Brief History Of The Flight Jacket
World War one & two had a large and important influence on sheepskin flight jackets. We will explore some of this rich history and the impact it had on these jackets. In world war one most airplanes did not have an enclosed cockpit, so the pilots needed to wear something to keep them warm. World war two saw planes flying at even higher altitudes which caused cockpit temperatures to be even colder, so the need for a thick, warm flight jacket was essential equipment. The U.S army had established the Aviation Clothing Board in 1917 and began distributing heavy duty leather flight jackets to help keep the pilots warm. These jackets came with high wraparound collars, zipper closures with wind flaps, snug cuffs and waists and some were trimmed and lined with fur. The best known and most historical flight jackets in the United States are the A-2 and G1 jackets. In addition to these jackets, shearling jackets were recognized for being the warmest flight jackets. A shearling coat kept Lt. John A Macready warm enough to set a world record in April 1921 when he reached an altitude of 40,000 feet in his open cockpit style plane. Today flight jackets are usually associated with the MA-1. These coats have become very popular worldwide as they are very warm and comfortable. In North America they also known as bomber jackets, in particular in the colder areas. Flight jackets that were born out of the need to keep early pilots warm, have become a worldwide fashion staple that keeps people warm and stylish.