Question - The most practical flying jacket?

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Smithy, May 24, 2018.

  1. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Hands-down, the most comfortable, warm, practical, flight jacket repro for winter I currently have is the B-15A MOD picked up from my personal inexpensive jacket playground, AliExpress. :D

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/201...ilitary-USAAF-Winter-B15-Mod/32847310896.html

    Hard to beat the authentic construction & stitching details / pattern, 100% cotton shell, 100% wool lining, seamless, authentic-looking wrist knits, repro blackened Conmar zip puller, etc.. A LOT of bang-for-the-buck here. :) The sizing is great for an import, and doesn't run small. I was surprised to find that the Chinese sellers are actually importing these over from Japan, and are made by Waiper Inc. (in the same vein as 'Houston'), since no close-ups of the label are shown in the listings.

    When it comes to practicality and comfort in a leather flight jacket, I would choose an authentically-patterned AN-J-3 (AAF version) any day of the week. However, my GW RW 27752 is exquisitely patterned, and quite comfortable for an A-2 as well... More so than any other specific-contract repro I've owned, and allows for a wide range of movement.
     
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  2. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    693
    Having approx. 4000H in the cockpit ( AC cooled)..,
    No collar, ( leaning back in a 12 H plus plus flight on all recent Boeing, Airbus, Canadair ( 5 hours) seats ... impossible) so as thin as possible...no collar pls...
    So short sleeved shirt and if a jacket... L2-A or B... all other pieces of cloth or garnment...in my business areas ... to much of a hindering... surely no jacket with a collar, surely no leather , no lined or fleece jacket...no way...
    My little 1 cent 4000H cockpit time experience.
     
  3. Marv

    Marv Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    England
    When I've flown I tried to give my different jackets a little flight time so I tried the A2, G1, B10, MA-1, L2 etc. and to be honest with the heated cockpit and all, the most practical was the nylon variants to be honest.
     
  4. herk115

    herk115 Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    I'm one of those that will judge a jacket based on its practicality when used in an airplane. For the most part, I prefer a properly fitting CWU-36P or -45P, depending on the temperature. They were designed specifically for use in the cockpit and do their job well, far more comfortably than an A-2 or any other jacket I've worn. The added bonus of being fireproof makes them doubly attractive. Also, on the very serious side, if I'd had to E&E I'd much prefer wearing the CWU than the A-2. The CWU is camouflaged (at least somewhat), and doesn't creak noisily like leather (ask Scott O'Grady how he felt about matching garments that blended in with the vegetation...that's why the USAF wears green boots now). So on most flights, I was green from head to toe. That said, if I was just going along for the ride or if it was to be a simple flight, I wasn't above wearing the A-2. After all, as they say, you wear the practical garment in the jet, but wear the A-2 walking to and from the jet.

    Now that my flying days are over, it just depends. If I want to look cool (which is most of the time), it's hands down A-2 or G-1 (60/40 A-2). But the CWUs have their practical side there as well. I spend my retirement days doing photography out in the boondocks, and the CWUs are sure more practical for that...those large pockets are dandy for keeping a spare lens, cable release, filters, lens cleaning kit, water bottle, Quest bar, etc. Being covered in Velcro, the CWUs allow me much more flexibility in showing off my patch collection. So nowadays it just depends on what I feel like wearing when I leave the house.
     
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  5. FlyingYankee

    FlyingYankee Active Member

    Messages:
    772
    for me it's the 37j1 Navy summer flying Jacket; hate to say it but I am tiring of wearing leather and the 37J1 still has the vintage cool factor.
     
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  6. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

    Messages:
    118
    Agree. Apart from aesthetic & nobleness [leather is a more expensive fabric than cloth], Leather jackets are not practical at all. Not water resistant, no warm keeping [at the same thickness cf say, wool], extremely heavy & movement constraint.
    I think there is a reason for the military to replace leather with cloth jackets in the late 40's.
    In a tropical climate in HK where there is just 3 months when the temperature is below 20 degree C, I think L-2 kind of thin jacket is more practical, in the sense of more chances of wearing only.
    & in depending on the weather, say in snow, I have tested that my original N-3A is almost the only military garment that has warmth keeping capacity comparable to that of down jackets - hood are important in really cold weather - so no B3.
     
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  7. FlyingYankee

    FlyingYankee Active Member

    Messages:
    772
    I think leather has a tremendous advantage of protection in a crash or accident; as a second skin so to speak.
     
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  8. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

    Messages:
    118
    no arguing. I tend to agree with you - theoretically.
    But in a crash, you will be dead even wearing a steel armour, for minor accident, I think leather still have a very tiny edge over say, nylon.
     
  9. nkang

    nkang Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Leaving the outer material out of the scope of discussion, the most practical jacket I owned was my ELC B-15. With 2 warmer pockets plus 2 generous inner pockets, it is more practical than B-10, G1/M422a and A2. The inner alpaca lining is also very warm and I needed no intermediate layer when everything was frozen in Sweden, just a plain shirt and my B-15. Because of the material, it is also slightly lighter than G1 and A2, making it a more pleasant travel companion.

    Obviously B-10, G1, and A2 all have better aesthetic appeals and I prefer non-synthetic fabric. But the endzone twill is a tough beast, too.
     
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