soft and comfy.





The jacket has an incredibly strong vintage original Soviet zippers.





The lower part of the main zipper has a metal edging and is not sewn, but is fastened with rivets to the leather part of the jacket. This makes this zipper not only comfortable when zipping up, but also practically “eternal” in operation. Unfortunately, at present these type of zippers are not produced and as far as I know the difficulty of copying them is one of the reasons for the difficulties of exact reproducing these jackets (earlier patterns has the similar zips). For repro jackets now used hardly found survived NOS originals - reproduction of such zippers is not mastered by anyone yet - I learned this from Igor, known expert on these jackets who trying together with Ken reproduce old Soviet flight jackets.





The bottom of the jacket has a clasp on two buttons.


There is a folds on the back for easy movement, but no elastic bands inside and these folds slightly smaller than good known bi-swing from G-1 jackets.





Also has two stitched inside elastic bands on the left and right sides of the bottom for best fitting.





Underarms air vents.





The lining is made of light mustard color cotton fabric and completely copied all the outer structure and the seams of jacket shell. Inside there are loops on lining for fastening a warm liner.


The collar also has buttons for fastening the velvet collar, which can be used in cool weather.





Inside pocket.





The manufacturer’s name and other info stamped on the lining (in the USSR it was the only factory located in Moscow named Klara Zetkin), it contain the technical conditions number (pattern), lining fabric type info, year of manufacture, size, controller stamp and military controller stamp.





A few words about leather.

It's very nice, soft and elastic, I think this is not very thick cowhide or horsehide.





As I was able to find out, the first few years the batches of jackets this pattern were made from both leather types cowhide or horsehide and at 80’s partly from goatskin. Versions made from goatskin had an additional stamp on the lining (KOЗ) pointed that it is goatskin.

Jacket not heavy and despite the fact that this jacket is longer than A-2, it weighs the same as my Eastman A-2 Star Sportswear.

Over the years of flights, the leather has acquired noble abrasions, partly due to the straps of the parachute’s and shoulder’s aircraft belts. It has a beautiful grain and patina. I really like the color fade change in some places. Unfortunately, the photos can't very reliably convey shades.





As I said earlier, this is the so-called fourth generation or pattern (the photos of earlier Soviet jackets are in another VLJ thread). This version was made and used since the 1974 until around the mid-80s.


Here same pattern jacket with fastened velvet brown collar weared by MiG-23 pilot, old color photo from the net.





This «two button's pattern" afterwards had several later versions and the next pattern revision refers to 1981. Unfortunately the each of following revisions simplified and cheapened production (the back panel became not from one piece on later versions, but from two, lower quality goatskins used mainly etc).

The further development of these flight jackets led to the fact that modern version has only visual similarity with vintage of the 60s and 70s. Leather flight jackets continue to be used in the modern Russian Air Force but they have more roomie silhouette and shape, has back construction made of pieces, another zippers, another leather quality etc. Just as modern issued USAF A-2 jackets are not the same as WW2 A-2.

As often happens…The earlier it was made, the better it is.

As far as I was able to understand, not easy finding such jackets in good shape, especially from early patterns. Despite the once mass production, usually these jackets in rather poor shape or if OK have cosmic price. So I just got lucky suddenly.

Although many years work in civil aviation I got this jacket for the first time in my hands. Really like it, fits right, very comfy and undoubtedly it's piece of aviation history.




Keeper for sure and will be one of my favorite leather jackets.
 
Last edited:

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
For those who are interested, bit more details about this jacket as was promised earlier.





Leather flight jackets in the USSR (and in modern Russia) are equipment of military aviators, however during the USSR era such jackets were used partly by civilian pilots too. Mainly by crews of helicopters and small planes, polar aviators and also by test pilots. But main part of users was certainly military.

Initially were designed for military pilots and therefore in my country the design of this jackets is strongly associated with the image of a military pilot first of all.

Here are some photos of these jackets in service from mid 70s (partly from the archive of the Barnaul’s military flight school).











The jacket has longer style than the more familiar to all short western flight jackets.

This particular jacket was made according to the specifications (pattern) of 1974 year. The previous pattern jackets were bit shorter and did not have two buttons at the bottom (for the rest, they are very similar).





The jacket has 4 outer pockets - two chest zipped pockets ,two hand warm pockets and one inner button closured pocket .

The left breast pocket was designed to carry a pistol and has a halyard with carbine clasp.





The inside shape of this pocket has the shape of soviet PM gun (on my pics used pneumatick PM's replica for clarity). The lining of this pocket is made of a very durable fabric that can support the weight of the gun. The second breast pocket is usual quadratic, but it has an additional small pocket for a spare magazine for the gun.





Hand warm pockets are very warm and have fleece lining. Soft and comfy.





The jacket has an incredibly strong vintage original Soviet zippers.





The lower part of the main zipper has a metal edging and is not sewn, but is fastened with rivets to the leather part of the jacket. This makes this zipper not only comfortable when zipping up, but also practically “eternal” in operation. Unfortunately, at present these type of zippers are not produced and as far as I know the difficulty of copying them is one of the reasons for the difficulties of exact reproducing these jackets (earlier patterns has the similar zips). For repro jackets now used hardly found survived NOS originals - reproduction of such zippers is not mastered by anyone yet - I learned this from Igor, known expert on these jackets who trying together with Ken reproduce old Soviet flight jackets.





The bottom of the jacket has a clasp on two buttons.


There is a folds on the back for easy movement, but no elastic bands inside and these folds slightly smaller than good known bi-swing from G-1 jackets.





Also has two stitched inside elastic bands on the left and right sides of the bottom for best fitting.





Underarms air vents.





The lining is made of light mustard color cotton fabric and completely copied all the outer structure and the seams of jacket shell. Inside there are loops on lining for fastening a warm liner.


The collar also has buttons for fastening the velvet collar, which can be used in cool weather.





Inside pocket.





The manufacturer’s name and other info stamped on the lining (in the USSR it was the only factory located in Moscow named Klara Zetkin), it contain the technical conditions number (pattern), lining fabric type info, year of manufacture, size, controller stamp and military controller stamp.





A few words about leather.

It's very nice, soft and elastic, I think this is not very thick cowhide or horsehide.





As I was able to find out, the first few years the batches of jackets this pattern were made from both leather types cowhide or horsehide and at 80’s partly from goatskin. Versions made from goatskin had an additional stamp on the lining (KOЗ) pointed that it is goatskin.

Jacket not heavy and despite the fact that this jacket is longer than A-2, it weighs the same as my Eastman A-2 Star Sportswear.

Over the years of flights, the leather has acquired noble abrasions, partly due to the straps of the parachute’s and shoulder’s aircraft belts. It has a beautiful grain and patina. I really like the color fade change in some places. Unfortunately, the photos can't very reliably convey shades.





As I said earlier, this is the so-called fourth generation or pattern (the photos of earlier Soviet jackets are in another VLJ thread). This version was made and used since the 1974 until around the mid-80s.


Here same pattern jacket with fastened velvet brown collar weared by MiG-23 pilot, old color photo from the net.





This «two button's pattern" afterwards had several later versions and the next pattern revision refers to 1981. Unfortunately the each of following revisions simplified and cheapened production (the back panel became not from one piece on later versions, but from two, lower quality goatskins used mainly etc).

The further development of these flight jackets led to the fact that modern version has only visual similarity with vintage of the 60s and 70s. Leather flight jackets continue to be used in the modern Russian Air Force but they have more roomie silhouette and shape, has back construction made of pieces, another zippers, another leather quality etc. Just as modern issued USAF A-2 jackets are not the same as WW2 A-2.

As often happens…The earlier it was made, the better it is.

As far as I was able to understand, not easy finding such jackets in good shape, especially from early patterns. Despite the once mass production, usually these jackets in rather poor shape or if OK have cosmic price. So I just got lucky suddenly.

Although many years work in civil aviation I got this jacket for the first time in my hands. Really like it, fits right, very comfy and undoubtedly it's piece of aviation history.




Keeper for sure and will be one of my favorite leather jackets.
Dimitry
Outstanding review of a jacket not often seen here on the forum. Are these jackets readily available in countries previously under the control of the old USSR ? Also what is the cost of jackets like this, if you’ can find one in your country.?
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Dimitry
Outstanding review of a jacket not often seen here on the forum. Are these jackets readily available in countries previously under the control of the old USSR ? Also what is the cost of jackets like this, if you’ can find one in your country.?
Thanks Burt,
I received mine as a gift and didn't pay for it. Someone sometimes sells them here in Russia. The price starts from about 350-400 USD and reaches 1000 (sometimes more), depending on jacket condition, year of manufacturing, pattern type and jacket size. As far as I know some jackets come time to time from Ukraine.
 

geoff.adams.96

Active Member
A superb and hugely helpful review of this flight jacket - thank you so much for sharing! This info will surely help inform my decisions in the future in my hunt to acquire one of these. Whether I wait for an original - certainly one of the earlier patterns and preferably in cow or horse - or go for an Aero when they come out is still very much up for debate. Thanks again and congratulations once again on your superb jacket. Enjoy!!!

Sent from my SM-G531H using Tapatalk
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
A superb and hugely helpful review of this flight jacket - thank you so much for sharing! This info will surely help inform my decisions in the future in my hunt to acquire one of these. Whether I wait for an original - certainly one of the earlier patterns and preferably in cow or horse - or go for an Aero when they come out is still very much up for debate. Thanks again and congratulations once again on your superb jacket. Enjoy!!!

Sent from my SM-G531H using Tapatalk
Thanks Geoff, I'm glad that it was helpful and hope Aero together with Igor will soon delight you with repro of early pattern this jacket.
 

geoff.adams.96

Active Member
Thanks Geoff, I'm glad that it was helpful and hope Aero together with Igor will soon delight you with repro of early pattern this jacket.
Yes, either that or I may buy an original like yours from the 1970s, but it would need to be in decent wearable condition. But I do like the idea of a very early pattern in horsehide by Aero.

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Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Wow! Great write up. I learned a lot. When i first saw the pic in wawt forum i was wondering about the length. Now i know.
Yes, this jacket lenght was originally designed longer to protect the lower back from the wind. However, it is convenient to sit in it without even unbuttoning the main zipper (due to the elastic elements at the bottom and buttons that can be undone).

 

Falcon_52

Active Member
Thank you for taking the time to post the additional photos and information. This jacket looks very functional and practical. Interesting that the jacket is cut very long but with the buttons at the bottom, I'm sure sitting would never be a problem. I like the design a lot!

Noel
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Dimitry
From looking at the photos from that period of time , I find it interesting that the Russian Air Force was not using G-suits. Can that be true or were these pictures taken just for publication purposes?
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Dimitry
From looking at the photos from that period of time , I find it interesting that the Russian Air Force was not using G-suits. Can that be true or were these pictures taken just for publication purposes?
They used. But not on all types of aircraft as in any air force.
 

geoff.adams.96

Active Member
Hi Ken, having read a large amount of posts (some a little confusing) on this, I was wondering, just for absolute clarity, if you could please put up a pic of the lease lend Soviet Air Force jacket you will be reproducing in the autumn. Sorry for being a bit thick [emoji5]

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