Flight jackets, also known as bomber jackets, have a long history that dates back to the early days of aviation. The first flight jackets were made from leather and designed to keep pilots warm in the unheated cockpits of early aircraft.
In World War I, military pilots began wearing leather flight jackets, which soon became standard issue. The jackets were made from durable leather to protect the pilots from the cold and wind at high altitudes. They were also equipped with large pockets for maps and other gear, and sometimes featured fur collars for added warmth.
In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Air Corps began developing flight jackets made from sheepskin and horsehide. These jackets were even warmer than the earlier leather jackets and were better suited to the colder climates of high-altitude flying.
During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces standardized the Type A-2 leather flight jacket, which became an iconic symbol of American military aviation. The A-2 jacket was made from horsehide and featured a distinctive collar and knit cuffs and waistband.
After the war, flight jackets became popular with civilians as well as military personnel. The iconic bomber jacket design was adopted by many different subcultures, including rockers, punks, and skinheads, and has remained popular to this day.
In the decades since World War II, flight jackets have evolved with new materials and styles, but they remain an enduring symbol of aviation and military heritage.