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Famous People in Flight Jackets

Rawky

One of the Regulars
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137
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Plymouth, UK
Bruce Willis always seemed to rock a leather jacket in most of his projects. Think he even has quite the personal collection too. This one doesn't appear to be an authentic flight jacket, but a fashion A2 that was big in the late 80s early 90s.

moonlighting-lg.jpeg
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,924
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London, UK
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This photo was posted by the Lew Lewis Official page on FB this morning, along with a memorial to the late Jeff Beck as news of the latter's death broke. (Lew Lewis is a young singer / guitar player / band leader who performs with the Lew Lewis Trio. Cracking performer, great, early-rock and roll / Sun-era-Elvis type sound, worth seeing if you ever get the chance and you're into that sort of thing).

Beck is wearing a USN jacket which I believe is a G1. Probably 50s or 60s, which doubtless he picked up on the road somewhere long ago.
 

Manolito

Familiar Face
Messages
56
John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges wearing the same Schott 674 (the one with the white sherpa liner as you can see on the John Carpenter's one) on the set of "Starman" ! This jacket was also worn by Kurt Russel on "The Thing" and another variant of the Schott 674 was worn by Roddy Piper in "They Live".

STARMAN.jpg
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,924
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London, UK
John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges wearing the same Schott 674 (the one with the white sherpa liner as you can see on the John Carpenter's one) on the set of "Starman" ! This jacket was also worn by Kurt Russel on "The Thing" and another variant of the Schott 674 was worn by Roddy Piper in "They Live".

View attachment 485416

These Schott, civiliansed G1/A2 mash-ups are fascinating jackets. Very much in the vein of many post War generically military-style flying jackets from the 40s onwards. Were they not now so expensive (much due to the pound being worth about 55% now what it was on the US Dollar in 2008), I would have been tempted to pick up a black one.
 

Manolito

Familiar Face
Messages
56
The Schott Civilian Flight Jacket was the working man signature look in the John Carpenter movies of the 80s - especially when dealing with Aliens !

They-Live-Original-Leather-Jacket-Worn-by-John-Nada-5.jpg

Roddy Piper in "They Live"

Karen Allen in "Starman", the same jacket as Jeff Bridges !
karen.png


And of course the most iconic and well known look with Kurt Russel in "The Thing"
thing.jpg
 

Aloysius

One Too Many
Messages
1,773
These Schott, civiliansed G1/A2 mash-ups are fascinating jackets. Very much in the vein of many post War generically military-style flying jackets from the 40s onwards. Were they not now so expensive (much due to the pound being worth about 55% now what it was on the US Dollar in 2008), I would have been tempted to pick up a black one.

It’s funny because many of us will enter a stage of enthusiasm that causes us to be dismissive of these civilianised designs, but the reality is that they’re indisputably superior jackets to the ‘authentic’ A-2 which despite its costume cachet was hated by the pilots who had to wear them. Eventually, the budding enthusiast catches on to the fact that these are improvements, caused by no longer having to be the cheapest possible option. (This certainly happened with me.)

And of course when you look into the history of these things, in many cases it was the actual contract manufacturers that upgraded their postwar jackets since they no longer had the constraints of the Army’s budget!
 

Edward

Bartender
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London, UK
It’s funny because many of us will enter a stage of enthusiasm that causes us to be dismissive of these civilianised designs, but the reality is that they’re indisputably superior jackets to the ‘authentic’ A-2 which despite its costume cachet was hated by the pilots who had to wear them. Eventually, the budding enthusiast catches on to the fact that these are improvements, caused by no longer having to be the cheapest possible option. (This certainly happened with me.)

And of course when you look into the history of these things, in many cases it was the actual contract manufacturers that upgraded their postwar jackets since they no longer had the constraints of the Army’s budget!


For me, the superiority issue is very much a subjective thing. Horses for courses, really - I can see a lot of folks wanting details like handwarmer pockets and warmer linings, in which case these definitely are more suitable.. I agree, though, the deviation from milspec while also marketing the 'military heritage' of this sort of thing makes a lot of folks look down on them. What appeals to me, however, is that these very deviations from the milspec are what make them much closer to the jackets available on the civilian market in the postwar period. Which is the appeal for me as aspiring to that civilian look rather than military reenactment. The only drawback of many of this style made later is that they have that 80s / 90s oversized thing going on, but that varies with time. I've seen plenty of 184s being worn properly sized, and they look great. I don't think I can justify a new one what with the price they are now, and already having a fair few black jackets, but if a black 184 fell into my hands at the right deal / time, I'm open to it.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,924
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London, UK
By 'superiority' here, I was mostly thinking of how, for instance, civilian versions almost invariably adopt the Navy pattern (one of the best jacket patterns in existence) rather than the far cheaper-to-produce A-2 pattern.

It's interesting, the differences. THe USN jackets are a more complex design in that regard, though they've never been quite as popular for repops. I'd argue of course that's got far less to do with the wartime exploits of the USAAF versus the USN, and far more to do with Steve McQueen versus Tom Cruise.

Oddly, I've always found that despite the theoretically better range of movement in the USN designs, I need to size up in those as compared to an A2 or they end up too small and restrictive. Not sure if that's anything to do with why the USN boys always seemed to wear theirs bigger than the mythical "correct" A2 fit.

I'd love to see the design-brief notes for the ANJ3; I've always found both designs to have their strengths and weaknesses such that I'm not sure I could pick one or the other as superior purely for myself, but the fact that the ANJ undoubtedly leans much closer the design of the USN jackets than it does the A2 would suggest that the military may indeed have been persuaded it was the better design in the field. Interesting that when this joint project fell through after Hap Arnold decided to move away from leather entirely, the USN carried on with leather. Different flying conditions, one presumes, were a big part of these different choices.

Still got my eye on an Aero M422a with a leather blood chit. Early version - no "American", AVF era.
 

Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,674
By 'superiority' here, I was mostly thinking of how, for instance, civilian versions almost invariably adopt the Navy pattern (one of the best jacket patterns in existence) rather than the far cheaper-to-produce A-2 pattern.
I've been wearing my M422 for 3 weeks straight now. It is really one of the best designs out there. The A2 design seems like a cost cutting version by comparison. The wind flap works better on the inside and as an extension (one piece) of the inner facing. The full action back with underarm footballs give utmost range of motions even when the torso is skin tight. Pockets are bigger, with a pen slot. Although I have to give it to A2 pockets, snaps are easier to open and close than buttons. What else, the fur collar for comfort, it isn't too warm or too cold, just comfortable. And the extra inside pocket for additional storage. The linings are all done in panels and double stitched for longevity too. If I could only have one jacket, it'd be the AN-J-3/M422A/G-1.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,924
Location
London, UK
The M422 is one of the most comfortable styles of any jacket I have worn. Hard to beat if you only have one jacket.


Had both an Aero AN6552 and an Aero A2 in goat at one point. (Both had to move on as I hadn't got the hang of correct sizing in those days.) Tended to wear them at different times. The USN jacket was good for slightly cooler days, with the mix of the less breathable lining (rayon) over the A2's (silk); the mouton collar also made a surprising difference to how warm the jacket felt zipped up.
 

Manolito

Familiar Face
Messages
56
Civilian Flight Jackets are not only for nice guys, here Jeff Goldblum playing a delinquent in "Death Wish" at a early stage of his career...

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And here Charles Bronson looking for revenge in "Death Wish IV" in a more traditional A2 black copy...

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Manolito

Familiar Face
Messages
56
But when I think A2 in an inspiring movie, I can only think of Dana Andrews playing a US pilot veteran in the wonderful classic movie "The Best Years of our Lives"...

dana.jpg


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Tom71

One Too Many
Messages
1,842
Location
Europe
John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges wearing the same Schott 674 (the one with the white sherpa liner as you can see on the John Carpenter's one) on the set of "Starman" ! This jacket was also worn by Kurt Russel on "The Thing" and another variant of the Schott 674 was worn by Roddy Piper in "They Live".

View attachment 485416

I had the „budget“ option (polyester collar and zip-out liner) end of the 90s. Loved it to death, but it has always been too heavy and strangely bulky to wear. The cowhide hasn’t aged that well too. In comparison, my goat M422a is a luxurious dream and a pleasure to wear.
 

dubpynchon

One Too Many
Messages
1,039
Location
Ireland
The Schott Civilian Flight Jacket was the working man signature look in the John Carpenter movies of the 80s - especially when dealing with Aliens !

View attachment 485582
Roddy Piper in "They Live"

Karen Allen in "Starman", the same jacket as Jeff Bridges !
View attachment 485584

And of course the most iconic and well known look with Kurt Russel in "The Thing"
View attachment 485590
I’m a fan of those civi flight jackets as well. Older LL Bean Flying Tiger jackets pop up on eBay every once in a while, worth grabbing if you see one, they’re very similar to the Schott 674. I managed to score one in good nick from a fellow member here. Yo, I’m off to work in the meatpackers!
 

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