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history Flight jacket, MA-1

The MA-1 was developed in the late 1940s, made from a sage-green or midnight-blue nylon weave with polyester lining. The synthetic flight jacket replaced earlier leather-and-fur versions, following the invention of the jet motor. With the capacity to fly at higher altitudes, there was a need for more comfortable and functional clothing. The jacket was cut with a cropped length, soft shoulders and generous sleeves, designed to be worn sitting down.

history Flight jacket, MA-1

flight jacket

 

The MA-1 was developed in the late 1940s, made from a sage-green or midnight-blue nylon weave. The original wool-fibre lining was later replaced with polyester for better warmth and lower weight. The jacket was labelled as an ‘intermediate’ garment, meaning it was constructed for temperatures between -10°C and 10°C.

 

The synthetic flight jacket followed the invention of the jet motor in the 1930s. Until then, pilots had worn fleece-lined leather jackets but with a new generation of jet aircrafts, with the capacity to fly at higher altitudes, there was a need for more comfortable and functional clothing.

 

In the MA-1, the fur collar of its predecessor was replaced with an elastic, knitted-wool collar, the same material as used in the cuffs and waistband. The jacket was cut with a cropped length, soft shoulders and generous sleeves, designed to be worn sitting down; it also featured two angled front pockets with snap closures and an additional arm pocket for pens.

 

In the 1960s the MA-1 was made reversible and lined with a bright-orange nylon shell for high visibility on the ground in case of an emergency landing.