• Hey guys, I had to upgrade the VLJ software because the old one is being phased out. Please let me know of any issues in the SITE UPDATE THREAD. Thanks!

What do you think is the most iconic flight jacket in history

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
What do you think is the most iconic flight jacket in history.
By that I mean for a person with no interest in flight jackets.

For me it would be
1. Irvin. [I wish it was cold enough here in winter to justify buying one]
I think most people would associate an Irvin with flying.
2. MA-1
Due to so many fashion copies that are called flight jackets.

I won't put an A2 on my list as I think an unpatched and unpainted A2 I think would just look like any other leather jacket to most people.
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
Interesting topic. That’s also a hard nut to crack, especially for the uninitiated in flight jackets.

Seeing majority of non flight jacket people would have seen Hollywood and associated Tv shows/ movies, and the majority of those would have been either /or an A2, m422, or shearling I would have to say either of those 3

Interesting you say that the A2 without artwork looks like another leather jacket, and in a way you are right. If you look at the jacket fashions each new season another version of an A2 is brought out in clothe or with a distinctive A2 theme about it

Recently on a tv show a British presenter for an art show Fiona Bruce, had On a modern take of a house A2, the only difference it was suede. It had patch pockets, clothe knits and waistband, one price back, even had the A2 wind flap right to the collar, an no hand warmer pockets

Last year I noticed it was the A1 in vogue.
 

Juanito

Well-Known Member
Easy...Maverick's patched G-1 from Top Gun.

Any A-2 would be mistaken for a Member's Only jacket from the 1980's by the common person, and no normal person knows, or frankly cares, that the A-2 is THE jacket that initiated it all.

The MA-1 is a close second for the large following from punk rockers to Kevin Costner wannabes. Goes to show you what mass media can do.
 
Last edited:

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Easy...Maverick's patched G-1 from Top Gun.

Any A-2 would be mistaken for a Member's Only jacket from the 1980's by the common person, and no normal person knows, or frankly cares, that the A-2 is THE jacket that initiated it all.

The MA-1 is a close second for the large following from punk rockers to Kevin Costner wannabes. Goes to show you what mass media can do.
No offence but I meant jackets with no markings, patches etc that would a give clue to it being being a flight jacket. Audiences change over time, in the 60s and 70s Col Hogans a2 was probably the most well known jacket in the world.

bobcrane-colonel.jpg
 
Last edited:

Southoftheborder

Active Member
I think it depends where you're from. I agree that an unpatched A2 is not really associated with flying jackets by most people in the street nowadays, outside of the US perhaps anyway - and sheepskin jackets are what they think of as flight jackets.

I know I was always being asked where I'd parked the Spitfire when I wore my Irvin. But no one really associates the A2 I wear with aircraft much I think.
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
I think it depends where you're from.
I completely agree.
Depends on the country very much.
By the way, even the presence of any patch is not a guarantee that the A2 will be identified as a flight jacket. I once had such a case .
It seems to me that the truth is that most people just a short (nylon or leather) jacket with a knitted belt and cuffs already will be call a “bomber jacket” even if it does not look like Ma-1 or B-15 from afar. Most people don't care about the details.
 

Spitfireace

Active Member
Very, very good point. As you say outside of the US, the A-2 has no connotation of flying to the man on the street. In the Commonwealth the Irvin is the one that people connect with flying and actually any leather jacket with a sheepskin or fur collar will carry that connection because of it.
Yes, mouton collar means flying jacket. A-2 without patches is just a leather jacket.
 

Spitfireace

Active Member
No offence but I meant jackets with no markings, patches etc that would a give clue to it being being a flight jacket. Audiences change over time, in the 60s and 70s Col Hogans a2 was probably the most well known jacket in the world.

View attachment 14232
Hogan''s A-2 was made by the studio. Not a known contract jacket as far as I know. It was rumored to have been made for Frank Sinatra in "Von Ryan's Express".
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
I think most people, certainly in the UK, associate a sheepskin or at least fur collared jacket with flying. An Irvin is probably the iconic flight jacket here, what with Bomber Command and of course the Battle of Britain. Naturally nobody can tell an Irvin from a B-3, which is why I’ve had the ‘where have you parked your Spitfire?’ line myself. And everyone thinks the archetypal flying jacket is made by Aviation Leathercraft or similar, with pockets. I wish I had a quid for the amount of people who have told me they had a ‘real flying jacket ‘, only to find on questioning that it had handwarmer pockets. They never take it well when you tell them it’s not a WWII original.
An unpatched A-2 means nothing to the man in the street in the UK. When I had a patched one somebody once asked why it didn’t have a fur collar.
 

Spitfireace

Active Member
I think most people, certainly in the UK, associate a sheepskin or at least fur collared jacket with flying. An Irvin is probably the iconic flight jacket here, what with Bomber Command and of course the Battle of Britain. Naturally nobody can tell an Irvin from a B-3, which is why I’ve had the ‘where have you parked your Spitfire?’ line myself. And everyone thinks the archetypal flying jacket is made by Aviation Leathercraft or similar, with pockets. I wish I had a quid for the amount of people who have told me they had a ‘real flying jacket ‘, only to find on questioning that it had handwarmer pockets. They never take it well when you tell them it’s not a WWII original.
An unpatched A-2 means nothing to the man in the street in the UK. When I had a patched one somebody once asked why it didn’t have a fur collar.
and now the elitism, "what it's got hand warmer pockets". I don't care if you've paid a thousand dollars for it. It's not a real deal jacket. Sorry I gotta turn my nose up on that one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Art

D97x7

Well-Known Member
Agree in the UK it's only the Irvin, at least in my experience.
I was chatting about weather you could frame an Irvin the other day, my friend offers me his "original" for the purpose, his 34 year old original I may add, I didn't have the heart to tell him that originally bought in Canada by his mum doesn't count, lol.
Still, his heart was in the right place.
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
There’s nothing wrong with handwarmer pockets, and most people prefer a jacket which has them, not being at all bothered about historical accuracy. However the fact remains that original WWII Irvins did not have pockets, so anyone with a jacket which has them, who thinks they have a Wartime jacket, are likely to be disappointed.
 

Garylafortuna

Well-Known Member
If we use the term 'Iconic' in its classic meaning; a symbol of a particular idea, quality, or period, then nothing can touch the A-2. In recent times, although not really a flight jacket, but it could have been if he had taken to the skies, the most iconic jacket by a country mile is the Indy jacket.
 

Nickb123

Well-Known Member
Irvin/B-3. I say this as I suppose most people think "bomber jacket"rather than the A-2. But I do think the G-1 is rather recognizable too with its collar.
 

taikonaut

Active Member
A2 has been around before WW2 as civilian wear. After WW2 wartime originals found popularity amongst the youth culture of the 50s and 60s



Contemporary audience might associate you as a Highlander fan:)
 
Top