Actor Chad Michael Murray, best known for his role in One Tree Hill, is featured in the latest issue of Glamoholic Magazine wearing our B-3 Sheepskin Jacket. Mr. Murray rocks our B-3 with classic cool style.
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The belief that freedom of the sky would help create freedom on the ground made James Herman Banning one of the revolutionaries of his time.
Born in 1899 in Oklahoma, Banning grew up with the determination to one day fly despite lack of resources and prejudice. Moving to Iowa where he studied electrical engineering for a little more than a year, his passion for aviation grew. Flight obsessed, he applied to multiple flight schools where he was rejected. Finally he found a pilot, Lt. Fisher, who saw the spirit in Banning and agreed to teach him to fly on the sly.
Unfortunately, Lt. Fisher died in a plane crash just as Banning was near ready to fly solo. Without Fisher’s help, Banning was faced with finding a plane to fly when no one would lend him a plane to complete his required solo hours.
Banning, undeterred, bought the engine from Lt. Fisher’s crashed plane and acquired plane and auto scraps to build his own plane, “Miss Ames”. Flying on his homemade plane, he earned his solo hours and was the first African American to receive a pilot’s license from the United States Department of Commerce.
His love of flight, gave him the idea to become the first African American to fly across the United States, during the Great Depression. With no backers or newspaper coverage, Banning went out to find a way to fund his flight. In 1932, teaming up with mechanic, Thomas Cox Allen, the two came up with the idea to fund their flight along the way by soliciting small donations from the towns they landed in. Whether the donation was a meal, a place to sleep, or gas money, these donors would then inscribe their names on the wing of the plane, called “The Gold Book”. Each contributor was sharing their name in a piece of history, with a total of 65 individual names written on “The Gold Book”.
Starting in Los Angeles, Banning and Allen faced many hardships and adventures on their cross-country flight due to the color of their skin, having no money, and flying a rickety plane. In one city, a whole town searched to find the right car parts to send them on their way after they crashed into a barn. In another city, Allen had to sell his suit for gas money. The last trek of their journey was funded by the Democratic Party in exchange to have Banning and Allen throw “Vote Roosevelt” flyers out of the cockpit as they flew over towns on their way to New York.
After an exhausting, exciting 21 days of flying they completed their journey with a victory circle around the Statue of Liberty then landed at Valley Stream Airport. However, Banning’s accomplishment was unattributed. As a “race pilot”, his accomplishment was not considered news worthy by the white-owned newspapers.
After their plane failed in Pennsylvania on the flight back, Banning and Allen were stuck returning to the West coast in the back of a bus.
Trying to raise money to repair his beloved airplane, “Miss Ames”, Banning decided to fly a number of stunts in an AirTech Air Show. On the day of the show, the Chief Flight Inspector refused to allow Banning to fly one of his planes because he believed Banning couldn’t be trusted due to the color of his skin. An unlicensed white Naval mechanic offered Banning a seat in his friend’s plane, as a passenger. The mechanic wanted to preform the stunt, but during a loop stalled the plane, causing it to crash into the ground, costing Banning his life. In his honor, a group of his friends tried to rescue his beloved plane, only to find out it had been sold for scrap without Banning’s permission or knowledge. The physical record of the journey and “The Gold Book” were all destroyed.
Banning’s determination, courage and hope for freedom was an inspiration to many other aspiring African American pilots and those who want to feel the freedom of the sky.
A true pioneer of her time, Bessie Coleman was the first female African American pilot and the first African American to hold an international pilot license.
Coleman was born in Atlanta, TX in 1892 to a large family. Growing up in poverty, she worked hard to make a living and accomplished all 8 grade of schooling, excelling in math. At 23, she moved to Chicago to live with two of her older brothers. There, she heard tales of flights from pilots who were returning from WWI. Motivated by these stories, her brother’s taunting her and the lack of belief that African American women could fly she set out to find a school that would teach her. After repeated rejects from flight schools in the United States, Coleman began to look else where to achieve her dream.
In 1920, she set off to Paris to learn to fly at a school that would teach her. After seven months of training in a 27-foot unreliable biplane, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded Coleman her international pilot’s license in June of 1921. She trained further in France, specializing in stunt flying and parachuting.
Returning to the United States, she spent the next five years performing at countless air shows. Defending her and others’ rights and equality, she took a stand against locations that wouldn’t admit members of her race and would refuse to perform there. Coleman used her fame to encourage other African Americans to fly by speaking at schools and churches. She also raised money to found a school for African American aviators, wanting to spread the right of flight to other women and men of her race.
Tragically, Coleman and her mechanic, William Wills, took their last flight on April 30, 1926. Preparing for an air show the following day, the plane unexpectedly plummeted, and this brave aviator fell to her death.
Her spirit and accomplishments have not been forgotten. As a revolutionary figure in history, Bessie Coleman has continued to inspire women and men alike to follow their passions and take flight no matter what may stand in their way.
“I refused to take no for an answer.” – Bessie Coleman
Cockpit USA is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary of made in the USA fashion, replicated or inspired from the military & aviation. A brand synonymous with authenticity & timeless American tradition, we celebrate our expert craftsmanship and extraordinary attention to detail.
To celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we bring you a Limited Edition collection that pays tribute to some of the iconic jackets of the past 40 years, hand selected by founders Jeff & Jacky Clyman. Some of our favorite jackets from this limited edition collection include replica hand-painted horsehide A2 flight jackets, which will be available in the beginning of February. Stay tuned for more updates and limited edition styles!
Cockpit USA is here to help you find the perfect gift for the special people in your life. With 12 Days of Cockpit Christmas. We have the ideal gift for him, her, the kids, or yourself this holiday season. Give them a gift that will last decades, and memories that will last a lifetime.
First Day: A-2 Sweater Jacket (Style # Z28S004)
The iconic US Army Air Force jacket with a cozy twist; a sweater knit body & rugged leather details. The ideal gift for a modern man who wants to stand out from the crowd while looking classic and clean cut. It’s perfect for riding down the road on your motorcycle or reading a book outside at your favorite park.
Second Day: Harriet Hooded Jacket (Style # W28S001B)
It’s hooded, it’s snuggly, it’s hip, and it fits like a glove. Made for her to layer and to wear in the fall and winter, this warm hooded sweater is ideal for lounging around the house or going out for a stroll. Crafted from Italian knitted wool with vintage soft leather sleeves for that extra soft feeling that those chilly days need.
Third Day: Maverick Varsity Jacket (Style # Z28P018)
Join the Cockpit USA Top Gun Varsity Award Squad in our cool movie hero varsity. This limited edition jacket is crafted of black melton wool with rich glove touch leather sleeves giving this jacket a military feel with an athletic twist. The Maverick Varsity Jacket is perfect for the guy who is on the look out for adventure and not afraid to go the distance.
Fourth Day: Kids Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket (Style # K201036I)
Now your little co-pilot can be the hero of the playground. Our Kids Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket is a miniature version of the classic jacket from the movie Top Gun. All your little flyer will need is a pair of aviators to go with his jacket and they’ll be the coolest kid in school.
Fifth Day: Distressed B-3 Bag (Style # Z91S001)
Luxury meets classic style with the Distressed B-3 Bag. Crafted from distressed shearling leather with the wool inside, to make it nice and cozy, and a removable leather iPad case.
Sixth Day: Elite Knit Hooded Sweater (Style # Z66M002)
Watching the game has never been warmer. A great alternative to your everyday hoodie, the Elite Knit Hooded Sweater features raw edges and contrasting colors for a rugged, rustic look. Be warned, your girlfriend will steal this from your closet.
Seventh Day: Barnstormers Hat (Style # Z99E002)
Keep your ears warm while having a snowball fight or flying your plane in our Barnstormers Hat. Worn by WWI aces like the Red Baron and the hippest dog, Snoopy, this hat is the classic look for your adventurer. This gift will keep him warm and stylish in the cold winter months.
Eighth Day: Authentic MA-1 Jacket (Style # Z24J011D)
For the rebel in your life, we suggest our Authentic MA-1 Jacket. Designed in nylon flight satin boasting a bright orange lining for survival purposes; pilots would turn the jacket inside out to make them visible to rescue crews. Your explorer will be warm and prepared for whatever journeys they take on.
Ninth Day: T-Shirts (Style # Z12S017D pictured)
Perfect for him or her, our t-shirts make a great stocking stuffer. Any aviation fan will rave over these super soft, sleek tees. Great for the history buff and the flying fanatics in your life, these tees are a guaranteed hit.
Tenth Day: “B-26” Shearling Jacket (Style # Z2126)
Keep your loved one warm for many winters to come. The “B-26” Shearling Jacket is perfect for those who want military style and fashion driven outerwear that is completely functional.
Eleventh Day: Betty Motorcycle Jacket (Style # W21S001)
Your sweetheart will never wear another jacket once she gets our Betty Motorcycle Jacket. With zip off sleeves that convert this style into a fitted vest, for added flair for the woman who has it all. This is the jacket you ride off on your motorcycles into the sunset.
Twelfth Day: “Movie Heroes” Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket (Style # Z201036T)
Your hero won’t ever want another thing once he owns the classic “Movie Heroes” Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket. Hand cut, sewn and aged to perfection, this jacket will make him feel like a Hollywood legend.
"Four years ago, when I was on a business trip, my USAF 21st Century A-2 jacket was stollen and with it a lots of memories from the time I served in the air force. Since it was a huge blow my wife decided to make it up to me and surprised me for my 40th birthday with a brand new WWII Government Issue A-2 Jacket. It was like I got my memories back. It was great to feel that smell and sound of leather again. It reminded me of the days I was wearing it on the job (in the 21st century…not in the II WW-:)).
I always appreciated how the jacket is slim and tight because I never incidentally turned on any of the million switches in the cockpit…and the cockpit can be tight. The pockets are a bit small but if you are an aviator you always travel light…a wallet with a credit card and some cash, keys and a mobile phone…everything else I can do without. It’s is easily folded for a carriage in a transport bag (or between the handles of the bag, if you want it to be close at hand). It doesn't look like it, but It’s very warm. It’s around +5 degrees C outside now and all I wear is a shirt and a light pullover bellow it. It’s enough to keep me warm while I walk downtown. Since it’s leather jacket it works great in windy conditions too.
Anyhow, I’m happy as a child again because I finally got my second skin back (and this time I plan to keep it for a long time!).
At the end, a big THANK YOU to everybody from COCKPIT USA, to Stephane and Laetitia from CAPACHAT.COM and to my wife Iva for putting such a great effort to get the jacket here on time for my 40th birthday celebration (you wouldn't believe what Murphy’s law is applicable to)!!!
This is one of the most heartfelt reviews we've ever gotten. It is always a joy to hear how much love and memories go into the jackets we create. Enjoy for the many years to come.
"Over the years I have learned that there are five things that a man looks his absolute best in; a real A2 is one of them. This Mustang A2 is a real one. If you look at the styling of the pocket flaps, the collar latch, the cut, the overall appearance of the jacket - its real. I have one and I can tell you that its not just looks, its made that way. And it has that thing - life-worn toughness, I suppose - that makes me look good in it. Until someone comes up with a way to bottle that feeling and that look, this jacket will do me just fine, thank you. If you want pretty, get a designer 'bomber'. If you want a well-seasoned second skin, this is it. What the jacket brings to you is important, but its what you bring to the jacket that counts. Bring it on. And wear it well." - Diesel
Wise words and an excellent compliment. Thanks Diesel!
Get the look: http://ss1.us/a/VwuknaQI
Cockpit USA is proud to be a part of American Field, The All-American Pop-Up Market taking place in Brooklyn this November.
American Field features the best of US Made clothing, accessories, goods, and furniture. Besides finding expert goods, vendors, music, food, workshops, speakers and more will be around to make an exciting, patriotic event. At the event you have the chance to meet some of the incredible people who continue to make great products here in the USA, including the Cockpit USA Team. Honoring the skills and craft that these vendors take into making their product the best of the best.
The event is a giant celebration of American Made goods and reinvigorating the American Dream. Hoping to inspire more people to buy and support the American Economy. Get the word out and come support some of the most skilled craftsman in the US.
Want to come? Here are the Details:
American Field is free and open to the public.
Where: Industry City, 264 36th St. Brooklyn (Between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave)
When: November 22-23 from 10am-6pm
Get More Info About the Event Here: http://americanfield.us/
Follow them: @AmericanFieldUS
Do you have a special jacket or item you’d like to view, purchase, or try on at American Field? Please email us about what you’d like to see by November 20 at: email@example.com
To find out where we are during the event, follow us on twitter: @cockpitusainc
The ANJ-4/AN-6552 was a late WW2 development of a sheepskin jacket designed to be more accommodating in a cockpit in lieu of the bulkier B-3 sheepskin, which was used by all aircrew but was not as comfortable in a tight confine. Experimental test samples were developed of this same jacket in leather with various types of linings for warmth and flexibility to accommodate those crewmembers that needed a lighter less bulky material. So a leather version of the ANJ-4 was drawn up and sampled but never produced.
Cockpit has taken this concept and created our own engineered version of this universally useful jacket, as it permits the wearer to use its two-way zip to sit in a cockpit or a vehicle and loosen the waist as well as side buckles to tighten it to keep the wind out, with added zip sleeves, similar to the British flight jackets, to allow gloves to fit under the sleeves; great for motorcycling as well. The leather is a supple but durable vintage lamb and carries the features of its sheepskin predecessor with USN style patch pockets and a large real shearling collar with throat latch to keep wind out and warmth in. The modern lining is our WW2 parachute pattern nylon quilted to trademark Primaloft for extra warmth, softness and flexibility and two added inside pockets for modern convenience. A truly unique, contemporary jacket with a vintage configuration that sits slightly lower than the sheepskin jackets of the same era for additional weather protection. Proudly made in the USA.
In 1964, an Ohio housewife went on the flight of a lifetime and became the first woman to fly around the world solo. Jerrie Mock was not your ordinary housewife. Flying her single engine Cessna 180, the "Spirit of Columbus", Mock made her world trip alone in just 29 days. She is an inspiration to pilots and go-getters, like ourselves, everywhere.
To learn more about this incredible woman, check out this great article we found on BuzzFeed about her: www.buzzfeed.com/amyksaunders/the-untold-story-of-the-first-woman-to-fly-around-the-world