There is no other leather-jacket living up the term „Classic“ than the famous A-2 flight jacket. Til today it´s counted to be the prime father of all pilot-jackets. Developed in the early 30ies, the slim-fit and minimalistic designed A-2 became very popular not only in the military, but also among civilians.
The famous A-2 Flight Jacket is an iconic piece of flight gear of American pilots during WW2. Contrary to the fashion of that time, the A-2 had a rather unlike, trim-fitting cut. Period photos and films reveal a jacket which could be worn fitted and sharp looking or a bit baggy and loose in the body. The short and trim-fitting cut was originally designed for the narrow and thight aircraft cockpits. The distinguishing characteristics or our 1938 A-2 flight jacket are: a snap-flap patch pocket on either side, a shirt-style snap-down collar, shoulder straps, knit cuffs and waistband. The back is constructed from a single piece of leather to limit stress on the garment, as well as a lightweight cotton inner lining with a leather hang strap. In order to make the jacket more windproof, the vingate TALON zipper has a “wind flap” of thick, double layers of leather. The simple but classic design of the A-2 Flight Jacket is a symbol for timeless and unique style.
In general, the Type A-2 jacket was a high quality product which could last a lifetime if maintained properly. The main material of the A-2s was horshide leather, the later issues however were made of goatskin or cowhide. Wartime-issued A-2 jackets appear in a wide range of color tones and hues, although all are based on two distinct colors: Seal (dark brown to almost black) and Russet (pale red-brown to medium brown). Most seal jackets were russets re-dyed during the war to cover scuffing and discoloration. Original knit cuffing typically matched the leather or came close, but exceptions exist, such as a very distinctive rust-red cuffing on a seal brown hide.
Often the pilots refurbished their jackets, by painting the name of their aircraft / flight crews or talismanic pin-up girls on the back of their A2s, as many photographs from that time show. The sharp appereance let these rugged leatherjackets not only become famous, but also a symbol for a whole era of time. In the 50ies this heritage was adopted by the post-war generations.