Leather Pilot Jacket

Sorry, I forgot everyone can’t just follow my chain of thoughts. I ordered it throught Gibson and Barnes who made a point of saying they were FORMERLY flightsuits.com.

I got the Civil A-2 in Seal Goat skin. My wife had the deciding vote on the difference… she didn’t like the zipper showing on the Raider… go figure. I have to say that once again I’m glad that I paid attention to her.

I also noticed that they have a leather flight helmet, and several options for goggles so I can look like Snoopy and the Red Baron as I drive around… I’m sure my daughter would love that (even my boys who aren’t convinced I’m the anti-cool may be swayed by this).

I prefer the look of the A-2 to the Raider. I think you made the right choice.

Now, if you get a helmet and goggles, don’t forget the silk scarf! I’m sure you’ll get a lot of… attention. :stuck_out_tongue: You might consider a brown fedora to wear with the jacket. That might be more socially acceptable than a leather helmet.

I think if I am considering a leather helmet and goggles I’m not too concerened about being socially acceptable. I’m a bit concerned about the silk scarf though… I hear it can get wrapped in the back wheels with bad results. I miss Eve giving me the full details.

Thanks again for the link. As long as it doesn’t turn into several pieces of leather in the first rain I’m pretty sure I’m happy with the purchase.

If it does, then you could send it back for replacement or repair. They have a lifetime warranty. :wink:

You might think about treating it with mink oil or other leather conditioner. I’d suggest calling their customer service rep to find out what they recommend.

So… When do you start your flying lessons? :smiley:

As soon as my Sopwith Camel gets out of the shop.

I prefer my horsehide WWII A2 reproduction (from the same guys). The quality is top notch and the service was superb. The other jackets mentioned here were high on my list too. In particular, I was interested in the seal goatskin offerings.

Congrats! Enjoy your new jacket. I’m sure you look cool :cool:

I like my Flightsuits (it was before they became Gibson and Barnes) Navy G-1 in goatskin. Very soft and supple. I might have to get a new one, since I’ve put on some weight over the years.

A horsehide A-2 is also on the list.

I liked the horse hide jackets as well, but that was just a little more than I was ready to spend at this time.

I also like the G-1 but was afraid that with the “fur” collar it would be more of a winter jacket than a Fall-Spring one.

It’s been a year and more than a month. How’s the jacket holding up? Do you still like it? Still wear it?

It’s starting to get a little chilly up this way. Not cold yet (43 this morning), but I’m looking at my Irvin jacket.

I looked around one of those links and found this. It reminds me of this.

Totally fell apart and threw it away… KIDDING!

I absolutely love it. It gets more and more broken in the longer I wear it. I ended up wearing it all through the winter, and we’re talking a midwest winter not down south. It used to “creak” when I wore it due to the new leather, but now it just gets better with each wear. I’d kind of like that worn look, but I’m afraid it may take 20 years or so to show much wear. I actually brought it out a couple of weekends ago when my kid had an early morning soccer game. It is in the 90’s though again today so it may be a few more weeks before I get it out again. I was actually just thinking that I should clean it/apply mink oil the other day.

This thread reminded me that I need to send my horsehide A-2 in for relining. I have been wearing it for eight years, and even though the leather is finally starting to wear in, the lining has totally worn out.

I called Gibson & Barnes yesterday afternoon and the woman quoted me a price a little over a hundred to take apart the jacket, replace the cotton liner, replace the knit cuffs and waistband, and put it all together like new.

I have to send it out pronto so it’s ready for colder weather.

I was just reading a TFL Irvin thread (>80 pages – it ran for four years!) and someone said that you shouldn’t have to condition a leather jacket for years. I can’t remember if I’ve ever treated any of my leather jackets. I think maybe my oldest G1 once. My newest leather jacket is probably 15 years old or more, and it’s still ‘like new’. (But then, I have many flight jackets – leather, Nomex, and nylon – and other jackets, so individual jackets don’t get overused. :wink: Also, I’ve got a new Irvin on the way…)

As long as your jacket isn’t drying out, you should be fine. If you wear it in the rain a lot, then you might think about some Pecard’s or mink oil.

Just checking in to give yet another plug for Gibson & Barnes.

My 8 year old horsehide A-2 came back home yesterday after a full relining and replacement of zipper, cuffs, and waistband.

The jacket is perfect. In fact, it is more perfect than the day it was brand new, because not only is every bit of the non-leather part brand new, but the leather is broken in.

They were so careful that the stitches on the front went through the original holes, so there are no new punctures in the leather as far as I can see.

I’m awaiting the arrival of a Coastal Command ‘Irvin’ jacket. It differs from the regular Irvin in that instead of the normal collar, it has a hood (which is fleece-lined like the rest of the jacket). The outside of the hood is painted yellow for visibility in case the pilot goes into the drink. It’s 70 years old and the zipper is said to need attention. It’s going to be difficult to find a proper replacement. But I still have some shrinking to do, so I have time to find one.

I spoke to my Dad not too long ago, and he had seen a picture of me in the jacket. His comment was “I didn’t think you wanted that.” He is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s so I tried to clarify. He actually remembered that when I was in High School (late 70’s) he offered me the jacket his Dad gave him. He was a Doctor in WWII and seemed to get lots of “thank you” gifts. I vaguely remember him showing me an old flight jacket in the closet and asking me if I wanted it… no way, especially when I found out it was made from a horse.

18 year olds can be really stupid… even when it was me.

Anyway, we are having a bit of an Indian Summer here and I rode home from work with the top down and wearing the jacket and it was perfect. I saw several other convertibles with the tops up except for one guy in a '68 Mustang and we gave each other a big thumbs up and it was a wonderful way to spend a drive home.