World War 2 Italian Air force flight jacket

Discussion in 'Foreign Flight Jackets' started by Lorenzol, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Lorenzol

    Lorenzol Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Geneva, Switzerland
    A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the city of Florence for work and, walking on the street one day, I came across an exhibition to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Italian Air Force, known since inception and until 1946 a as the Regia Aeronautica Italiana. The exhibition was a mix of, mostly, copies of historic photographs and text, some videos as well as some historical objects and model airplanes. The historical photographs and text really caught my attention. Very interesting collection of photographs tracing the history of the service from its early days, their speed record attempts at the Schneider Trophy in the 1920s, second world war, post-war rebuilding of the service (with mostly US hardware) and into the present times. While there many excellent photos, this particular one caught my attention:

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    It depicts the crew of an Italian medium-bomber during operations in the second world war. The picture is very reminiscent of similar images of axis and allied bomber crews during the same period, i.e. black & white, a mix of leather and fabric flight gear, kind of similar-looking oxygen mask and the same intense look of total concentration during the mission. My picture is a picture of picture and taken with a phone's camera, so apologies for the low quality...
    As for the jacket worn by the crew, it is heavy duty fabric flight jacket with a mutton fur collar. There was an original jacket of the same type behind a glass case and the text accompanying the exhibit remarked that it was the Regia Aeronautica's standard issue flight jacket. It did look heavy and warm, and I wondered what they would have used in summer, particularly at low altitudes, as it gets pretty warm in Italy. I could not see pictures of any other jackets in the WW2 set of pictures in the exhibition.
    I tried taking a picture of the original but the reflection from the lighting on the glass case was such that I could not get a decent picture of the jacket, but I found this on the WW-web:
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    Same jacket and, as can be seen, it is part of a flight uniform, with matching trousers. This is pretty much the same as was behind the glass case at the exhibition.
    A detail of the jacket:
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    If anything, the jacket is fashioned in the same style as the B-10, B-15 style of flight jacket, - fabric, short torso length, fur collar. It gave the impression of being a heavier jacket than the B-10.
     
  2. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Nottingham England
    Italian design.
    Why have a normal waistband on your jacket when it can have a sculptured curve for that extra touch of elegant style.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  3. Spitfireace

    Spitfireace Active Member

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Vancouver
    bravissimo!
     
  4. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,458
    Location:
    Belgium
    there is one in a museum at the museum ''Airbase Chièvres''
    it's a very very nice jacket

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  5. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,552
    Location:
    Norway
    Very good looking flight jacket. I don't know the first thing about Italian flying kit so thanks to both of you for the photos and info.
     
  6. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    RF
    Thank you, interesting pics.
    It's strange that they did not make a zipper on the vertical chest pocket (what was stored in it? Sunglasses?).
     
  7. Lorenzol

    Lorenzol Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Hmmm...it being an Italian piece of flight gear, probably a cold slice of pizza. No zipper for easier access during air combat maneuvers, when every calorie counts!
     
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  8. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    RF
    Probably you are right :)
    We were just accustomed to the fact that any pocket on flight gear can and must be closed ...
    I remember on the jet combat aircraft from 60s (MiG-21 or Su-7B) that I saw often had a cliche "pocket things must be hand over" (before flight) so that when maneuvering no object gets into the controls and jams them.
    Jackets in your photos are old and from another era of course, it's still strange to see the pocket without any latches.
     
  9. Cocker

    Cocker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    607
    Location:
    Belgium
    Dang, just saw this post, and that flight jacket looks pretty cool! And that waistband, wow...
     
  10. Kennyz

    Kennyz Active Member

    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    USA
    That's interesting Lorenzol, and it's a stylish looking jacket. Thanks!

    Ken
     
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