Today I’d like to post a little pictorial review of my Buzz Rickson’s B2. Since these are quite rare and good pictures are hard to find especially on non-Japanese sites I’ve decided to take a couple of detail shots to give you an impression of how a BR is constructed.
First of all I want to thank Original Flight Jackets Germany for ordering a jacket they normally wouldn’t carry in their product range. Also I have to thank Rob Brace of Eastman Leather for being very helpful. He never got tired to answer any question I had regarding the fit/details of the jacket. Last but not least special thanks go out to John Lever who sparked the interest in the BR version of this rare flight jacket.
The B-2 is a reproduction of a flight jacket that only saw a short military service. The B-2 entered the Army Airforce at some point in the 1930s long before the US became involved in WWII
However it was soon superseded by the much warmer all-sheepskin jackets that were much more suitable for the freezing temperatures in high altitude bombers.
I can see why this decision was made. The B-2 is without doubt a warm jacket due to the wool/silk pile lining but it never gets near the degree of insulation you can expect from a B-3, Irvin or M-445.
At the time it probably was more complicated and more expensive to make than a sheepskin jacket
As you would expect, the Buzz replica is very well made with perfect seams and great attention to detail.
Here are some key features and observations:
• Shell is made from semi-aniline seal horsehide which is nice and thick with a good weight behind it. But it’s also surprisingly pliable and perfectly wearable right out of the box. The jacket is substantial but not ridiculously heavy. Interesting to see that the hide comes from Europe:
• The lining is greyish-brown moquette which is a type of blanket cloth which looks and feels very much like “Teddy Bear” fur.
Warp is black wool, weft is grey-brown three-ply silk which is trimmed and combed to create a fur-like surface.
• The collar is very thick, soft and amazingly plushy with a very interesting olive hue which is impossible to capture with my auto focus camera.
I know it’s sheepskin but the collar looks and feels so dense and soft that it could easily be mistaken for some other animal.
• All zippers are heavy duty “Hookless” repros with a complicated stopper box assembly.
I have to say that the main zipper looks very “old school” almost like a museum piece. All parts that could suffer from premature wear are covered with sheet metal- a fact that I really like.
• The jacket fits much better than I expected it would . The fit can be compared to an alpaca lined Aero Café Racer. Not sure if such a combination exists but the fit is definitely similar. Trim and long sleeves, narrow arm holes, slim body, and bike style cuffs. Of course it lacks a bi-swing back and various bits and pieces but all in all the B-2 reminds me of a very warm fur collared Café Racer. Here's a view of the 2-piece back. Please note that the horizontal seam just keeps the heavy lining from sagging. There is no separate yoke: