This vintage jacket started life off as a WWII CFN-24 Colvinex flight suit. These were popular motorcycle jacket conversions post war, due to the relative impracticality of a full length leather flight suit in civilian life, and due to their ease of conversion, with the front zipper having a separable bottom. It is made from goatskin, with a mouton collar, Conmar zipper, chinstrap, under-collar throat latch and belted waist. The owner of this one opted to cut his off at a 3/4 length, requiring it to also be zipped down from the waist to be put on.
This vintage CFN-24 flight suit was made during WWII from goatskin. It is electrically heated, with Colvinex metal core yarn. It has a zip front, zip fly, and zippers running the length of the legs. These were popular to convert into motorcycle jackets post-war due to the zippers having separable bottoms. One of the zips is Korea-era replacement Talon, the others are all WWII manufacture. There are electrical leads on the chest, at the waist and at the wrists to hook to heated gloves. It has a belted waist and patch pockets on the thighs.
This vintage jacket was made in Kansas City, Missouri, as a civilian version of the US army B-2 Flight jacket, issued in the early 1930s, and replaced by the B-3 in 1934. The army version was made of horsehide, with a single breast pocket, attached belt zippered cuffs on the inside of the wrist, and a full alpaca lining and mouton collar. This jacket was produced with a civilian label and a few alterations to the pattern. This jacket is made from capeskin, and with handwarmer pockets instead the large breast patch pocket that was universally removed from the army production version. This jacket has an off-center Talon main zipper, with bell-shaped slider and unmarked diagonal-stripe sunburst stopbox. The sleeves have zipper cuffs, with early pattern United Carr snaps and bell shaped talon zippers. The jacket has heavy wear, and the label has been partially worn away. The remaining text reads “aviation” and “Kansas City Mo”. There is a remnant of what looks to be a wing logo. The size tag is of the black and yellow design used on military jackets, and the pocket linings are the distinctive shade of twill used in the linings of A-2 jackets. These details point to this jacket having been made as part of a specialized civilian aviator’s line by a manufacturer which held a military jacket contract.
Chest (pit to pit): 21-1/2″ (doubled = 43″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 16″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (base of collar to hem): 22″
The colvinex flight suit was a one piece goatskin coverall electrically heated flight suit. Great for cold weather flying in WWII and Korea, not so great as surplus. Not a lot of call for the average joe for something as specialized as these. So out come the electrical coils, and out come the scissors, needle and thread. I’ve run across quite a few examples of these that were cut down post war for casual or motorcycle use, and each does it a bit differently.
I have worn the buttoned version of this USN M-69 Transport coat for two winters now, and it’s about the most practical winter garment imaginable. And yet- somehow so very ridiculous.
It’s a full length goatskin leather overcoat. This Willis and Geiger version has the zipper front, which gives it a bit of a deiselpunk vibe to it. Very Buck Rogers. Brown painted Talon zips throughout. Full alpaca pile lining with satin overlays. Mouton collar.