Originally designed by parachute pioneer Leslie Irvin in the early 1930s, the RAF sheepskin flying jacket was the only issue flying jacket made from animal skin in the service.
The design was approved by the Air Ministry in 1932, and although often referred to as the 'Irvin' its production was contracted out to many manufacturers in order to meet demand.
The pre and early war jackets were manufactured with undivided, one-piece body and sleeve panels (such as the 1940 Battle of Britain model, which is also available in this department). This produced an amazing looking jacket, but proved to consume an extravagant amount of material.
With the coming of war and the demand for greater quantities of jackets a more efficient use of the material was devised; the full-piece panels were divided, resulting in a design made up of more (smaller) panels and thus more seams. As the war progressed the dividing of the panels principle was taken further and they were accordingly sub-divded again, and by 1944 the RAF sheepskin flying jacket was being produced in a very multi-panelled construction.
Another feature of some of these later war jackets was that they were produced from a breed of sheep (Devons) that had a unique curly character to the fleece.
It is precisely this model that is offered here. The Devon breed is an extremely rare breed now, and accordingly the sheepskin industry yields very low quantities of skins that can be acquired. We offer this model whenever we can procure the skins, so it's only available for limited periods of time.
The Eastman 1944 Pattern RAF jacket in Devon Fleece is the only product of it's kind currently available on the authentic flight jacket market, and is finished with a subtle TimeWorn® process to give it the perfect vintage appeal of an original.
Due to the fact that Devon fleece is such a rare breed of skin to obtain, this model is sometimes not available and is therefore very limited production.
Available in sizes 36 - 48.