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Monthly Archives: May 2009

  • 21st Century Authentic A-2

    Official USAF 21st century A-2 flight jacket

    Official USAF 21st century A-2 flight jacket

    I am such a fan of what Ralph Lauren has created in his vision of Double RL! The store has the perfect ambiance and the clothes are either really authentic vintage iconic pieces or designated to look really authentic!

    It was a pleasure to work with Ralph Lauren when he called me in 1978 to manufacture and design his first A-2 style leather jacket. We were both perfectionists sharing the same values about the significance of iconic clothing and its inspiration to clothing design around the world.

    Little did I know that eight years after my design and manufacturing experience with Ralph Lauren, I would end up producing the REAL  A-2 leather jackets for the United States Air Force. My company would be the prime mover in 1986 working with F-16 Thunderbird Pilot Lt. Colonel "Hoss" Jones, the lead contact to the Airforce Joint Chiefs and the Uniform Board, who would be instrumental in getting the U.S. Air Force to re-adopt the leather A-2 as regulation uniform wear as it had been from 1931 to the end of WWII.

    I was a perfectionist myself as well as a Warbird pilot who actually flew and flies WWII fighters (P51 Mustangs, P-40 Warhawks, Navy and Marine Corps F4U Corsairs and Airforce P-47's) in air shows.
    We are fortunate enough to be able to offer authentic versions MADE IN THE USA  to the General Public through our company, Cockpit USA Inc. website, our retail Cockpit General Store at 652 Broadway in New York City and in our printed mailorder Cockpit USA Catalog.

    Made of supple government specification seal brown goatskins, the authentic currect issue A-2 jacket is second to none - Style Z21V41 has all the features of the U.S. Air Force jacket except (unless specially requested) special Velcro patches which the Air Force pilots use to display their rating and their rank and unit identification or squadron insignias...and sometime just sport their "call sign" or nickname like: "Maverick", "Iceman", "Goose" or "Razor" on a custom embroidered name patch.

    Today's A-2 has side and top entry pockets so there is actually somewhere to put your hands instead of the top entry pockets of the WWII versions (see later blogs).

    But don't just read this, SEE this 20th century piece of "Revival"TM clothing in our catalogs or on our website:  Once you put it on you will be scouring the streets of Tribeca in NYC, the Vista in Columbia South Carolina or the slopes in Colorado looking for that P-51 Mustang fighter to strap on and take to the skies. This is the jacket our fighter pilots wear today! It's living history...

    Jeff Clyman

    Check Six and Keep 'em Flyin'

    For a 10% off regular priced merchandise pls write a review about Cockpit at City Search - Click Here> to write a review.

  • A-2 antique lamb leather -Z2567- modeled after the iconic pilot's leather "second skin"

    Cockpit antique lamb Z2567 made in the USA

    Cockpit antique lamb Z2567 made in the USA

    No one remembers that in the 1970s, when Jacky and I founded Avirex to replicate WWII apparel leather jackets, most leather jackets were considered "bad boy" motorcycle clothing.....Marlon Brando....Fast and the Furious, James Dean, Steve McQueen...etc...

    I had grown up with my father's A-2 he used while flying combat in China during WWII  and then graduated to wearing my uncle's A-2 leather flight jacket which he wore flying P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes over Germany in 1944.

    Apparently I was not alone. A lot of people were attracted to my jacket with its squadron patches and insignias as they commented to me while I was wearing these "artifacts" as flying kit while performing stunts at airshows in my Stearman vintage WWII Bi-plane... et voila Avirex and Cockpit USA were born!

    The first jackets I had made for Cockpit USA were so stiff they stood up by themselves. This led to my quest to soften the product and create an aged "100 mision worn in used look" to the jackets and ultimately to my developing what became known as "Distressed Leather" and "Distressed Sheepskin" to simulate years of wear.

    The end result is the iconic Cockpit style  Z2567 antique lambskin A-2 pilot's jacket  created by us in the 1980's. It has a luxurious satin lining  with an embroidered, appliqued and hand printed decorated patriotic lining design adorned with American Flags, a salutation from the Gerneral of the Armed Forces and a pin-up inllustration sewn into one side of the jacket featuring a 1940's beauty and the by line "For the Boys in the Cockpit." A lot of visual surprise on the interior of an otherwise utilitarian flight jacket -  Cockpit created a first in the world of flight fashion.

    Why do I call this leather "antique?" Because as you wear this jacket, the leather changes tone and shows signs of use but without damage, and lightens in areas of friction normally occasioned by normal wear ultimately becoming the personalized creation of the wearer. Each jacket ends up its own unique icon with looks slightly different between wearers. 

    And your Cockpit A-2 style Z2567 is MADE IN THE USA!!!

    You can't get homegrown quality like this anywhere but at the Cockpit.

    Choose an Air Corps brown or black color in this very comfortable all year round wearable pilot's original authentic flight suit clothing gear modeled after the jacket  Jacky and I actually redeveloped in 1986  for the United States Airforce combat pilots.

    Read about the 21st Century USAF flight jacket  in my next blog. You will want to sleep in it is so cool.

    Check Six and Keep'em Flying

    Jeff C.

    For a 10% off regular priced merchandise pls write a review about Cockpit at City Search - Click Here>  to write a review.

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