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Thread: Do you wear a flight jacket?

  1. #1

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    Do you wear a flight jacket?

    Not just for flying but for an everyday jacket? Seems some people believe in order to wear one of these you must be flying some sort of heavy something. I myself received my flight jacket years before I ever took my first flight. Now I would like to deck her out with patches and some emblem painted on the back. Just not sure what and I see as a group we have nothing that could tie us all together, if you understand what I am trying say. I have looked for something that can be put on my jacket that says I belong to aviation or the EAA.

    I do not want military patches all over my jacket, I want aviation patches and things along this line, a "plane" jacket is..boring.

    Tony

  2. #2

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    So what do you define as a flight jacket? I saw a thread elsewhere in which folks pointed out that pilots flying in different environments dress differently. Military pilots wear nomex jackets these days. Leather is reserved for parties. Bush pilots wear denim and other stuff that you see in the Cabelas and LL Bean catalogs.

    In the civilian world, there aren't a lot of affiliations or awards that provide decorations for party jackets and even fewer decorations for working attire.

    I think that you can get an Airventure patch if you want to put something on your jacket that could be a conversation starter.

    Soaring, aerobatics, and skydiving are the activities that I can think of that offer patches and pins that identify aeronautical achievements. For festive occasions I can put my earned USPA Gold Wings (1000 jumps), 12 Hours of freefall badge, and my IAC stars patch (contest achievements) but your average pilot has no idea what any of that means so I would only wear that stuff at an airport function where folks from those worlds will be in attendance. Actually flying I leave that stuff at home.

    And looking around the internet, I will note that asking the same question in multiple forums hoping to get a different answer might be a waste of time.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS
    Last edited by WLIU; 03-12-2014 at 06:39 AM.

  3. #3

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    I have 3 jackets that qualify as aviation related, a brown leather A2 type that my wife gave me as a present in 1993 after I passed my check ride. That jacket is perfect in cool to cold weather say 20 to 50 degrees. I have a winter weight nylon MA-2 in blue that is a great all winter weather jacket and I've been wearing that one just about everyday since Xmas this year! I also have a light summer jacket that I bought from Sporty's with the AOPA wings logo on the front. If you want something that looks nice and aviation related w/o shouting "LOOK AT ME I'M A FIGHTER PILOT!" on it I would suggest you check-out EAA's on-line shop or catalog also Sporty's Pilot Shop. EAA does have a simple square name and EAA number with the "swoosh" logo that fits neatly on the front of their A2 leather jacket. Both of these suppliers have a lot of clothing that is aviation related and some that can be tailored with N numbers and such if your into that stuff.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Nothing says "I belong to EAA" like a heritage logo patch! EAA Government Advocacy Specialist Tom Charpentier has a nice A-2 jacket with a heritage patch sewn on the left breast. It looks pretty sharp! I don't see the patch listed on the online EAA merchandise shop, but you might be able to order it direct from the museum gift shop: (920) 426-6108.

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  5. #5

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    That is what I call a flight jacket that is in the pic.

    I will look for someone to paint something like this on the back of my jacket. I have a couple patches I am putting on it also along with a set of wings. Oh I can not forget the few pins I have that will go on it too.

    Not sure about the inside. You know how they did the flight jackets of years past with a map or something else. Maybe something that says...If you find this jacket please look for a passed out pilot near by or something stupid like this.

    Tony
    Last edited by 1600vw; 03-12-2014 at 09:01 AM.

  6. #6
    EAA Staff Tom Charpentier's Avatar
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    Fun fact: I bought that jacket for $50 on consignment at the Aeromart two years ago at Convention (had the patch sewn on later). It's a pretty trim fit though - I need to start hitting the gym if I want to keep wearing it! For the nameplate, I like the simple WWII style embossed leather strip (name only). I agree with Tony, I personally shy away from anything overtly military-like, since I never served, but I think it's fine if your intent is to honor the vets (there are some STUNNING WWII reproduction A-2s with handpainted noseart out there).
    Tom Charpentier
    Government Relations Director
    EAA #1082006

  7. #7

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    My CFI wears a jacket as does most who hang around his airport. But no one has any kinda of patches or emblems on them, not one. Then I sit at a stop light the other night and a group of men walked by. They all were staying at the Route 66 Hotel. They all had their jackets on and they had them all done up really nice. Everyone had a smile on their face and walked with pride. This was a biker group.

    If they can do this so can we.

    As for the nose art, that is my next project putting nose art on my EAB airplane.

    Thanks for the comment Tom.

    Tony

    P.S. I named my airplane "Faith"

  8. #8
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Charpentier View Post
    Fun fact: I bought that jacket for $50 on consignment at the Aeromart two years ago at Convention (had the patch sewn on later). It's a pretty trim fit though - I need to start hitting the gym if I want to keep wearing it! For the nameplate, I like the simple WWII style embossed leather strip (name only). I agree with Tony, I personally shy
    away from anything overtly military-like, since I never served, but I think it's fine if your intent is to honor the vets (there are some STUNNING WWII reproduction A-2s with handpainted noseart out there).
    Great-looking jacket, Tom... does the jacket have a quilted insulation lining? It looks like it doesn't, and that would make yours historically accurate. People forget that the A-2 was intended as a windbreaker *only*; you were usually wearing multiple layers of wool uniform underneath. Modern jackets tend to bulge with added insulation since people expect warmth.

    I also love your use of heritage EAA patch...just the right approach for those who want SOMETHING on their jacket but not a phony-baloney military look

    Since I fly open-cockpit almost exclusively, I wear a B-3 for cold-weather flying, this A-2 for moderate-temperatures (~40 to 60 F), and a light canvas jacket with a knit collar from ~60 to 75.
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    The jacket cost $100 about eight years ago. I had the patches made for the Fly Baby crowd specifically for flight-jacket wear; they're five inches in diameter (vs. the usual 3" or 4"). If I just needed one or two, I'd just have Emblemhunter paint me up a couple of leather ones (he charges about $50 each).

    I've done some variations on the design for some of the Commonwealth Fly Baby crowd, one for New Zealand and the other for some buddies in Victoria BC. The designs were based on the RAF squadron badges and the symbols for their national air forces (a kiwi for NZ, a maple leaf for the Canadians). Here's an example:

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/pix/victoria_header.jpg

    I've been hoping they'd get their own patches done, but hasn't happened yet. Market's a bit smaller, I guess (I've sold ~150 Fly Baby patches).

    I usually wear a scarf when I wear a jacket... otherwise, the coat collar scrapes your neck as you scan for the wily Hun. My wife bought me a replica WWII RAF scarf a couple of years ago, and I've been wearing that, mostly. But it's pretty heavy, and I switch to lighter-weight white ones during warmer weather.

    Here's some follow-up information:

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/jackets.html (history of the leather flying jacket)

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/scarves.html (a bit of history on the silk scarf, including how to tie it)

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #9
    EAA Staff Tom Charpentier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Great-looking jacket, Tom... does the jacket have a quilted insulation lining? It looks like it doesn't, and that would make yours historically accurate. People forget that the A-2 was intended as a windbreaker *only*; you were usually wearing multiple layers of wool uniform underneath. Modern jackets tend to bulge with added insulation since people expect warmth.
    That's right, no liner, aside from a nylon backing. Also no handwarmer pockets, which is accurate. It's not as good as the really faithful (and expensive) reproductions out there, but the patterns are correct as best as I can tell.

    I think I need to build a flybaby just so that I can earn the right to wear that patch!
    Tom Charpentier
    Government Relations Director
    EAA #1082006

  10. #10
    TedK's Avatar
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    I just want to lose a few pounds so I can wear the "dead goat" the taxpayers gave me without looking like it successfully contained a detonation.

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