Type L-2A Thunderbirds
The US military authorities tested a lot of different types of fabric for flying jackets in the 1940’s and eventually selected nylon as the most suitable fabric. The Type L-2 flying jacket was replaced with the Type L-2A in 1950. The essential difference between the two jacket types is color. Air Force Blue was the color that the U.S. Air Force designated when they finally became independent from the U.S. Army.
The L-2A flight jacket was used by the USAF “Thunderbirds”. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds" is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). It is also one of the oldest squadrons in the Air Force, its origins dating to the organization of the 30th Aero Squadron, formed at Kelly Field, Texas on 13 June 1917. In addition to their air demonstration responsibilities, the “Thunderbirds” are part of the USAF combat force and if required, can be rapidly integrated into an operational fighter unit.
During their existence they have flown with different types of aircraft. After initially using the F-84 Thunderstreak/Thunderjet (May 1953) the “Thunderbirds” switched to the F-100 Super Sabre in June 1956, which gave the team supersonic capability. If the sponsor of the flight show permitted it, for some time, the pilots would create a sonic boom. This ended when the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) banned supersonic flight over the continental United States. The “Thunderbirds” kept on flying the F-100 Super Sabre through the 1968 season, it was replaced in 1969 with another iconic aircraft, the F-4 Phantom II.
The skilled people at The Real McCoy’s offer a reproduction of the Type L-2A flight jacket. The fabric is custom produced and authentically replicates the characteristics and color of the durable nylon as used and produced in the 1950s. This flight jacket comes in summer weight and sports two front pockets plus a so-called cigarette pocket on the upper left sleeve. Also featuring 100% wool ribbing, 1950’s Talon Zipper, napped rayon and wool lining, authentic snap buttons, on the back and on the chest chainstitch embroidery plus on the breast a felt patch. Made in Japan!