X-2 - The A-2 Pre Contract Test Jacket by Headwind Mfg Co

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
It was not me who found the photo and so I don't have the bigger picture.

These photo's have all been before in this thread; https://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/buttoned-pocket-flaps-a-2-jackets.20145/page-2


For the record it was Ken who first spotted the internal windflap.
Yes that was a good spot. Weird feature. It seems they were concerned about wind flowing through the zipper teeth. Remember that zippers were a very new closure method at the time this jacket was made.

I had seen the photos on the thread but was hoping to see the full image.

Regards,
Jay
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
I think I've spotted something else
The latest pics seem to show a collarstand, oddly its a flat seam to the collar, it's not been top stitched. Check the Brett pic, it's crystal clear
The tab must be fitted to the collarstand, makes a lot more sense
Also explains the gap betweeen the collar edge and the external windflap. I've seen other pics of a jacket where the collarstand doesn't reach the edge of the windflap, rather ends below the collar edge
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
I think I've spotted something else
The latest pics seem to show a collarstand, oddly its a flat seam to the collar, it's not been top stitched. Check the Brett pic, it's crystal clear
The tab must be fitted to the collarstand, makes a lot more sense
Also explains the gap betweeen the collar edge and the external windflap. I've seen other pics of a jacket where the collarstand doesn't reach the edge of the windflap, rather ends below the collar edge
I don't agree. I think what you are seeing is the edge of the liner.
Collar-Close-up.jpg
Snap-Collar-2.jpg


Technically there is a collar stand of sorts. They made the collar extra wide and made a tall fold over creating a "collar stand" to accommodate the snap closure.
P1050133.JPG
P1050156.JPG
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Sorry Jay That's a collarstand
It's bleedin' obvious as they say over here

Check the sheen on the leather either side of the seam on the right (Wearer's Left)
I see it, but the problem I have is there is no stand visible on the Johnson jacket. You can clearly see the collar and the body with no collar stand in between. In addition, The snap is affixed to the bottom of the collar not on a collar stand. I don't think they would make a collar stand, and then put the snap above it on the collar. That would not make sense or be functional.

Snap-Collar-3.jpg
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
If that had been the lining seam we are seeing on Brett's close up and the latch was attached to the collar how do you explain the fact that the lining would have needed to be a couple of inches taller than the body for the seam to be that high?
That would be ludicrous and putting it together would have been a machinist's nightmare
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
If that had been the lining seam we are seeing on Brett's close up and the latch was attached to the collar how do you explain the fact that the lining would have needed to be a couple of inches taller than the body for the seam to be that high?
That would be ludicrous and putting it together would have been a machinist's nightmare
I think you are right Ken. I think the real clear indicator is where the zipper teeth and wind flap stop in relation to that seam. That's a lot of space, it has to be a collar stand on the jacket Brett is wearing.......however....
Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 8_19_26 PM.png


The jacket that Johnson is wearing appears to have a wind flap that goes all the way to the top. There is no space between the top of the wind flap and the curve of the collar. A stand and non stand version as test samples? Maybe...
Collar-Close-up.jpg
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Could be that the collar stand version on Brett had hooks. Maybe they were testing different throat closure methods. It looks to be a tall collar stand, so maybe that design carried over in the specs for the Goldsmith a year later.

What I am now seeing after further study of the photos is that Spatz and Johnson's jackets have wind flaps that extend to the top near where the collar folds over, and Brett and Dargue's jackets have wind flaps that stop at least 1 1/2 to 2" before the collar fold over. Looks like 2 different versions. Maybe two of each design was supplied.
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
This looks to be taken from W&G's version of events. Hell-Bent for Leather uses the incorrect TDS 31-1415
number.
The correct number 30-1415 indicates 1929/1930, at a guess the design date would be the Fall of 1929 or very early 1930. The photograph of Dargue is dated to April 1930.

A search for (Purchase?) Order 30-1415 might yield results, if so it could give dates. quantity and who made them.
Out of curiosity I dug around a bit and the Goldsmith Sons Co. A-2 order 31-1897 was placed between August and December 1930. The contract numbers ran sequentially and though I can't find the specific Goldsmith contract reference I can bound the possible date range by looking at others from the Congressional Record of the House and the Annual Report from the Sec. of War at that time (below). Yes, the purchase orders don't line up exactly to the contract numbers, but they are also sequential and line up well too. Looks like they did ~100 contracts per month during that time, so October 1930 would be a good bet for Goldsmiths 31-1897 order date. A bit more time and I could narrow it a bit more, but close enough to show the fall of 1930 is in the right ballpark for the Goldsmith A-2 order.

To be fair everyone who used the info from the TDS got it wrong and didn’t know until I got the actual spec A-2 documents released. That doesn’t automatically discount any other investigative work the authors have done across countless books.

Yes, this does mean the jacket Dargue is wearing in the photo dated to April 1930 is something else.

Picture3.jpg
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
I have a copy of Hell-Bent for Leather and I do like it. What I meant was that the impression I get from it is that it does not dig deeply for research material.

The TDS gives the service test date as 20th Sept 1930. If so then this rules out the Goldsmith jacket as a test jacket?

If 30-1415 is regarded as an order number for the "prototype" A2 jacket is it possible to do any searching for information relating to this? Just an idea.
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
I have a copy of Hell-Bent for Leather and I do like it. What I meant was that the impression I get from it is that it does not dig deeply for research material.

The TDS gives the service test date as 20th Sept 1930. If so then this rules out the Goldsmith jacket as a test jacket?

If 30-1415 is regarded as an order number for the "prototype" A2 jacket is it possible to do any searching for information relating to this? Just an idea.
I get that. That’s why I like Mr. Eastman’s book the most.

The twenty-five Goldsmith jackets from order 31-1897 is the first official A-2 jacket based upon drawing 30-1415 and not a test jacket, based on the paperwork in the A-2 spec documents. In the Hell-Bent for Leather book by Nelson & Parsons they said a number of companies submitted possible open cockpit flight jacket designs in the fall of 1930, but that a committee took bits of each to create the A-2, so no single company or person was responsible for the A-2 design. This date lines up with the small Goldsmith order in Q4’30 as being the first official A-2 designed by committee using drawing 30-1415. I can’ say with absolute certainty that A-2 drawing 30-1415 applies to the fiscal year 1930, but none of the other drawing numbers I’ve seen do. I have looked with no luck, but suspect it’s a coincidence.

A-1 replacement test jackets would have been submitted by numerous vendors in quantities of one or two and I suspect, in this case, these were the ones used to create the actual A-2 design using bits of each as noted in Nelson & Parsons book. At least all the dates line up. Maybe that’s why such a small run of Goldsmith A-2 jackets: They were for show and tell.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
I find the number 30-1415 fascinating.

It is of the same format as other A2 order numbers and appears to be of fiscal year 1929/1930.

There is photographic evidence of an early A2 jacket, dubbed the "prototype". The earliest photo
being of Dargue in April 1930, which ties in with a fiscal year 1929/1930 design.

An other indication of there being a prototype jacket is the jetted edge found on several early A2 jackets.

Werber jacket with jetted edge;

w7.jpg


This is a pointless feature in a standard A2 jacket but does make sense with the internal windflap design of the prototype.

This is my theory of events;
A replacement for the A1 was requested circa 1929 and an order was drawn up for a small quantity of test jackets, this being order 30-1415.
A drawing was made and attached to the order.

Also required would have been a label to go into the jacket, the standard format being;

Type
Specification
Order

Which becomes;

Type A2
Specification
Order No 30-1415

As there was no specification then the drawing number would have been used, if the drawing
did not have a number then the order number was used, like so;

Type A2
DRW No 30-1415
Order No 30-1415

This is just a theory to try and progress any search for information.

What is missing is documentary information. The only data we have is the number 30-1415.

A search for order number 30-1415 might be a way of finding documentary information.
 

foster

Well-Known Member
But based on the photographs, the internal wind flap is on the wearer’s right side. The external one is on the left side. Is the jetting on the inside left to make some sort of a seal with leather against leather? That manufacturing detail is confusing my modern mind.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
It is difficult to know for sure what the jetting was intended for but to me it seems to be there to act as a seal with the internal wind flap.

The construction of an internal windflap and matching seal reminds of zippers used in boots.

It is also worth remembering that separating zippers were new technology at the time with little experience of use in a leather jacket.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
There is another clue about the existence of the prototype jacket.

In the past there have been stories about the Air Corp loaning out sample a2 jackets to the manufacturers.
No thought was given to what these jackets might have been, the Air Corp just had them. The obvious candidates for loan jackets are the prototype and Goldsmith.

Comparing the prototype with other contracts and looking for copied details the two most outstanding ones are the Fried Ostermann and the HLB A2.

The FO has quite a strong resemblence to the prototype.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Yes I believe they did loan out jackets to copy. It makes it a lot easier than explaining everything. It would make a lot on sense and be a lot easier to convey what features are needed, and which features need to be changed.

I believe this was done with the SAT. I think they gave Security the Goldsmith to help them make their contract jacket. Some features are different of course, but some features match. The zipper attachment and the wind flap design is the same. Also the pocket button hole and the flap shape is similar, although not exact. The knit attachment is very similar if not exactly like the Goldsmith. With the single line of topstitching.
 
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