Information A-1 flying jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by andy richards, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. andy richards

    andy richards Practically Family

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Gents,
    I am about to order my first flying jacket. Searching and looking around for information I finally decided it has to be an A-1 flying jacket, made by Aeroleather or Eastman. Are there any things to consider when ordering such a jacket? How about inner pockets? I have two Aeroleather jacket: the Long Halfbelt and the 1930's Halfbelt slim fit. Should I use these jackets as reference for sizing? I any of you guys own a A-1 please post pictures.
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  2. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,603
    Location:
    Southern England
    Eastman A-1 is the one to go for, no extra pockets just standard spec.
     
  3. Persimmon

    Persimmon One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I ordered the Eastman.
    It is the A1 jacket to go for.
    Alan
     
  4. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    Hi Andy. I'm an A-1 fan, too. I like them because they have a certain 'twenties look that isn't necessarily youthful or martial. That style jacket was very popular between the wars and working-class civilians probably wore them more than did AAF aircrew. At age fifty-four, I've finally come to grips with the fact that I don’t look good in military flight jackets that were designed to fit athletic twenty-year olds. Happily, photos of pre WWII pilots wearing A-1s often show a bunch of guys who appear to be in less than sterling physical condition. And they usually appear much older than twenty-something. In short, they look much like me.

    My A-1 is a Good Wear. I asked John to stick as close as possible to the original AAF specifications when making my jacket. I think he did. Its shell is capeskin, as per original specs, and is the low-pocket AFF version as opposed to the high pocket Navy jacket.

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    AF
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
    Flightengineer likes this.
  5. too much coffee

    too much coffee Practically Family

    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    Not too far from Spokane, WA
    Hi Atticus;

    Great looking A-1, the best I've ever seen, and you look absolutely terrific in it.

    So how many times have you been told you resemble Karl Malden(circa 1970) or/and? Gene Hackman(circa 1980)?

    Again, jacket is stellar!

    Best regards, coffee
     
  6. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    Hi Coffee. Well, never Karl Malden, but yes, Gene Hackman...often, actually. In fact, I have a photo somewhere of me in an M-51 and a '50's Milwaukee Braves baseball hat that my girlfriend calls the Hackman-clone photo.

    AF
     
  7. andy richards

    andy richards Practically Family

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for all your input, guys. This sure helps. Will let you know about my final decision who will make the jacket..
    I am rather tempted to go for an oil pull hh from Aero... Also the slightly larger pockets would be a good thing as there are no inner pockets..
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,790
    Location:
    London, UK
    Are you looking for the jacket to be exact to original spec, or do you want a civilian jacket? It having been such a popular civilian style, if that's what you're going for, adding an inner pocket and whatever would probably be more practical. The A1 is a great looking jacket, though. I would myself be tempted to dodge the original spec on the leather, simply because capeskin is on the light side and I'd be worried about damaging it too easily. On the flipside, a lighter leather might be nice in Summer....

    While I didn't much care for Pearl Harbour as a film, I enjoyed watching the jackets in it - the older, experienced commanding officer sported an A1. Looked great.
     
  9. STHill

    STHill One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I recently purchased an A-1 from Aero, in their jerky seal horsehide. I'm quite happy with it. I specified larger, A-2 type pockets (but set lower, A-1 style). If I get ambitous, I'll post a pic. As far as size is concerned, you can specify the measurements, and Aero will make it to order.

    The A-1 is a great style, and is a nice subtle departure from the A-2..
     
  10. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,292
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    My sentiments exactly. But I wouldn't be concerned about the lighter leather in summer as I don't wear leather then.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  11. andy richards

    andy richards Practically Family

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Thanks gents,
    The jacket will be worn all year especially when flying. The original spec A-1 jacket from Eastman looks great, but I guess it is more practicle with the larger outer pockets Aeroleather is offering. Does any of you have a A-1 with inner pockets? How about lining? Go for the original spec material or a gaberdine twill?
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  12. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    My goodness - that is one of the best looking leather jackets I have seen, not to mention the quality of the photographs; and you wear it superbly. A1's have never moved me before until now. Thanks Gene.. sorry Atticus. The hat's a Stylemaster, right?
     
    Atticus Finch likes this.
  13. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    Thanks! When it coms to flight jackets, I'm actually a bit of a purist...I normally only wear originals. My A-1 is one of only two repro jackets that own.

    I really wanted an A-1, but there was no way to buy an original, especially in size 48, so I decided to make an exception and buy the most accurate repro I could find. John Chapman of Good Wear was happy to work with me and crafted this jacket exactly as I requested. The shell is cape, the knits are wool, the lining is cotton, the buttons are horn. Even the jacket's seams expose the raw edge of the leather, as do the originals. I really think John did a great job. Sadly, the last time I browsed the Good Wear site, I didn't see the A-1 as a product he was offering.

    The hat is indeed a Stylemaster. It is about the only felt hat that I ever wear other than an Open Road or Open Road clone.

    Oh, I almost forgot. My girlfriend, Jackie is the photographer in the family. She's actually a cardiac nurse by profession, but she is also a very talented photographer. I've always thought that one could dress a hog in one of John's jackets...and let Jackie photograph it...and the hog would end up looking like Clark Gable!

    AF
     

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