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Cockpit 100 Mission G-1

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Deacon211, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

    I actually thought the same thing.

    I don't want to get too down on the Cockpit or any other company. I understand that these guys are in business to sell jackets and you sell the dream as much as the product.

    But having been the guy that walks around in his Banana Republic, removable collar, lamb skin, G-1 thinking I was sporting the real deal, I can appreciate that feeling that you get when you find out just how wrong you are. ;)
  2. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    Pictures of the Cockpit A2 as promised. Well made but very poor leather with cracking already.

    In comparison with the latest A2 from Excelled I have which is exactly the same design but with super leather.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    davyjones007 and Treetopflyer like this.
  3. Hypoxic

    Hypoxic One of the Regulars

    These things are terrible.
  4. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    Not the best jackets but look at the difference on the Excelled what a fantastic jacket with super leather!!

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    WARHAWK New in Town


    Warhawk here. First off, this feed has been great! Thanks to all of you for your questions and feedback. It’s not going on deaf ears. Many of your inputs are being reviewed on how we can improve both replica style jackets, and the more commercialized versions.

    I will address the Mil Spec and issue jacket questions on this reply.

    As many of you already know "MIL-SPEC" refers to the design and production specs. So that is why so many producers or retailers will claim "MIL-SPEC". Most adhere to the production specs when doing so but as you all know there are those that don't but still make the claim erroneously. Regarding Cockpit USA specifically the A-2 Re-Issue and 21st Century jackets they are in fact both former and current issue styles starting in 1986. When the program to re-issue the jacket in 1986 started and first delivered in 1987 the style chosen resembled that of the WWII style with no side pockets, and a slim fit. Worth noting that the original WWII Spec isn't for everyone and not easy to wear for all body shapes and sizes. In 1986 Avirex (now Cockpit USA) lead by its founder were brought in by the USAF uniform board to design and deliver the first initial run of the A-2 re-issue jacket. This re-issued item for aircrew was in part done to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the USAF and restart a tradition born in the early days of the air corps. Although, as with all govt contracts, Avirex and now Cockpit didn't carry the contract every year thereafter it eventually was awarded again at the end of the 1990s and was eventually carried on under the more recent name Cockpit USA. The jacket in the 1990's was basically pushed for re-design in response to aircrew having their original jackets modified during overseas tours. The official re-design was executed in the late 1990's as a direct response to crew’s desire for more room, more liberal fit specs, and some more functionality. As a result, side pockets were added, pen & wallet pockets on the inside, gussets were added to the sleeves, and material on the sides to allow for more room and range of motion. Also of note to the expert eyes the hook and eye clasp at the collar was also finally removed from the spec. The leather spec remained goatskin as the softer feel, and light weight yet durability was still desired. Around 2006 the berry amendment was applied to the jackets acquisition process and when more recent jackets were reviewed by senior officers and acquisitions personnel they noticed a difference in texture,look, and tone from previous production lots. This was in part a result of now required US based leather sourcing and changes to US tannery output. As a result, there was a production lot as referenced in the above feed photos that the leather supplier tried a not so great fix to its finishing process to meet AF requirements. Yes, the finish was not up to our standards and this was caught and corrected but not before some reached the hands of aircrew. Decisions were made then in the acquisitions process that a more reliable source of US sourced leather at the time was cowhide and changed the spec to a “goat grained” cowhide. Cockpit USA made the first lots of these jackets which are still being issued. So why do we still claim "current issue" credibility? Even though we do not hold the current issue contract at this time we are still a govt supplier. Also if a unit doesn’t have access to a contract providers jacket or what we’ve seen recently is they don’t necessarily like them, flying units have purchased the contract Mil-Spec jacket we still produce, directly from us. Of note, pilots still often choose the goatskin jacket over the “goat grain” cowhide jacket due to its comfort and lighter weight. To answer some of the comments made previously regarding the G-1, although Cockpit USA doesn't have the current Navy G-1 issue contract, units and individual aircrew often buy our jackets over the contract jackets. Some of the reasons given is both the option for goat skin vs "goat grain" cowhide, and the most notable is that many want the original vintage spec real mouton collar versus the synthetic acrylic dark collar of the current contract jacket. We take a lot of pride in the fact that the units, and pilots often still choose our products over other suppliers. In addition, we also produce G-1 and A-2 variants for other allied Air Forces and Navies. The desire for made in the USA quality garments has no borders. I hope we provided some answers your question/s and always happy to share information when we can.
  6. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    Thank you for a very informative reply. I have a 2007 issue A2 which in design and construction is superb but the problem is the very poor quality leather which is starting to peel its top cover is certain areas. I presume this particular year was the one that you had an issue with. Which are the years when you readdressed this issue and got back to your normal quality leather?



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  7. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

    Hey WARHAWK,

    Thanks for a great reply. There is a long running Current Issue A-2 thread that you might consider cross posting this info into. I think how the A-2 changed, as told by a provider, would fascinate all the A-2 aficionados who might not visit a G-1 thread. It's also less likely to get lost as that thread has been running for years.

    As for the G-1, I understand the company's position. Indeed I purchased my Avirex G-1 when I was a flight student as my patch jacket. I didn't realize until I got my issue G-1 that the Avirex was actually quite a bit better.

    Still it shouldn't be a surprise that many people wind up here thinking that the Cockpit actually provides issue jackets based on the ad description...which I'm not too sure would keep your head of marketing up nights. ;)

    It might be a more accurate description, and not injurious to sales, to say (as you basically did) that: "The Cockpit supplies G-1s to the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard for purchase. For years many aviators and fleet squadrons have looked to the Cockpit G-1 for an upgrade to their issue jacket. The Cockpit's use of traditional goatskin and genuine mouton collar are much sought after historic features of the G-1 and not to be found on the currently issued models" or something advertise-speak like that.

    That's just a suggestion of course. I may be alone in my opinion, but until this recent purchase of the 100 Mission G-1 the Cockpit had lost a little street cred in my eyes. The stories were a little too fanciful, the facts too dubious. Naturally the Cockpit has all sorts of customers, many of whom couldn't give a wet slap about accuracy. But, considering that there is now a Real McCoys store in NYC selling jackets for 2 grand based in part on historical accuracy, I'd argue that there is a market for not only a little truth in advertising, but one based on truth in advertising.

    Take that 100 Mission G-1 for example. Spend a few hours research and patch it up like an actual Navy or Marine Pilot had worn. Come up with some copy that reflects the story behind the jacket and include it in the web ad and on the removable tag that is attached to the jacket. I think you are going to have a market for that. Better yet, find a G-1 from the golden era in the '50s-'60s that you can copy for those patches. If you look at some of the stuff that Eastman Leather or Buzz Rickson has out there, there are definitely people who are looking for the real deal.

    Anyway, thanks for the informative posts!
  8. Brettafett

    Brettafett Practically Family

    Hi all, not to hijack this thread, but I received this Cockpit Forrestal (without patches) a few days ago, but unfortunately it does not fit like I hoped it would.
    I think I may just be too skinny. That said it is a military cut/ trim jacket. Gorgeous goatskin.

    Jacket is the same as the 100 Missions G-1, without the mouton collar. And yes, its a special jacket.
    Sending it back next week, but if anyone in the UK wants to grab a great jacket for a bargain price... you have a few days.
    Brand new in box, with tags, only worn for trying on. In the Classifieds...


    Cockpit Forrestal 40 2017.jpg
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  9. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

    Shame it doesn't fit Brettafett.

    If the Cockpit is too roomy on you, I'm not sure where you can go from there. Compared to some, the Cockpit fits pretty trimly.

    I wonder how a Real McCoys would fit you. On the web, they look quite narrow.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  10. Treetopflyer

    Treetopflyer Practically Family

    I wish I had that problem. I have just the opposite problem.
    Peter 1956 and bn1966 like this.
  11. Darkjedi007

    Darkjedi007 New in Town

    Brettafett: Nice looking jacket!! I'm considering one of those. Too bad it doesn't fit. Is the fit something that could be tailored? Just a thought. Some members have had good results with tailoring.
  12. My son got a NOS Avirex horse hide A-2 a couple years back. Only issue was that it was in a window for some years and it has fading in shoulders etc.
    Very well made piece.
    I think he paid $50 for it.
    The date is from the 70's.
    nick123 likes this.
  13. Brettafett

    Brettafett Practically Family

    ;) Yes being a trim bloke has its upsides and downsides, as does Orangutan arms.

    Tailoring. Yes, the thought did pop into my head. I have emailed a few people here in the UK and the costs really do not make it feasible. May as well get a new custom Eastman (which is what I have been considering since I tried on their M422a at the pop up... and that jacket fit beautifully. I am an idiot for not trying the G-1, but the airshows are around the corner, so....).

    The Cockpit's shoulders are trim and square, the sleeve length is 100%, the body length is borderline for me... but its the pit to pit. Weird. Its measures 22", but due to the gussets and bi-swing back, it opens up wide wide... Just not in love with it, if you know what I mean. I have learnt that if its not love, return it or let it go ;D
    Of note, I tried on a vintage G-1 (1970s) at a vintage shop yesterday and it fit spectacularly, but it was a bit too much on the used and abused side to warrant a purchase.
    nkang and davyjones007 like this.
  14. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    I have used Byson leather here in the uk to do work on my G1s . Can't fault their workmanship. Don't know if you tried them.

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  15. Brettafett

    Brettafett Practically Family

    Thanks Peter, I am aware of them, sent comms in the past... If I recall, what held me back was the costs of 'fixing' up an old A-2/ G-1, just made no sense... TBH, I would prefer not to tinker with this jacket... But a vintage G-1... yes maybe.
    Do they have accurate knit (cuffs and waistband) for G-1s? Here I am asking you, when I should be asking them...
    But, I assume you have had more than one G-1 worked on.
  16. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    I got the knits from E bay a chap from the states. They are superb and even with the shipping very reasonable . I sent 4 G1s over the years to Byson and every time they did a superb job. As a rule i found that vintage G1s are in really good nick bar the knits. Once these are replaced you have a super jacket. They also gave them a coat of conditioner and result is great. The knits will last probably longer then the original and are totally accurate. Cant recommend Byson enough. No way you can tell the knits are not original they follow the stitching as per the original holes.
  17. El Marro

    El Marro A-List Customer

    I have bought four sets of knits from this seller (three G-1's and one A-2) and he has always delivered a great product for a great price. I agree with Peter that vintage G-1's are usually as good as new once you change out the old ratty knits.
    ButteMT61 and Peter 1956 like this.
  18. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

    I make the claim to being president of the Cockpit USA Fanclub. Having nearly a half dozen of these in the stable, my experience has been positive, both with leather and nylon.
    After the alterations to the shoulder on my Reissue A-2 were made, taking the span from 21 to 19 inches, the fit is perfect. It's a size 42R.
    My former Cockpit G-1 was a great jacket. Wish I still had it!
  19. bojo

    bojo New in Town

    Deacon, its like you're inside my head. Thank you for the initial thread post.
    Some thoughts and offerings:

    1. My issued G-1 (from Pensacola in the fall of 2002) was made by Schott. I was surprised to see this when I looked at the label a few years ago. Pretty sure all the guys/girls on line, both in front of me, and behind me, waiting to reach the supply clerk, got jackets with different labels inside them, and were maybe made by different companies. I also remember all my buds getting size 44 and embracing the bagginess. I stood my ground and got a 42 because I didn't want to look like a street thug (and I also secretly hoped it would inspire me to stay physically fit into my elder years). Anyway, I guess Schott had the contract at some point in the early 2000's. I am as bewildered as anyone.

    2. I had a buddy in my last squadron who either A. Never got a jacket issued to him like he was supposed to, or B. Lost it at some point (can't remember). He got his replacement from Gibson and Barnes (which he referred to as "some company in San Diego"). Since I'm a jacket connoisseur, I was the only one in the squadron to notice that he had a jacket that was just slightly outside of the issued regs. But nobody cared or noticed.
    Which brings me to my 3rd observation.

    3. In my experience, real aviators don't seem to know or care who made their jacket or how original its design is, or how well it conforms to the 40's, 50's, 60's, etc. They just don't notice that stuff. The few of us that do notice, and care, find ourselves here at the forum, where we can share this passion with others who care. Thankfully.
    The moral of this story, is that if you want to buy a jacket, just buy the one that speaks to you, and worry less about what the real aviators wear, because the real aviators don't even know.

    4. As I approach the sundown of my career in the next few years, I am looking for a retirement gift to myself. A G-1 with which I would finally patch-up fully to match my resume, and my nomex jackets. (My original only has a plain brown nametag on it. I was a purist for so long. Only now am I getting a squadron patch hand-painted for it by Jim Buchanan).
    So anyway, as I began my research into this retirement gift to myself, I started looking for G-1s that matched my issued Schott. And out of all the manufacturers that I looked at (Eastman, Aero, ALC, Gibson Barnes, US Wings, etc., etc, etc,), the one that ACTUALLY looks EXACTLY like the one I got issued in Pensacola in 2002 was the Cockpit USA "Mil-Spec" G-1! I couldn't believe it.
    Then I too looked at the "100 Mission" version, and thought pretty much the exact thing that Deacon thought about it.
    Reason I looked into it was, I wanted a jacket that LOOKS as old as my issued jacket. I don't want to take another 15-20 years to break-in a new one.

    Another piece of great news was that Jacky at Cockpit said they could swap the light colored mouton from the 100 Mission version, and replace it with the dark dark dark brown mouton of their Mil-spec version (which I think I prefer) AND what was even better - she said they would age the dark brown mouton for me to match the jacket.
    The mouton swap and aging would add $160 to the price.

    So for $790 - I get a jacket that looks like it could easily have been mine for the last 20 years, that I can put patches on at will, without fear of tainting my original.

    Anyway, thanks for the post Deacon. I'm with you. I think for the range of $510 to $630, Cockpit USA comes way closer to giving former aircrew accurate recreations of what they wore than even the reputed very best like Eastman, etc., and your dollar goes way farther.

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  20. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

    Hehe, great minds, huh? ;)

    I'm very jealous that you were smart enough to contact Jacky and get your mouton changed...I'd have done that in a second if I had thought of it! I was considering farming out the work to get a piece of reddish brownish mouton on there myself if I could find someone to do it.

    Patch jackets are awesome and you certainly deserve to wear yours. The only thing I'd say is that I was all gung ho to have a patch jacket made for myself when I was in. But when I retired I began to feel more and more odd wearing a patched up jacket and eventually went plain vanilla. It might be because I still hang around pilots and you will occasionally get that look from them when you wear your Maverick jacket....you know the look.

    Not to tell you that you should or shouldn't, just my personal experience.

    I'd love to see the final product in any case. Be sure to post pics when you get the jacket.

    Maybe it's not too late to call Jacky... :D
    bn1966 and Peter 1956 like this.

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