B-3 WINTER FLIGHT JACKET. Knowledgeable
customers are dumbstruck. Thick Off-White American Sheepskin in the
precise World War II Seal Brown dye. With our famed Chrome-Tanned Russet Horsehide
facings, pocket and trim, including insignia rank tabs. Die-cast
fully accurate Nickel Buckles and Harness Leather Belting. Note the single open patch Pocket, intended for gloves and maps.
So-called replicas with slash pockets are inaccurate: no original B-3 came with
such. Nor did any original come with leather facings (piping) around the zipper.
B-3s are extremely hard to find in good shape. Wartime examples were often
shared, and in cold, cramped aircraft took a real beating. In fact an AAF
document exists for depot-refinishing fatigued examples by spray-dyeing them
with polyacrylate lacquer. Collectors have probably come across these -- the
ones that feel like dried mud! This was not, of course, the original finish but
rather a combat theater depot quick fix. Despite what you may have
elsewhere read. If your reproduction B-3 flakes or wears prematurely, spots, fades --
it's incorrectly tanned. Period. Correct AAF were drum-dyed, then finished with
polyacrylate-type top lacquers/varnishes. If a current B-3 abrades its top grain
immediately it's wrong, of course, unless the AAF were idiots. They were not
idiots. They were the best this country has ever produced.
one thinks of the AAF Winter Sheepskin Flight Jacket it's the B-3, immortalized
in countless classic movies -- William Holden in STALAG 17,
Steve McQueen in THE WAR LOVER (see above shot).
The legend and appeal never diminish with age or the vapid changing winds of
"fashion." An extraordinarily warm jacket -- designed for use at 25,000 feet --
one never needs a sweater even in the coldest weather. You'll wear it open much
of the time, exposing an ocean of thick, luxurious American Shearling. So different
from any other Jacket out there, because the B-3 isn't fashion, it's Style.
Style and Fashion are wholly unrelated. The former articulates one's sense of
self, tradition and value. The latter -- merely the Cappuccino
flavor-of-the-month at Starbucks. Is $1500.00 expensive for such a jacket? No, a
bargain. IF this is what you seek. These jackets, like all LOST WORLDS, aren't
for everyone. Our customers wouldn't have it any other way. We're most amused by the "palm pilots" who squeak, "Why is it so FIRM?" "Why is it so
HEAVY?" -- sorry, we're not psychoanalysts, we only make the best jackets of
their kind in the world. Do real men ask, "Why does that Hemi have so many
horsepower?" As we bemoan elsewhere on this site, Western man is a dying gender. The
weight, the break-in -- this is the fun part, molding the jacket to your shape
and build, making it yours. And having a born and bred American classic that
never fails to draw admiring (and often puzzled) glances. If you don't like
frequently being asked about "that jacket you have on" don't buy our B-3!