An original Royal Air Force Irvin Flying jacket dating from the early mid war period in a smaller size.
This jacket was most likely made by 'Links' who were a prolific manufacturer of flying jackets throughout the war. It dates from approximately 1941 or 1942 based on the construction with the biggest indicator of age being the single vertical rear seam which is intersected by a parallel seam below the shoulders. Early war jackets only had the single seam and later war jackets have many more panels than this which dates this jacket to the mid war period.
The jacket features a chromed leather finish to the exterior which is mostly worn away. The reverse of this is sheepskin and the collar is made using a contrasting sheepskin which is typical of jackets made during this period. The front of the jacket fastens with a 'Lightning' branded zipper which retains its original leather pull tab which is held in place with a metal rivet. The cuff zips are both Air Ministry marked examples and function as they should. The large collar retains its chrome plated metal double 'dee' rings and the two hooks which the elastic collar strap attaches to are also present and again help to date the jacket. Under each arm are metal grommets which act as vent holes. The metal hanging chain is also still present to the neck although is only attached at one side.
The jacket will suit around a 38" chest depending on desired fit and when laid flat it measures -
Chest - 22"
Inside arm - 21"
Outside arm - 25 1/2"
Shoulders - 20"
Length - 24"
The jacket is in good condition and displays well. It displays very well and is wearable. There are numerous small leather patch repairs which have been expertly added. The waist belt has been removed and there is a loss of sheepskin to the cuffs. There is an area of missing sheepskin which is illustrated in picture 15 although this is not really noticeable - especially when worn or displayed on a mannequin. The main zip reatins it original rivet to the bottom but there is a small rip next to this which is illustrated in picture 9. This does not affect the working of the zip. There are general signs of wear and age but overall it is a very solid jacket. Please take time to study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that it is a vintage, pre-worn item which may have small issues commensurate with age.
A nice original RAF flying jacket from the early mid war period.