Original U.S. Vietnam War Era MA1 Flying Jacket - Size 38

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition MA-1 flight jacket in excellent condition with functional zippers and snaps. Features a very crisp Air Force insignia to left shoulder. Data label has been removed from interior neck. Size is approximately a US 38".

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to Shoulder: 10.5"
Shoulder to Sleeve: 24"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 18"
Chest width: 22"
Waist width: 16"
Front length: 26.5"

The MA-1 bomber jacket (also known as the MA-1 flight jacket) is an American military jacket which was developed in the 1950s. The MA-1 and its predecessor, the B-15 flight jacket, were originally developed and needed at that time because the emergence of the jet age created new requirements for pilot performance, safety, and comfort.

The MA-1 was designed by the United States Air Force to serve as an intermediate weight flight jacket for use all year. This was accomplished by manufacturing the MA-1 from very high quality nylon fabrics and polyester interlinings. The lightweight nylon design allowed the pilot to wear the jacket open and be comfortable in warm weather. Upon entering the aircraft, the pilot could zip the jacket closed and be afforded ample protection against the cold conditions encountered in flight.

The MA-1 underwent design modifications during its long history of use but the classic highly functional design has remained basically the same. The original design was contained in United States government military specification "MIL-J-8279." Changes to the jacket were periodically made by the Air Force because of the introduction of new textiles, new sewing techniques or new aircraft cockpit design. The military specification was amended to reflect the changes which was signaled by adding a letter to the Mil. Spec. For example, MA-1 specifications progressed from Mil-J-8279 to J-8279A, then J-8279B, J-8279C, et cetera. The most important revision, Mil-J-8279F, was issued in November 1978[citation needed]. The final revision before being phased out by the United States military is "Mil-J-8279G" and "Mil-J-8279G AMENDMENT-1", introduced in March 1988 and October 1990 respectively. These two final revisions were designated for ground crew only as fire-resistant CWU-36/P and CWU-45/P were issued to aircrew.

The MA-1 was initially produced in midnight blue and sage green. Blue was the original color used by the military, but it was soon replaced by green. During the Korean War (1950–1953) mixing flight clothing from multiple time periods and colors was not unusual. Presumably, the green was eventually adopted because it blended more easily with the environment should the pilot need camouflage protection on the ground[citation needed]. During the Vietnam War, there were variant commercial copies of MA-1 in camouflage pattern which were purchased by American servicemen. While no longer issued by the United States military, it remains popular among many United States-allied armed forces (e.g. Israel, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan (ROC) and Thailand).

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