An original RAF Beadon Flying Suit made from Ventile cotton in a size 5 which is denoted by the RAF stores code 22C/1051.
The Beadon flying suit came into issue at the tail end of the Second World War and proved a popular suit with aircrews in the immediate post-war years, most likely due to its lightweight comfortable nature.
The Beadon, or 'Lightweight Flying Overall' as it is correctly termed, was designed as a survival suit - hence its 12 pockets. These pockets were designed to carry a variety of items such as rations, medical items and survival items, most of which had been carried in the tropical survival kit previously.
The suit is made from ventile cotton and must be the earliest example of this material being used by the RAF. It was used later on the MK1 flying suits as well as the ventile smocks and trousers but I believe this is it in its earliest form. It also features a brass zip to the front which is marked with a 'W' to the front and the War Department broad arrow to the rear, as are often found on wartime RAF flying clothing. Knitted cuffs can be found inside the sleeves and a knitted collar is present to the neck.
Inside the suit the original label is still present and is bright and legible. It bears the War Department broad arrow, size of 5, RAF stores number and contract number.
When laid flat the suit measures-
Chest - 26"
Inside arm - 22"
Outside arm - 26 1/2"
Inside leg - 32"
Rear rise to collar - 39 1/2"
The condition of the suit is good with plenty of signs of wear and use. There are numerous period repairs which are notable in black cotton in the pictures and there is plenty of staining. The suit is sound with no serious damage but it is well used as can be seen in the pictures. Please take time to study these before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-worn item which has some issues commensurate with age.
All in all a nice original early RAF flying suit with loads of great details.
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