Flight Jacket History

Flight jackets or bomber jackets really has stood the test of time. They have been blowing up on your social media feed for as long as we can remember. Their style is timeless, and they go well with almost everything you wear, e.g., jeans and sneakers or even grail-worthy kicks and dressier slacks. They look good on both males and females, and you can layer them over any fit night or day. Flight jackets can be found nowadays in high-end fashion store to street shops, and they are made out of materials from cotton to suede to silk to leather. It is a piece that men or women can wear every day and for any occasion.

Origins of Flight Jackets

  • 1917

The origins of flight jackets started in 1917 when the U.S. Army Aviation Clothing Board was formed. Flight jackets were first produced as a way for World War 1 pilots to stay warm in their fighter planes as planes in those days were uninsulated with open-air cockpits. During the war, flight jackets were made out of horse leather or sealskin, with fur lining to keep pilots from freezing.

  • 1927

With the advancement of aviation before the Second World War, the design of flight jackets evolved as well. The cockpits of these fighter planes were narrower and full of technologies from that period, so new flight jacket styles were introduced. In 1927, the US Army Type A-1 flight jacket was created. It was made from leather, had knitted cuffs and waistband, and was insulated with a flattering fit. This design was the start of inspiration for the modern flight jackets that we see now.

  • 1931

The A-2 flight jacket was introduced in 1931 and was made from goatskin or horse leather. Both the A-1 and A-2 jackets were similar with the A-2 having fitted with sturdier zippers instead of buttons, which the A-1 had. The introduction of zipper in the A-2 contributed to the smartness and sophistication over the A-1 jackets. It stayed relevant until 1943 when fewer people were wearing it. Still, the importance of the A-1 and A-2 jackets cannot by forgotten as they paved the way for better versions of flight jackets throughout the mid-nineties such as the G-1, B-10 and B-15 jackets.

The Start of Flight Jacket Fashion

Around 1949 and 1950, the B-15 jacket, with its upgraded MA-1 model, started to bridge the gap between civilian and military wear. It was regarded by many as the start of the flight jacket fashion trend. The MA-1 jacket was able to withstand temperatures of up to 50-degree Fahrenheit, making it the perfect fall to spring outer wear. The jacket trend really took flight when movie icons started to use them in Hollywood. Movies as early as in 1949 had seen flight jackets being worn by many famous actors, which propelled the popularity of these jackets to people.

In recent times, the popularity of flight jackets has not waned. Movie stars and celebrities still use them in their shows and their day-to day lives. Today, the attributes of a flight jacket include looser arms and shoulders, cropped length, and ribbed collars, with cuffed waistbands and sleeves. Jackets now are made from a variety of materials to reflect its ability to fit anyone.

If you are thinking of getting one, Taylor’s Leatherwear has a collection of flight jackets for you to choose from. We have an online retail store for you to view at your convenience.