Original German WIII Luftwaffe Officer Pilot Leather Flight Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Development of protective flight uniforms and equipment began with the advent of military aircraft in WWI and continued on into the Weimar and the Third Reich eras, resulting in three distinct one-piece combination pattern flight suits being approved before WWII and worn for the duration of the war.

Regulations of July 4TH 1940 and April 24TH 1941 introduced two piece protective flight suits for fighter pilots designed to increase the wearers mobility and not be as restrictive in the close confines of a cockpit. The two piece flight suits consist of separate jacket and pants and was commonly referred to as the "Kanalanzug", (Channel Uniform).

Officers were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and were allotted a clothing allowance. Generally speaking officers bought nice quality, private purchase, uniform items but they could also choose to buy their uniforms directly from the military clothing depots. Besides the standard issue flight garments Luftwaffe personnel also utilized a wide variety of private purchase leather jackets in contradiction of regulations. These private purchase jackets appear to have been quite popular as they can be commonly seen in period photographs.

This wonderful example is constructed with a fine brown leather exterior and a combined dark gray felt and light gray rayon liner, this jacket is tagged on the interior:
Gerat-Nr 142-52-A-1
Hersteller RBNr 0/0915/0002
Grosse: IIb 1944

Features a twill-lined exterior breast pocket, rayon lined snap-cuffs with white plastic Ri-Ri zippers, five concealed blue plastic buttons, bullion wire embroidered Luftwaffe eagle stitched to the right chest, a pair of yellow aviator trimmed Leutnant (Lieutenant) shoulder boards, and a black velour faced leather collar with snaps and straps for flip-up use. This particular jacket is configured to be used with a set of electrically heated flight gloves (not included); each cuff features a two-point snap connection, which is intended to connect to a set of wires running up the sleeve and down the back. No heating elements are integrated into the jacket itself, as the wiring is solely intended to serve as a connection between the plane and the gloves.

Originally developed by the French for World War I, heated flight gear was explored by both the Allies and the Axis during World War II, due to the medical perils of long range high altitude flight and winter operation, where the comfort of pilots and aircrew needed to be balanced against their ability to actually fit in and operate the aircraft. Lightweight, partially electrified suits are noted as having been deployed for use by Luftwaffe single-seat aircraft pilots, keeping hands and feet warm and useable without excessive bulk. Formerly of the George Petersen collection.

Overall condition is very good. The velour is fading slightly, taking on a greyish purple tone, with some mild wear overall. The shoulder bars and breast eagle were installed after the factory, which was common for officer issued flight jackets.  Overall a wonderful looking German Officer Pilot flight jacket complete with epaulets and bullion eagle, these are very difficult to find on today's market.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 11.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 25"
Shoulder to shoulder: 19"
Chest width: 22"
Waist width: 21"
Hip width: 25.5"
Front length: 21"

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