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MA-1 Flight jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Jwag, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. DrMacabre

    DrMacabre Familiar Face

    In case you guys wanted to see how the new alpha VF59 looks Compared to an old 1980. I had to buy one of each to see for myself since i couldn't find this anywhere online. im not a big fan of the newest color. Also i can't explain why the zippers on the 1980's one are so clear. I Haven't seen this before.

    IMG_3827.JPG IMG_3834.JPG
    Flightengineer and bn1966 like this.
  2. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    1980 version wins my vote :)
    DrMacabre and Flightengineer like this.
  3. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    Agreed. And I prefer the grey knits on the old jackets, which provide some contrast with the green.
    Looks like the new ones are an olive green, not sage green, although I grant that it's a fine line.
    Flightengineer likes this.
  4. GregGale

    GregGale Familiar Face

    I have the Alpha VF-59, and the knits are not olive, they are sage. I also prefer it for its slightly trimmer fit.

    Of course, I removed the Remove Before Flight tag, and added a sage velcro loop on the right chest so I can wear it with patches.

    I was wearing it on my first solo flight in my LAPL training the other day:

    Flightengineer, El Marro and kowalski like this.
  5. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Agreed. Cut and color of the 80's jacket is better.
    But DAMN those pocket flaps are wrong.
    Get a Buzz Rickson's, perfect.
  6. What are the pocket arrangements inside the VF59? Are they correct to milspec, or something else?
  7. Pity the Buzz is just three or four times the price and damn hard to find in my size! True, though, that they are superior. I just keep wishing we could have some big budget film make the MA1 sexy in the way The Great Escape did for the A2, so Alpha would bring back their 'REplica Series'....
  8. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    @Edward, yep, I totally agree with you.
    BR cost so much money coz of all the 'reverse engineering' BR had to do to get all the fabrics correct (all that mass-spectrometry and stuff).
    Presumably Alpha as an original contractor already actually have all that info on file, and could reproduce an accurate repro with virtually no research overheads.
    But hey, what do I know? Maybe when Alpha's last actual USAF contract expired, they thought 'we'll never make this jacket again' and trashed all the documents, leaving current Alpha management totally clueless as to the original types of fabrics?
    Edward likes this.
  9. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    The new jackets worn by both DrMcCabre and GregGale are more than likely slim-fit models, which you can tell by the ribbed knits and the one-stage(?) wrist knits, hence your observation BigJ about "cut". For some years Alpha has been putting those one-stage knits with heavy ribbing on some of their slim-fit models. The traditional models have pocket flaps (now squared off) and two-stage wrist knits, which they now call "Ottoman knits", whatever the hell that means.
    Alz likes this.
  10. Gamma68

    Gamma68 A-List Customer

    Wearing a recent $7 thrift store acquisition -- a recent (?) civilian Alpha Industries MA-1.

    Can anyone help narrow down the year it was made based on the tag photo or other details? I'm also wondering if it was made in the USA or China? Maybe @Atticus Finch knows?

    Today's wearing is an experiment to see how it fares in cold weather. It was about 34 degrees F when this photo was taken. Maybe my expectations are too high, but it wasn't very warm. Perhaps the ones with wool fill are warmer than polyester? Then again, all I'm wearing underneath is a long-sleeve t-shirt. These jackets don't seem to look right when worn with a collared shirt.

    It seems like the MA-1 would work best at 50+ degrees. Please correct me if I'm wrong... ;)

  11. @Gamma68, that is a nice looking jacket! Sadly, I know very little about reproduction nylon. If there’s a way to date civilian Alphas, I’m afraid I’m unaware of it.

  12. Gamma68

    Gamma68 A-List Customer

    Thanks, sir. It's an OK jacket and all, especially for the price. I have little experience with the MA-1 and don't know how they stack up against the military issue models (warmth, quality of materials/construction).

    You wear your MA-1s in pretty cold conditions, right? Do you layer underneath for warmth?
  13. Some of the older made in the USA Alpha have tags like this with Made in the USA with another tag that states the same.
    Also, no logo in the wind flap and Alpha zips on newer ones with Ideal zips.
    I think this is from the 80's or early 90's. About all I knows...

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  14. Gamma68

    Gamma68 A-List Customer

    Both zippers on mine are branded Alpha.

    Since the tag on mine doesn't specifically state "Made in U.S.A.", then I suppose it's made in China. :(
  15. Some of the older made in the USA Alpha have tags like this with Made in the USA with another tag that states the same.
    Also, no logo in the wind flap and Alpha zips on newer ones with Ideal used on older ones.
    Based on labels and the logo on the wind flap, yes.
    But then I own Bitcoin, so my reasoning may be iffy :)
  16. 407801E1-7886-4107-AE78-CF89E5EDBA97.jpeg

    Indeed I do. This is a 1972 Alpha. The air temperature that day was around five degrees F. With the windchill, it was well below zero F. As you can see, the lake behind me was frozen solid. I wore only a cotton mock turtleneck shirt under the MA-1 and was fairly comfortable as long as I was moving.

  17. Gamma68

    Gamma68 A-List Customer

    Are the Chinese-made ones considered crap compared to the USA-made ones?
  18. Possibly only in my mind. I try like crazy to buy USA goods when I can, but practically speaking, they may be as good or better who knows. I prefer the USA labels so I am biased.
    kowalski likes this.
  19. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    Everything thinks that, but they're not. Their current products are actually really well made and much better than the USA made ones. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't owned both.
    Alz likes this.
  20. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    Being unhappy with made in China gear only makes sense when it's inferior. It's often not. It's often better. Trust what you see and feel with your hands and eyes. Most people on the internet who bitch and moan and pontificate about clothing haven't actually held, owned, or worn what they're talking about. I used to read comments from all sorts of wankers on other forums going on about how Gucci shoes are crap. Sure, some of their one-season-only shoes are meh and to be avoided, but if you buy their classic shoes they last for years and years and take a kicking (unless you go rock climbing in them or standing around in ponds). I'm still wearing my first pair, now 7+ years and still wearable and looking great, although finally starting to wear through on the soles. In other words, I know that those whiners were wrong about Gucci. It's the same with all this other stuff we talk about in this forum. I have a USA made Alpha MA-1 (civilian, poly insulation) and I've had a brand new China made Alpha MA-1 (civilian, poly insulation) and the latter was far better and more consistently constructed.
    Alz likes this.

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