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Flight Gear Collection

This section shows flight gear and related items from air and ground crews. It includes flight jackets, flight suits, coveralls, goggles, footwear, gloves plus other clothing and accessories that crews would have worn in the course of doing their jobs.

If you have any questions or comments about an item on this page, please contact us.

The items on this page are not for sale

Contact Info:

email: info@historicair.ca
website: www.historicair.ca

Irvin Flying Jacket

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This jacket is a 1939 (possible 1940) vintage Irvin Flying Jacket manufactured by Calman Links. This jacket has the 2 panel back with the DOT on the zippers. On the label inside the jacket is the A.M. (Air Ministry) logo, 750/C.I. 38 (size) and handwritten initials DR.

Originally designed by the parachute pioneer Leslie Leroy Irvin, the Irvin sheepskin flying jacket would become the standard issue to R.A.F. and Commonwealth aircrews during WWII. Pre-war jackets were manufactured with an undivided one piece panel requiring only the minimum number of seams which was easier to assemble, but consumed greater quantities of material.

With the demand for higher quantities of jackets, a more economic method of manufacture was developed which had the pattern divided into smaller panels therefore allowing for savings in material, but increased number of seams. Also, due to the high demand for the jacket, manufacture was sub-contracted to other companies, which is why there are variations of the design and colour. The first examples went into production in 1931.

Because most heavy bombing raids took place around 30,000ft where the temperatures could reach -50C, a warm flight jacket was a necessary part of equipment.

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Canadian Forces Snowbirds Jacket

Snowbirds jacket from Major Denis Gauthier the leader of the Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration team in 1975 and 1976. Major Gauthier was a fighter pilot and a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 37 years and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Flight Lieutenant Gauthier was also with the 1967 Golden Centennaires team as the commentator.

For more information on the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, 431 Squadron, see thier website at www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/index.page.

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Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Pilot Winter Jacket

This jacket is a man's Type IV, green winter flight jacket. The jacket were worn by a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) hovercraft pilot. In 1975 the CCG hovercraft unit in Montreal “un-officially” acquired the Canadian Armed Forces issue flight jackets for use. The jacket in our collection was worn by a pilot of the CCG's Bell Aerospace Canada Voyageur hovercraft.

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Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Pilot Summer Jacket

The jacket shown is a Flying Jacket, Man's Type IV, green summer flight jacket and includes a Coast Guard Search and Rescue crest on the right upper arm of the jacket. This jacket was worn by a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) hovercraft pilot. In 1975 the CCG hovercraft unit in Montreal “un-officially” acquired the Canadian Forces issue flight jackets for use. The jacket in our collection was worn by a pilot of the CCG's Bell Aerospace Canada Voyageur hovercraft.

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Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Pilot Summer Flight Suit

Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) SRN-6 hovercraft flight suit. Manufactured by Reynolds Manufacturing of Edmonton Alberta, colour is blue and the flight suit includes a Coast Guard Search and Rescue crest on the right upper arm of the jacket. The sleeves have been altered on this for use in the summer. The CCG SRN-6 hovercraft were based out of Sea Island / Vancouver International Airport (YVR) between 1977 to 1998 being replaced be the AP188 hovercraft.

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RCAF 426 Squadron "Thunderbirds" Flight Suit

North West Sportswear Co.
Coveralls, Flying Oxford Light
January 1960
Size 8
Height 5’7” to 5’10”
Breast 46-48

This flight suit is from the RCAF 426 Squadron and includes the squadron crest, Canada shoulder flash, navigator wings and epaulettes. The suit was likely used when the squadron was based out of Trenton Ontario or Saint-Hubert Quebec when they flew the Canadair C-5 North Star. The North Star retired from RCAF the service December 1965. 426 disbanded at Saint-Hubert on September 1 1962 but was later reformed May 3 1971 at CFB Uplands Ottawa.

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CAF 414 Squadron Flight Suit

PGL CA 16276
Coverall Combat Flyers
Salopetles D'Aviateur
8415-21-907-9805
7040
W8466-5-PBOH/001-PE
April 1996

This flight suit is from a pilot with the Canadian Armed Forces / Air Force 414 Combat Support Squadron flying the CT-133 Silver Star (Canadair built version of the Lockheed T-33).

Click on image to enlarge

Type B-8 Flying Goggle

The pair B-8 goggles in our collection is marked "Flying Goggles, A.A.F. Type B-8" and were manufactured by Polaroid. Used by the U.S. Army Air Forces and other allied nations, the B-8 goggles were introduced in October 1943 and proved to be popular with pilots and flight crews and continued in service until the Korean War. Early RCAF jet pilots used the B-8 goggles with the Gentex H-4-1 helmet.

The B-8 kit is made with an interchangeable one-piece lens, rubber and plastic frame, the inside is lined with chamois leather has an adjustable elastic and webbing strap. The B-8 goggles were supplied in a box that contained the goggles, interchangeable tinted lenses, lens case, and instruction booklet.

Crests & Patches