Leather Bomber Jacket Style – Custom Patch Art by:
A “flight jacket” is a casual jacket that was originally created for military pilots and eventually became part of popular culture and apparel. It has evolved into various styles and silhouettes including the ‘letterman’ jacket and the fashionable ‘bomber’ jacket that is known today.
World War I: Most airplanes did not have an enclosed cockpit, so pilots had to wear something that would keep them sufficiently warm. In France and Belgium, the Royal Flying Corps had begun wearing long leather jackets in 1915, and the trend caught on. The U.S. Army officially established the Aviation Clothing Board in September 1917 and began distributing heavy-duty leather flight jackets; with high wraparound collars, zipper closures with wind flaps, snug cuffs and waists, and some fringed and lined with fur. These jackets became an essential part of aviation gear to keep aviators relatively warm and comfortable, yet durable.
World War II: Leslie Irvin first designed and manufactured the classic sheepskin flying jacket. In 1926 he set up a manufacturing company in the United Kingdom, and became the main supplier of flying jackets to the Royal Air Force during most of World War II. However, the demand during the early years of the war was so great that the Irvin company engaged subcontractors, which explains the slight variations of design and color that can be seen in early production Irvin flying jackets. As aerospace technology improved, the altitudes at which aircraft operated increased. Most heavy bombing raids in Europe during World War II took place from altitudes of at least 25,000 ft, where ambient temperatures could reach as cold as −50 °C (−58 °F). The cabins of these aircraft were uninsulated, so a warm, thick flight jacket was an essential piece of equipment for every member of the crew.
Flight Jackets in the United States: The two most historical American flight jackets are the A-2 jacket and the G-1. Although General “Hap” Arnold cancelled the original A-2 after twelve years because he wanted “something better”, the A-2 remains the most recognizable and sought-after American flight jacket. The G-1, designed by the U.S. Navy to parallel the Air Corps’ A-2, lasted until 1978, when U.S. Congress cancelled it due to its tremendous popular appeal, which was overwhelming the Navy’s supply system. Their popularity evolved into symbols of honor, adventure, and style. Hollywood films like Top Gun boosted sales of the G-1 tremendously, making bomber jackets collector and fashion items.
Military Aviation Patches: In the World War II era, military pilots began to dream up more creative ways to decorate and personalize their flight jackets. Many pilots choose to sew embossed handmade leather patches made by local artisans onto their jackets to celebrate accomplishments or to distinguish themselves from other pilots owing to the highly competitive and ego-fuelled nature of their job. While the pilots began to wear patches voluntarily, they eventually became military custom. Military aviators wear their iconic bomber leather jackets as a status symbol, with the Navy and Marine pilots wearing the G-1 Jacket and the Air Force and Army pilots wearing the A-2 Jacket. These jackets often have a name tag on the left chest, an embossed squadron patch on the right chest as well as sometimes also having shoulder patches. This gave units plenty of scope to personalize the basic three patch locations as well as starting a culture of individual pilots adding patches to other locations on their jackets that has continued through to the present day.
Squadron Posters is proud to help preserve and carry forward this tradition in the form of wall art that can be enjoyed by all through our “Leather Bomber Jacket Style – Custom Patch Wall Art”.
See more on how we can create your own personal Leather Bomber Jacket Style – Custom Patch Wall Art HERE.
- Leather: All of our leather is produced in Valencia, Spain. The fiber content of our European Bonded Leather is comprised exclusively of cowhide fibers. The fibers are bonded together primarily by natural latex, a renewable resource harmlessly tapped from Hevea trees. A minimum of 70% of the total content of our leather is leather fiber and approximately 30% is non-leather substances, principally the natural latex. Our leather is environmentally friendly and consistent—free of natural defects.
- Mount: With a similar construction to our Canvas Gallery Wraps, Leather Gallery Wraps are built with a solid face to support the leather and keep it from warping or loosening. Leather Wraps also come with pre-installed sawtooth hanging hardware and are mounted on a solid black backing.
- Frame: Add a dark walnut frame for $25, the frame comes pre-installed and is ready to hang out of the box. If you get this product without a frame, the leather wrap is still ready to hang out of the box with mounting hardware on the back of the solid core.