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Military aviation was first introduced during WWI. The need arose for pilots to wear special protective clothing to save them from the elements caused by flying in an exposed cockpit. This was the birth of the flight jacket and flight suits.

The item featured here is an example of the flight attire employed by the American armed forces.

The MA-1 bomber jacket (also known as the MA-1 flight jacket) was first developed in the mid 1950s. The MA-1 and its predecessor, the B-15 Flight Jacket, were needed at that time because the emergence of the jet age created new requirements for pilot performance, safety and comfort.

The first MA-1 jackets were issued around 1949 or 1950 to United States Air Force and Navy pilots and Flight crews. Small numbers were also issued to Army flight personnel. MA-1 jackets first appeared in Europe in very small quantities in the mid-to-late 1950s probably on the black market and at sales of government surplus. In the early to mid-1960s more MA-1 jackets appeared in Europe as Alpha Industries began to export MA-1 jackets and other military clothing to European Air Forces and commercial customers.

This is a US Air Force flight jacket. Type MA-1. Of nylon construction. Two front pockets in a slanted direction. Flaps with snaps secure the contents of the pockets. A piece of velcro has been secured to the chest area. the zipper is made by Ideal.

This page is a recognition and identification guide for US Military Flight jackets Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined areas that should be noted.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my flight jacket worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the jacket is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the American military flight jackets in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

  1. Buttons and Zipper types
  2. Materials of construction
  3. Jacket markings
  4. Buying US flight jackets
  5. Perspective View

The tag contains the following information:

Jacket, Flyer's Man intermediate, MA-1
MIL-J-82790E (USAF) Size: X-Small
Stock no: 1615-573-8335
contract no. AF/615-37901
Alpha Industries Inc
Knoxville, TN USA
Shell & Lining 100% Nylon
Interlining 100% polyester fiber fill
Dry Clean Only made in USA

This US flight jacket may be currently reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this item. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the collectible.

If you have an interest is seeing other US military flight jackets, you can do so by going to our The History of the American Flight Jacket identification and price guide.


The value for the US flight jackets and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com . The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Value $50.00 $60.00 $65.00 $70.00 $80.00
Availability Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Invest Grade B B B B B

While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com
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