Wired Irvin Airchute Flying Jacket

CIAMint

New Member
Hello All,

First time post here.

I am posting as I looking to get some information on what is, I am advised, a wired leather flying jacket from the 1939 contract with Irvin Airchute.

The jacket has been in my family for over a decade and more recently was restored by Mr Simon Swaffield of wwiijackets.co.uk (website no longer operational).

Work completed:
- Free up both sleeve zips
- Reinstate main zip
- Repair leather wiring channels
- Repair top right hand shoulder damage
- Repair collar damage (L/H side)
- Re stitch loose seam tapes
- Reinstate umbilici
- Treatment with Pecards and matting agent to stabilise and restore leather

It’s a 47inch chest (see label) and is a large fit.

Please see attached photos.

I'd be grateful of any further information and indication of value, as I would possibly like to sell.

Thanks
Clinton
 

Attachments

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hello All,

First time post here.

I am posting as I looking to get some information on what is, I am advised, a wired leather flying jacket from the 1939 contract with Irvin Airchute.

The jacket has been in my family for over a decade and more recently was restored by Mr Simon Swaffield of wwiijackets.co.uk (website no longer operational).

Work completed:
- Free up both sleeve zips
- Reinstate main zip
- Repair leather wiring channels
- Repair top right hand shoulder damage
- Repair collar damage (L/H side)
- Re stitch loose seam tapes
- Reinstate umbilici
- Treatment with Pecards and matting agent to stabilise and restore leather

It’s a 47inch chest (see label) and is a large fit.

Please see attached photos.

I'd be grateful of any further information and indication of value, as I would possibly like to sell.

Thanks
Clinton
I just saw the second part of your question , as to value of your jacket . Original Irvin’s without the wiring in average condition can sell for anywhere from $650.00 to $1,000 , depending once again on condition . A mint larger size Irvin can sell for $1,200 to $1,800. US or more . Unfortunately, wired Irvin’s are not selling at those prices, as they are not really wearable jackets for everyday cold weather use . Too many wires and umbilical cords hanging off them . They are good as a display item on a mannequin with other period items . If I were you I would figure out what I would take for the jacket , take measurements of the jacket and let people know it’s for sale .
 

CIAMint

New Member
Hi All,

Thank you for your comments and information - much appreciated!

I would wear the jacket myself, however its a bit big and as B-Man2 has said, the wires and umbilical cords are hard to control!

Please keep any information coming, I'd love to learn more about the jacket. In particular, does the serial number on the label give any indication of where the jacket might have been made/issued etc?

Thanks,
Clinton
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Clinton
If you take a good clear close up of the label in the full image size … ( We don’t like thumbnails as it’s hard to get them to expand properly and sometimes we just get the top half of the photo) someone will help you with this info .
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Also, there are one or two lengthy threads from a few years back about Irvin jackets already the forum. A bit of digging using the search facility ought to find them.

Nice big jacket by the way.
 

Lebensgefahr

Active Member
I`m not sure that the umbilical lead shown is original. Originals are sewn with an overlock stitch and that doesn't look like it is.
 

Chris 55

Well-Known Member
Not 100 percent sure but it looks as if the maker is Irvin Air Chute.
I have the 1940 wired Irvin and have been going through lots of images and only tend to find the B contract number at the start on Irvin jackets all others appear to start with H.
I could be wrong but that's where my research went.
Your jacket is in good condition.
A lot better than mine.
55268bfa-a3da-4a04-9fff-ad3200e4bcf2.jpg
 

CIAMint

New Member
Thanks All for your contributions.

I have taken a look at other IAC wired jackets (via Google!) and none of the umbilicals are overlock stitched. I'd like to think that this would have been picked up when it was restored. An overlock stitch would make sense though, as presumably the stitch is stronger - its certainly something I'll be looking out for!

The code on the label is B2355/39/C.I.(d.)

Hopefully, you will see full size images now and not thumbnails!


IMG_5754.jpeg
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IMG_5755.jpeg
IMG_5747.jpeg
IMG_5750.jpeg
IMG_5751.jpeg
 
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Lebensgefahr

Active Member
All i can say is that all seven of the umbilicals on my Irvin suit are overlock stitched, four on the trousers and three on the jacket.
 

tda003

Well-Known Member
These jackets likely went through a lot of stress and wear and tear with repeated use. It was a long war. Likely a repair later in its life. I suspect these were field repaired as needed to get them (and the crewman) back in service as quickly as possible. During my tenure a great many pieces of equipment were repaired that way. For example "bubble tape" (military version of duct tape) was used on many items besides radar bubbles and a lot of planes and choppers had holes repaired with fiberglass and epoxy. Not quite old enough to witness WWII repairs.
 

PADDY_M

Well-Known Member
To make it more wearable, how feasible to strip the wiring out? (or have I just sworn on the forum with such language? )
 

Chris 55

Well-Known Member
To make it more wearable, how feasible to strip the wiring out? (or have I just sworn on the forum with such language? )

Well I was thinking of putting the wiring back although I don't have the plug's.
As it will be getting copied my thought is to put the wires on in such away it uses bullet connection so easily removed if you want to wear the jacket.
 
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