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The use of the flight jacket has almost a century of tradition and popularity as a favored garment. The earliest British aviators started wearing long leather coats to keep them warm over the skies of France and Belgium. Flyers in the United States Army met their challenge to keep warm with the first heavy-duty flight jacket approved by the Aviation Clothing Board in 1917. This first U.S. military version possessed the basic elements found on most versions of the iconic jacket: a leather body, sturdy collars, zippered pockets, and cuffs and waists that hugged the body.
With different linings, these jackets found increasing popularity through both World Wars. Today, there are many collectors of these first flight jackets who pay thousands of dollars for the most collectible. Civilians also love the jackets for daily use and they have remained favorites for decades. However, it was Top Gun, the popular movie of the 80s, that made it a must-have for millions. While you can still find navy flight jackets at LandingZone.com modeled on the famous G-1 version (made to compare with the Army A-2), the Navy ceased purchasing that model in 1978. Another jacket model that is now obsolete but continues to be very popular is the Vietnam era MA-1. This version breaks with the leather tradition and is made of a sage green nylon flight silk and an orange lining. Varieties of the century-old flight jacket concept are now seen in hip-hop videos, on American streets, and worn by many police officers and first responders. You can check out navy flight jackets at LandingZone.com.
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